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My cats keep running away!

(26 Posts)
KindergartenKop Fri 11-Sep-20 20:08:12

I have already posted this on the litter tray but I think it's a bit quiet over there.

We have 2 cats, brother and sister aged nearly two. We've had them nearly a year. They're lovely and very bouncy. They have access to the outside and throughout the winter they came back every night for tea and most mornings for breakfast. As the summer came they started to wander more, sometimes disappearing for several days in a row. Often we would find them in the street behind our house or in the cemetery behind that street (about 40m away as the cat walks). Since the heatwave in August though they've rarely been back. They are chipped and did wear collars but last time we saw them, Cat 1 had lost his. We have heard from various neighbours that they are in their gardens and we've collected them and brought them home. They've just run away again and again. Things we have tried:

-Keeping them in for several days (they got very upset and had several poo accidents despite there being a clean litter tray).

-Feeding them lots of their favourite foods.

-Putting up signs in the road behind us asking people not to feed them.

I don't know what to do any more. We hunt for them every day and if we find one then bring it home. We can't knock on people's doors every day! Should I just accept that they hate us?

OP’s posts: |
RHOBHfan Fri 11-Sep-20 20:10:17

Are you sure they’re not coming in at night? We have 2 that appear to disappear for days on end in warmer weather, but installed a ‘smart’ cat flap, and can now see that 95% of the time, they pop back briefly each night.

KindergartenKop Fri 11-Sep-20 20:21:03

No, we have put food out and it's untouched!

OP’s posts: |
KindergartenKop Fri 11-Sep-20 20:33:22

Miaow bump?

OP’s posts: |
TheSpottedZebra Fri 11-Sep-20 20:35:38

Where did they live before you got them -were they strays, or did they have another home?

KindergartenKop Fri 11-Sep-20 20:37:21

They lived several miles away.
The funny thing is that the cats don't seem to be straying far, I think someone locally might be feeding them.

OP’s posts: |
KindergartenKop Fri 11-Sep-20 20:38:33

They weren't strays. They lived with a lady and their mum and brother. They were rehomed with brother when the lady had to move house.

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CausingChaos2 Fri 11-Sep-20 20:38:36

Cat proof your garden. You can’t just give up on them. Even if neighbours are giving them titbits they wouldn’t be getting the vet care and vaccinations they need if you just leave them to their own devices

KindergartenKop Fri 11-Sep-20 20:39:33

How do you catproof a garden? Won't they just climb out?

OP’s posts: |
DeliciouslyFemale Fri 11-Sep-20 20:46:21

Bring them in before it starts to drop dark, as that’s the time they start to wander, but you really should close them in at night anyway, because it’s safer for them. Train them to come back for treats, by using a word or sound, other than puss puss, shh shh. Cats are smarter than you think and will respond to a word that they’ll associate with treats. Practice at home, then in the garden, then watch them and cal them just as they’re about to leave. I used to ring a little bell and all eight cats would come charging. 😁

It does sound as if someone else is feeding them, so invest in some really good quality treats, rather than the bog standard ones, advertised on tv.

DeliciouslyFemale Fri 11-Sep-20 20:49:43

KindergartenKop

How do you catproof a garden? Won't they just climb out?

Check on Pinterest for diy cat proofing. Basically you add a bit to the top of the fence, that tilts in and downwards. A bit like this ^| so kitty can’t climb out. As they reach the top, they go up into a little peak, so can’t climb over.

KindergartenKop Sat 12-Sep-20 09:45:45

A bump for the people who've been woken up early by their cats!

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AnnaMagnani Sat 12-Sep-20 09:54:44

Try keeping them in at night - after a certain time ignore all calls to be let out no matter how plaintive or desperate.

Mine get called in bribed in with food and that's it for the night.

Twilight is their main hunting time so stops the massacre of the birds and also the main point of risk to them of being run over.

We just enforced the rules that they could be out in the day but not at night. They still try it on, one of them 14 years later!, but apart from a few nights out in the summer they are homey cats.

Just under 2 is peak exploring age and the time I found it hardest to get them in at night though - my neighbour used to help me round them up with her labrador when they were being twits.

CausingChaos2 Sat 12-Sep-20 10:42:20

Examples of cat proofing for you OP.

WildRosie Sat 12-Sep-20 11:23:49

The barbecue looks expensive. Make sure the cats aren't hiding in it (before you fire it up).

Littleroundone Sat 12-Sep-20 11:43:25

Would they wear a tracker at all? I've got one for my boy and I know where roughly he is and his has a vibrate fiction on it. You can get all sorts of trackers but it will only work if they are used to a collar so it might not for you. We have been having problems with a neighbour keeping him in at night against our wishes and he's coming back home more now we have the tracker and I just lock his cat flap at night now.

Gingernaut Sat 12-Sep-20 11:46:26

Have they been spayed and neutered?

rosiethehen Sat 12-Sep-20 11:50:46

I have catproofing too. I ensure my cats are brought in overnight and I lure them in with treats. I wouldn't advise leaving cats out overnight as they quickly become semi wild and will basically make a life for themselves outside and establish another food source.

KindergartenKop Sat 12-Sep-20 12:23:28

They have been spayed/neutered.
I can see what you're saying about keeping them in at night, that is a good idea. But how do I get them back to do that! sad

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DeliciouslyFemale Sat 12-Sep-20 13:23:04

KindergartenKop

They have been spayed/neutered.
I can see what you're saying about keeping them in at night, that is a good idea. But how do I get them back to do that! sad

As I said earlier, buy a top quality treat and train them to come for it. You could just use it at night, if it’s expensive. Eventually they’ll learn to come back when you call. We a word or bell rather than the traditional cat call. You can get some semi moist treats from the pet shops or online that they go nuts for as they smell wonderful to the cats. It works better if you set an alarm and try to call them around the same time.

A tracker, as suggested by a pp, is also an excellent idea.

rosiethehen Sat 12-Sep-20 13:33:40

Cats are more amenable to staying indoors during bad weather during the winter.

To reduce stress, get a Feliway Diffuser and give them a Zylkene 75mg capsule sprinkled over their dry food each day. Zylkene is based on milk protein and is slightly sedative.

rosiethehen Sat 12-Sep-20 13:36:05

Don't feed them after about 2pm so they're good and hungry at teatime and won't venture far if you give them their tea later in the evening then keep them confined to the house once they've eaten.

Gottalovesummer Sat 12-Sep-20 13:47:11

Cats prefer being out during the evening/overnight, especially when the weather is warm as it cools down outside overnight.

My cat has a curfew of around 10p.m. but I nearly ALWAYS have to chase her around a bit outside to get her in. Sometimes this is out the front so I suppose I am providing entertainment for my neighbours!

We then don't let her back out. She sulks a bit but she's learned that we mean it. I let her out again at 6p.m..

Have you tried shaking the dreamies packet to get them in? Good luck!

Gottalovesummer Sat 12-Sep-20 13:47:55

I meant I let her out again at 6 a.m.!

AnnaMagnani Sat 12-Sep-20 13:58:46

Teach them that when you call their names they get fed. No feeding on demand so they are actually hungry at coming in time.

Even my neighbour's cat turns up in hope now at the sound of my cats being called and a rattle of the Snackie tube.

Silky Cat will turn up just for the sound of the fridge door being opened

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