to leave the cat out all night, every night?

(60 Posts)
ArtyJennie Tue 22-Mar-11 12:36:33

I cant handle keeping a litter tray in the house- its gross. The final straw was when I caught my dd(age 3) playing with the litter (aaarg!!) So we have tried to train the cat to go outside.. with some success but not completely. She tends to wee/poo in the living room if we leave her overnight (i guess she has nowhere else to go!) she cant seem to hold it till morning. So the solution has been to put her out at night time. Is this ok for the cat? even when its cold? She has been meowing outside the door/windows wanting to come in.. I do feel a bit guilty.

scurryfunge Tue 22-Mar-11 12:39:18

You need a cat flap.
You could also keep the litter tray behind a closed door so your daughter doesn't get to it.

ArtyJennie Tue 22-Mar-11 12:44:35

The prob is the cat has pee'd in the house before even when the window/back door was wide open so I dont really want a cat flap as i wouldnt be able to keep an eye on her. We only let her in the living room/kitchen when she's not outside as we have carpet everywhere else (she seems to think carpet= litter tray).

worraliberty Tue 22-Mar-11 12:46:29

Can't you put the litter tray back and tell your 3yr old off for touching it? I'm sure she'll learn no means no at that age?

NinjaPixie Tue 22-Mar-11 12:48:59

Sounds a wee bit mean to me. Most road accidents involving cats happen at night too so I wouldn't take the chance. Is shutting the cat in 1 room with a litter tray overnight an option?

redfairy Tue 22-Mar-11 12:50:18

If you cant or don't want to have a catflap into the house why not try one for your shed or garage. As long as Tiddles has an undercover area with a blanket or basket she'll be fine. (Peeing while having access to the outdoors though may be sign of stress)

scurryfunge Tue 22-Mar-11 12:50:24

You need to train her to use the litter tray. Every time she starts looking for somewhere to go, pick her up every time and put her in the tray. You have to be relentless until she gets it.

Do you have doors to prevent her coming into the other rooms?

I don't have litter trays at all. A cat flap will solve your problem -you can't keep an eye on her if you are going to lock her outside all night anyway.

If you really have to boot her out at night (and I think it's cruel) then at least provide a warm, dry place for her, like a shed or a garage.

ArtyJennie Tue 22-Mar-11 12:51:13

I could do that worraliberty- it may well work. But I really dont want the litter tray back- its gross having to deal with it (i guess i could be unreasonable here too- as i should of thought of this pre cat!) I thought cats could just pee outside! As the cat is only allowed in kitchen or living room that is where the litter tray goes.

AIBU to leave the cat out all night though? or is it mean leaving the cat out? do cats often stay out all night anyway?

BluddyMoFo Tue 22-Mar-11 12:51:26

Fab solution, you dont want to clean a litter tray so you leave her out to shit all over neighbours properties....let them clean it up.

Too many people like you round my way, it makes me so angry. And has made me dislike cats.

campocaro Tue 22-Mar-11 12:52:18

The cat will get used to it-ours did-out last thing at night, every night and they snooze indoors all day.

JeelyPiece Tue 22-Mar-11 12:55:27

You can get a covered litter tray and your DD will just have to learn not to touch it like she's presumably not allowed to touch other dangerous/unsavoury things.

It's not fair to force the cat to stay out all night if she's not used to it - some cats would love it but mine would all be wailing to come in as soon as they got cold. She's more at risk of being in a accident if you put her out all night.

Has she only been going on the carpet since you got rid of the litter tray? Does she use it properly if it's there? One of my cats won't go wee or poo outside at all though she will pop out for a wander - she is too nervous to go the loo outside and it would really stress her out if we took the litter away.

Cats like to go out at night....thats quite often when they do their hunting!!

A night on the tiles.....think that refers to cats originally.

Nothing wrong with cats being out at night

ratspeaker Tue 22-Mar-11 12:58:24

Why do you have a cat?
You want it to stay outside all night just because you dont want a litter tray in the house?
Again why did you get a cat then?

