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Catflap in - lock it at night?

(17 Posts)
Lovethesea Fri 19-Apr-13 22:51:08

The all new singing and dancing catflap is now installed with the sci fi microchip reader letting our two in and keeping curious neighbour cats out.

The cats are clearly delighted to be free range so I am pondering whether to lock it at night or not.

I have always kept them in at night (rescue1 has been with us a year, rescue 2 a month) but that's because they had no way back in, now they can pop in and out at will so no chance of being trapped in freezing rain or scared by another cat.

I know more are injured at night - is that from cars or just inept eyesight in the dark? Misjudging distance and jumps etc?

They are currently loving going out just before dawn and I am trying to work out why the risks are so much higher at night in order to make a proper decision for them.

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Sat 20-Apr-13 04:38:26

Personally I always think its best to keep them in at night, for their safety aspect and for local wildlife. Can you set it so they can come in but not out again? So at night you lock it, they come in when ready but they can't go back out until you unlock it.

BagCat Sat 20-Apr-13 06:03:05

Yes, I'd keep them in. Cats Protection told us cats sit in the middle of the road and get mesmerised by headlights at night. I wouldn't risk it as it won't do them any harm to be in at night smile

cozietoesie Sat 20-Apr-13 06:31:21

I think I'd keep them in at night. For whatever reason, nighttime seems more dangerous for them and staying in at night is a good habit and one that they will get into very easily.

They'll probably learn to wake you to get out early. (Mine always did - the No 1 alarm clock.) Instinct is probably telling them that dawn is good hunting time in summer - for birds, particularly. Your call on whether you get up and your local birdlife.

smile

Flossiechops Sat 20-Apr-13 06:47:19

We have 2 rescue cats which have been with us 2 years this September. We also have the microchip cat flap installed in our back door. I never lock it at night. One looks as though she hasn't budged all night but the other looks like she's been out. They haven't come to any harm (touch wood!).

tribpot Sat 20-Apr-13 07:08:24

I leave ours open - the cat loves going out at night and marauding in the garden. But we live some distance from the main road.

Sparklingbrook Sat 20-Apr-13 07:12:28

The Cats Protection request that any cats they rehome are kept in at night. I always keep Sparkling Cat in.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 20-Apr-13 10:38:26

Ours is always in at night, apart from the night he beggared off until 4 am.

QueenStromba Sat 20-Apr-13 12:28:17

Our cat does a very good impression of not having moved Flossie but the used litter tray/eaten food tends to give her away. Harder to spot if you have two cats I'd imagine.

Probably better to keep them in at night OP - cats get run over when they have a false sense of security on a quiet road rather then when there's loads of traffic.

MrsBazinga Sat 20-Apr-13 12:46:03

I keep mine in at night, partly for safety reasons and partly because one of them fights the neighbourhood cats. This seems less of a problem during the day, but at night it's Cat Armageddon in our row of back gardens. I don't need the stress of being woken by to that particularly horrible sound of cats fighting, and I don't want neighbours disturbed either. I'm probably suppressing some innate BazingaCat behaviour, but I'm afraid that's just tough love smile

tabulahrasa Sat 20-Apr-13 14:10:00

I've run over a cat at night, it was dark, I couldn't see it until it ran right out in front of me and although it was in a 20 zone I just couldn't stop in time. If it had been daylight I would have at least seen him on the pavement first.

Trying to then find it and find the house it belonged to was just heartbreaking, I mean obviously it was worse for his owners... He made it to the vet, but had to be PTS a few days later anyway.

It made me really glad that mine are always in at night - they're just so hard to see in the dark when you're driving, and of course some people just drive off after hitting them as well.

QueenStromba Sat 20-Apr-13 15:58:29

That's awful tabulahrasa. You're a good person for stopping and taking the cat to the vet, as you said, many people don't.

tabulahrasa Sat 20-Apr-13 16:40:37

ah I didn't take him to the vet - I found his house, I was right outside it sad

I would have of course if it wasn't one of the houses right there or if they hadn't been able to.

You'd like to think most people would do something, but you hear all too often of cats just found after being run over.

My cats have always been in at night because I don't have a cat flap - they have enough servants to open doors at their every whim, lol. But hitting one really did show me how hard cats are to spot in the dark.

QueenStromba Sat 20-Apr-13 17:52:27

Someone on here saw a dead cat on the road recently and picked it up. She just happened to knock on her neighbour's door to find out when her vet opened so she could have it scanned for a microchip and it turned out to be that neighbour's cat.

Most people just keep driving, it must have taken a lot of courage to knock on doors looking for the owner. I'd have been shitting myself, I probably would have taken the cat to the vet rather than facing it's owner.

tabulahrasa Sat 20-Apr-13 18:28:56

His owner's were lovely about it - I went round the next day to see how he was and then they came and gave me another update when he had to be PTS.

I think because I was able to tell them that I wasn't speeding, he literally just ran out and it was only a few minutes between him being hit and them having him back to be able to take him straight to the vet it wasn't too bad.

I think it helped a bit that I was genuinely devastated as well...me and his owner were both in tears when she said he'd been PTS, I mean it would be horrible if someone killed your cat and just didn't even care. sad

My cats have full 24 catflap access, but the cat flap leads on to the garden and gives them no access at all to any roads. If they were able to get to roads then I think I'd try to keep them in at night.

Lovethesea Sun 21-Apr-13 19:30:40

Well I left it on IN ONLY setting last night when I went to bed, Small Feisty Cat came in, but Huge Hunter Cat stayed out all night.

The night before I left it open and came down to bloodstains on the windowsill, hall floor and my bed covers. Got scratched trying to ascertain if either cat was injured but they seem fine so I guess Huge Hunter brought a bird in and ate it bloodily.

So - blood trails a la CSI or all nighters from the Hunter!

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