I do let them out mainly because I don't want them to escape and be so overwhelmed that they don't know what to do with themselves. They are also spend all day thundering around the house so need to get out for a run round. So long as they're in for the night - my last cat only used to sit in the garden with us or wander next door but as soon as it was dark she would run off and go loopy.
Our neighbours cats are outdoor cats and there is poo all over the alley down he side of our house and all over our garden if I leave it for a few days. I spend enough time dealing with my own litter trays without having to scoop the neighbourhood poo as well!
It's very nerve racking but you just have to let them go. I think there are indoor cats and outdoor cats and nothing in between. Before I let my kitten out I took him out on a harness around the garden a few times. When I first let him out alone I followed him around with the treat tin. Now he disappears for hours day and night.We do have a cat flap and live in the country though. Not that there are no cars but it's not a town. My neighbour couldn't fit a cat flap in the door but had one put in the shed, so her cat can go in there for shelter if it wants to during the night.
my cats are nearly 8 months old & were neutered 2 months ago, which seems to have reduced their urges to get outside a bit, but they sit in windows & gaze out longingly, & occasionally try to dart out of the door
there is a 20mph ("20mph" ) road at the front (about 15' from the front door); back yard opens on to a back lane, but there's another residential street at the end of that. There's a 6th form centre very near & a lot of the students have cars, park in our road & drive like idiots
Also I never liked having cat poo in our garden when we didn't have cats, & I don't want to inflict our cats' poo on others...
is it mean to keep them in? will they eventually stop gazing?
I sympathise! I rescued a cat 2 months ago from Cats Protection. Kept him in for 5 weeks (as per instruction... Well a little longer than instruction ) and got to a point where I could no longer keep him in any more, he clearly wanted to go out for some kittie adventures. Roughly 8 out of 10 times he comes back pretty soon after I call him but the other 2 times he doesn't, resulting in me calling hysterically at the back door, shaking treats and generally waiting up in the style of a worried mother of out-partying teenagers. I have been convinced, on several occasions now, that I will never see him again and, when he has finally returned, have sworn blind I will never let him out again. But then, the very next morning he meows loudly and determinedly by the back door and I succumb to him... I genuinely feel he is the type of cat who just needs to go out, I think he would be miserable always stuck in. But I can't rest until he is safely home again.
I have a pack of cat treats so they get one when they come in. They're due to be neutered around now. I was hoping they wouldn't stay out too long in this weather but it was getting pretty dark before the more outgoing one eventually came in. The one that begs to go out all day only stays out for a couple of minutes!
They can't get over the fence but managed to wriggle under it and there's a gap at the back they squeeze through.
It is nerve wracking though isn't it? Especially the first time they go over the fence!
We let kitten cat out in the garden, stayed out with him for 5-10 mins then brought him back in and gave him some treats. This graduated to him being in the garden while we sat out/mowed the lawn etc., but always gave him treats when he came back in. Luckily all this was over last spring/summer and we could leave the back door open for him.
Now, one year later, he comes back when we shout him, always gets a fuss and treats on coming back, but, he stays in when we go out, has to be in when it starts going dark and doesn't go out overnight.
He has got himself into a routine where he goes out after breakfast, pops back about 10.30, goes back out half an hour later for a couple of hours, comes back about 3 and he's done for the day at the moment (he doesn't like wind/snow/freezing temps).
I am so sorry about your cat xx. What works for us is bribery (we have a very food orientated cat). Every single time our greedy beastie comes in she gets a biscuit. We let her out only for very short periods of time at first, then built it up. She tends to go out for several short periods during the day. The downside is that she begs alot to go out through the day and its annoying, but for me the play off is worth it. We don't ever let her out if its dark, and if she doesnt return instantly to the whistle, the biscuit is forfeit. Occassionally she will stay out longer, but its rare. Are the kittens neutered? As this will help to stop them straying.
I've grown up with cats and had my own for 7 years. They've all been indoor cats but been allowed in the garden during the day with us. This summer my worst nightmare happened and one of my cats stayed out all night and got run over. We now have 2 kittens around 8 months old who come from a farm and are itching to be out. We have no possible way of putting a cat flap in and I really can't cope very well with them being out for very long. I don't know how to cope with it. I can't keep them locked up but don't want to spend every evening fretting at the back door calling for them to come back in.
What do you do if you let your cat out but don't have a cat flap?