Its cruel to chuck it out without shelter, water or food

Cat98 Tue 22-Mar-11 12:59:39

Cats out at night are in more danger (depending on where you live) from traffic, foxes, cold (and cats cope a lot better with heat than they do in the cold). Personally I wouldn't. I think if you are not prepared to have a litter tray, don't get a cat. They need the option to go to the loo inside!

Ormirian Tue 22-Mar-11 13:00:40

Get a bloody cat flap!

It's not too bad this time of year but in the depths of winter? That's just mean.

givemushypeasachance Tue 22-Mar-11 13:00:41

What if there is another long cold snap like this winter and it gets down to -15 degrees? Cats are fine outside in that temperature for a short while, but not all night unless they have shelter. The same applies if it is raining - they need somewhere to enable them to stay dry. If you feel you must shut a cat out of the house they should at least have access to a shed or garage with a catflap, or a conservatory or something.

It breaks my heart to see cats sat outside people's houses in the morning meowing to be let in. Growing up our cats always had cat flaps and could come and go. In the summer they liked to be outside most of the night but in bad weather or winter they'd always prefer walls and a roof, and a warm bed!

If you leave cat out all night be prepared to find a wide variety of dead wildlife on your door step in the mornings.

I'd keep the litter tray just for night times. Put outside during day so cat can get used to it being out there and your dd can't get to it.

thinNigella Tue 22-Mar-11 13:01:16

I have 2, they are out all night every night even in the snow. They have a cat flap into the garage where their food is.

I freaked when I found not only dead mice but lives ones in my kitchen along with next doors cat asleep on my work surfaces. I'm no hygiene freak, but ewwww. They've been out ever since and they are fine. Do it.

TechLovingDad Tue 22-Mar-11 13:01:57

Cats are nocturnal so don't want to be stuck indoors all night. Ours goes out partying every night and sleeps it off at home, during the day. He also winds up the dog when at home, too.

NinjaPixie Tue 22-Mar-11 13:03:11

I think YABU to not want to deal with a litter tray. I presume you changed DDs nappies for years- it's all just poo.
IMO it's cruel to leave a cat outside all night all year round.

Ormirian Tue 22-Mar-11 13:03:30

Well mine sleeps on a big cushion at the top of the stairs. She likes to go out at night too but not all night.

LadyThumb Tue 22-Mar-11 13:03:46

Cruel! Why have a cat in the first place?

Nagoo Tue 22-Mar-11 13:04:04

I've got a litter tray, and my child knows not to touch it. By 3 I'd think an NT child should be able to learn not to play with cat litter.

My cats do go out all night, in all day though. I know that the older one taps up the neighbours for food though, so he's probably sleeping on someone's bed all night too!

OatcakeCravings Tue 22-Mar-11 13:06:38

It's a cat - shove it out!

If you are worried about the winter invest in a small dog kennel for the garden and put a blanket in it - there job done!

Cat98 Tue 22-Mar-11 13:10:29

www.cats.org.uk/cat-care/cat-care-faqs/cats-protection-cat-care-faqs-environment/

Scroll down - your q is answered by the cats protection league here!

IAMGOINGTOBEGOOD Tue 22-Mar-11 13:18:42

Mine have been out for three years.
Even in the snow.
They have access to a shed with warm bedding but do not use it.
They are healthier than when they stayed in.
No illnesses and a healthy coat.

pingu2209 Tue 22-Mar-11 13:20:14

It's a cat - not a child. Of course you can leave it out over night.

Ormirian Tue 22-Mar-11 13:21:00

"A cat should never be locked out all night."

Well that's fairly unequivocal then grin

Cat98 Tue 22-Mar-11 13:22:32

?? pingu - it is a living, breathing animal. Not a stuffed one!

Not locked out all night is the key...

Ormirian Tue 22-Mar-11 13:25:11

Sorry what has the fact that it isn't a child got to do with it confused

notquitenormal Tue 22-Mar-11 13:38:07

We have three cats and they do as they please. One never goes out at night, one always goes out at night and one does a different thing depending on the weather.

However, they do have access to shelter and clean water (not food, because it encourages vermin and they're all fatties so they won't starve.) in the shed.

I think if your cat wants to be in at night you should let her. And get a covered litter tray...they good when you have a toddler.

ArtyJennie Tue 22-Mar-11 13:48:52

In response to why did I get a cat. It was dh's idea, he said that the cat wouldnt need a litter tray and that most don't have them(Having never had a cat I thought this would be the case) tbh I didnt really want a cat- he really did- so thats why I'm reluctant to dealing with the litter tray. I'd much rather deal with nappys thanks very much. i'm in during the day so dh cant deal with it then- hense why i would need to do the litter tray cleaning.

We would never leave the cat out in the freezing cold. I seem to be getting a big mixed response to wether leaving her outside is ok or not though. I like the garage idea- so perhaps putting a cat flap into that could be the plan (putting a cat flap in the house is not an option as the cat thinks the carpeted parts of the house are all litter trays- even when there is a litter tray about, this is why she is only allowed in the wood flloored living room and kitchen and when i am in)

peeriebear Tue 22-Mar-11 13:51:20

I put my cat out at night because she will start crying to go out about 2am, and if I don't get up and let her out, she will often wee ON ME on my bedcovers. No thanks! She goes out every night. Our garden has plenty of shelter.

peeriebear Tue 22-Mar-11 13:51:52

Oh and my cat does have a litter tray, she just likes fucking with me... hmm

LisasCat Tue 22-Mar-11 13:53:32

When I lived in South London the night time was all too frequently interrupted by the sound of a local cat being torn apart by a fox. So no, I think it's bloody mean to shut a cat out at night, without any cat flap into which she can escape if in danger.

And to the people saying they have cats who love being out all night, are these by any chance toms? Toms will often go out 'on the pull' at night, but queens prefer to be curled up in the warm (away from the toms attempting to jump them!). I think the OP has indicated hers is a female.

You have the options of fitting a cat flap or getting a covered litter tray. Or not having a cat.

Proud2bFeminine Tue 22-Mar-11 13:53:50

Leave the litter tray outside the back door and leave an upstairs bathroom window (if you have one)open wide enough for the cat to get in/out. Never had a problem with this, and within a week the outside litter tray was not needed.

LucretiaInShadows Tue 22-Mar-11 13:56:30

She'll be fine outside as long as she's got shelter. All of you will sleep better, you'll all be happier, and the litter tray can go in the loft until it's needed again.

It would be unkind to chuck her out with no protection from the elements, but a box with a blanket in the shed/garage would do nicely.

Bratfink Tue 22-Mar-11 13:56:32

Yes leave it out so it can murder all the local wildlife and shit all over your neighbours gardens

Honestly it's beyond me why people are so vitriolic about dogs but think it's ok for cats to roam around killing stuff and crapping everywhere

And yes, I think it's mean to shut a cat out all night. Surely a 3 year old can be taught not to touch the cat litter

DooinMeCleanin Tue 22-Mar-11 13:57:05

I don't think you should get a litter tray or lock the cat out tbh. I think you need to rehome your cat. She sounds like more than an inconvenience to you.

My cat goes out most nights, by choice. Although I won't let him go out if it is very cold, snowing or raining. He has a specially built shelter in our yard and dd1 lets him in through her window in the night if he comes back.

Vallhala Tue 22-Mar-11 14:02:44

You can't persevere with training your cat, you don't want to get your hands dirty cleaning a litter tray and you can't teach your child not to touch the litter so of course the obvious answer is to lock her outside all night, particularly through the British winter. hmm

I have a good idea. Call Cats Protection or another suitable no kill rescue and ask them to rehome the poor bloody animal to someone who actually wants her and is a decent enough human being to look after her.

ArtyJennie Tue 22-Mar-11 14:02:59

Its not just about my 3 year old touching the litter tray- that was just the final straw. I'm glad i posted this because it has been informative- thanks cat98 for the link.

Vallhala Tue 22-Mar-11 14:03:52

X posted with Dooin, the voice of common sense.

I agree with dooing and brat. If your DH wanted the cat in the first place, why isn't he clearing the litter up?

ArtyJennie Tue 22-Mar-11 14:12:31

Dooinmecleanin- you are probably right. I think she would be better off being re homed. I dont want her but my dh and dd really do. I spend my time stressing over wether she is gonna pee or bloody not in the house- or if we have a tray i stress about cleaning it constantly (the thought of toxoplasmosis stresses me too). I even called my aunty today to see if she was interested. She is a friendly cat and i want her to go to a good home.

Dont get me wrong- I make sure we take her to vet, feed her pouches 3 times a day/ change her water/ wash bowls etc etc, give her attention/strokes when she wants them/scratching mat/toy/basket etc- so she is looked after. We have only just started putting her out at night and the reason i posted this was to find out if it was an acceptable thing to do- if i didnt care I wouldnt have asked.

rockinhippy Tue 22-Mar-11 14:13:47

YABU & Cruel, & I bet your neighbours love you hmm -

I keep Cats & wouldn't dream of leaving them to howl & meow & disturb my neighbours all night, let alone the rest & its not so hard to keep your DS out of the litter tray - I managed fine with mine at that age - just takes a bit of effort hmm, just as it takes effort to train some Cats - ALL part of your responsibility as a pet owner hmm

Though getting a covered cat tray might help with your DS ....we had one of those & it makes it look less inviting, & less of a sand pit....that & telling them off of course

Also what are you cleaning the Cats wee up with??....if its cleaning products, chances are they contain ammonia, which to a Cat means toilet - pee here -- you'll need to neutralise the area with bicarb/ etc (google) & then clean only with vinegar or a none ammonia cleaner - a few drops or spray of Citronella will help too

ArtyJennie Tue 22-Mar-11 14:22:41

rockinhippy- thanks for the bicarbonate info- i didnt know that- we have been cleaning with dettol- perhaps making the situation worse?

The neighbours on both sides are detached and quite far away, they also have cats that are outside at night.

She doesnt meow very much (i'm a light sleeper and would notice).

Ladyboak Tue 22-Mar-11 14:25:03

I couldnt do that to my cat, I'm already paranoid when she is late in the evening to come home but the tought of leaving her out all night ?? No you are cruel !

pod3030 Tue 22-Mar-11 14:27:26

i put my cat out overnight now that it has warmed up. he just lazed about getting fat and whiffy when he stayed in. now he's shiny and alert and not the depressed blob he was. in winter he stays in with a litter tray.

ddubsgirl Tue 22-Mar-11 14:28:21

if cat is peeing everywhere has she been done?
get a covered litter tray,we have one and helps with the smell.
get a cat flap and keep kitchen door closed but cat can get in for water and somewhere warm if it needs too.

pod3030 Tue 22-Mar-11 14:33:55

I also got one of those plug in pheromone things which helps the cat chill out. it may be a bit unsettled/stressed if it's marking everywhere. Mine seems to like it.

My cat never comes in the house, even on the coldest winter's night. She doesn't like it and is quite happy outside.

heartmoonshadow Tue 22-Mar-11 14:41:58

I have bought my cats a small rabbit hutch each which are basically a wooden box with a hole at the front, I fill them with old jumpers/carpets etc which I change regularly both cats now go to the door at about 10pm or so and meow to go out problem solved.

Dakiara Tue 22-Mar-11 14:46:36

Yep. Your cat, your responsibility to keep her safe and your responsibility (or your OH's) to clean up her poos (not your neighbours just because it's "gross").

Of course, I could be biased being faced with cleaning cat poo from our flat roof, vegetable beds, lawns (so my toddler can play outside) and the hardcore of my drive (they dig down that far and cause damage) whilst pregnant. angry

Dakiara Tue 22-Mar-11 14:48:34

And a big thank-you to all the owners on this thread that have made an effort to provide somewhere for their cats to go and who clean up after them whenever possible. Wish you all lived around here!

penguin73 Tue 22-Mar-11 14:54:11

Leaving a cat out overnight against its will is cruel - many choose to go out (one of mine included) and are ok, but I would never force them out, particularly in bad weather. Cats need encouragement/training to use a tray and there is lots of good advice available on how to do it, have you actually tried that? You can't easily teach a cat not to do something but if she is trained to use one particular spot (ie the tray) then this should minimise her going anywhere else.
Agree with the poster about the cat seeming to be too much of an inconvenience, if you aren't prepared to put the time/effort in then please find her a loving owner who will be.

baskingseals Tue 22-Mar-11 14:56:18

my cat goes out every night all night

i did have a cat flap, but couldn't handle the carnage

he does have a shed with some cushions. he comes back in the morining, scoffs vast amounts of food, then sleeps off the night's exertions in the airing cupboard, or if it's sunny on dd's bed.

it's a tough life

baskingseals Tue 22-Mar-11 14:58:05

i live in the country with no neighbours or foxes though

pranma Tue 22-Mar-11 15:24:30

I have two cats two litter trays[in porch] and two cat flaps.I would never ever leave one of mine out overnight in Winter.If they are out when we lock up we search and call till they come in then we lock the cat flaps overnight and expect them to use the litter tray.I think it is cruel to lock them out in cold weather.In Summer we do leave one flap[at back] unlocked.

MrsMatelot Tue 22-Mar-11 15:37:05

Get a covered litter tray with clumping litter, the good quality ones don't smell too bad.

Fit a cat flap, we are renting a house and have taken a panel out of the downstairs loo window (we usually use the back door panel but the door in this house is one unit) and have replaced it with a UPVC panel with a cat flap in it.

Our cats come in & out as they please, in the colder weather they didn't bother going out at night but now its warming up they do.

Still get presents bought in, mostly during the day though! They like to bring in live rodents & watch me chase them! Devils!

NetworkGuy Tue 22-Mar-11 18:13:26

Until fairly recently (1 year, given she is over 10 years old) my cat would make a noise to go out. Then she started finding any corner, and I now have a litter tray, but while she will sit in it, and just watch the world go by, she never uses it so I am being more vigilant (I just wish she would make a noise - she can be noisy if she is hungry).

Over the past 30-40 years I've looked after 3 cats, first a family cat when I was young... she was somewhat wild and had resented being neutered after having kittens. She spent a lot of time outside, mainly in the cemetery behind the house, and would only make a bit of a fuss to come in if there were foxes about, or it was snowing.

Sexond stayed indoors at night, wanted to roam a lot during the day, and was pretty independent. She died age 16. Most recent (after a gap) was a past neighbour's when they were moving and area has wild cats and foxes. Sophia is extremely friendly, can spend hours away, day or night, or goes out for a walk with me on the estate (some people seem to think that a bit odd).

Neighbourhood cats: 4, 1 tom cat out every night (I was unhappy about it when snow on the ground, but family has always handled it that way, and I know he sleeps in the house all morning and most afternoons).

1 young tom, out mostly in the day, wary of strangers and cats. 1 female, lives next door to 'out all night' and sometimes out sometimes in at night, but can jump up into upper section of bedroom window to enter whenever she wants, but has found herself 'stuck' on roof a few times, during the day.

Can see pros and cons of a cat being outside, but I feel sure that given the option most will not use a litter tray if the garden is available. May be unpopular with neighbours, but cats are oblivious to such fussiness, as one might expect

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