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How soon would you let your cat out after moving house?

(19 Posts)
Belgianchocolates Mon 07-Sep-09 09:40:20

I've recently moved to a totally different part of the country. Our cat came along with us and we were advised to keep her indoors for 2 weeks. We've been here for 1 week now and poor thing is starting to get a little hyper because she can't be out hunting and having catty fun. Anyone else out here who had a big house move? How soon did you let your cat out?

KnickersandVests Mon 07-Sep-09 09:48:55

We let her go out immediately the last two times we moved. I'm sure thats not what is recommended but the cat has never gone missing and she couldn't bear to be kept locked in but be able to see the great outdoors through the windows, it would kill her.

Let her out, she knows she is part of your family and will come back home to you, she is an animal who needs freedom and outside space and needs to assert herself out there with other cats.

Joolsiam Mon 07-Sep-09 09:53:33


I'd have said that 2 weeks is standard.

Where possible, I advocate a gradual approach, but it really depends on how compliant your cat is - when mine were kittens, I let them wander round the back garden and down the alley with me whilst on a lead - got some funny looks but I didn't care really ! I gradually let them off the lead whilst I was outside, but brought them in with me, then I progressed to letting them out when I was home, so I could call them to check where they were every hour or so. They learnt that if they didn't come when called, when they did come back,they'd be grounded

Now, they have free rein to come and go as they please, but I am happy that they will come when they are called and that they are reasonably streetwise. These are Siamese though - some people won't let them go out. I prefer to let them be cats, but was a little more cautious about "training" them to be outside

A less extreme approach would be to let her out (near a mealtime) at a time when you can be out in the garden, hanging out washing / gardening etc - ideally, bring her in when you want to go in, so she's had a taste of the local area but hasn't had a chance to roam. If she won't come in, at least if it is near a mealtime, she might be more likely to find her way back quickly if she is hungry.

I'd get in some treats that you know she likes - get them in a tin that you can shake / make a noise with to let her know they are on offer - when she is used to that noise, perhaps she will be more likely to pop home when called ?

ib Mon 07-Sep-09 09:56:55

I've done it several times, and while the first time I religiously kept them in for two weeks, it became less and less time for every move.

By the last one, we opened the car door and they legged it into the garden directly. Never kept in at all.

They've never gone missing.

NorbertDentressangle Mon 07-Sep-09 10:00:32

I think we only kept ours in for a few days but shes not really a wanderer anyway.

A good tip is to make sure that shes hungry the first few times that you let her out, that way she shouldn't go far and should return when you shake the cat biscuits/tap her food bowl

Belgianchocolates Mon 07-Sep-09 10:03:51

Thanks for all your replies.
She seemed to have settled into the house now and I'm pretty sure she'll come back to us. I think I'll let her out tonight when it's a little quieter on the road near us, not that it is a busy road, but the quieter the beter IMHO. I'll take her for a little walk around the block after (our) dinner maybe. Also thanks for the suggestion to do it when she's a little hungry or when she knows there are treats waiting for her.
I feel so glad that so many of you have left the cats out earlier than the 2 weeks. It's very reassuring.

thesunshinesbrightly Tue 08-Sep-09 19:11:00

my cat went out straight away too and has never gone missing.

Belgianchocolates Tue 08-Sep-09 23:06:12

I've had her microchipped today. Just in case. I've let her out for 10-15mins and she's loved the glorious sunshine we're getting here.

TheChilliMooseisasmadasahatter Tue 08-Sep-09 23:09:25

I've always thought 2 weeks was a good length of time, but I have let my cat go out after a week after moving as he was going bananas indoors, and he was fine.

LyraSilvertongue Tue 08-Sep-09 23:40:25

We let ours out after two weeks and for months he kept going back to our old house.
I'd say keep yours in as long as you can stand.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Thu 10-Sep-09 12:32:46

I think we kept ours in for a week and she never wandered off. We also got a cat flap with her own key which was a whole new experience for her,grin.

123andaway Thu 10-Sep-09 16:42:46

A couple of days. Once they know where their food is they'll be back!

Belgianchocolates Fri 11-Sep-09 21:46:15

Well, dd1 unlocked the cat flap without my knowledge yesterday and so she escaped from her prison grin. She's been in and out since and she's been fine. Her only problem is getting back in as she hasn't worked out yet where to sit to tell us she wants to come in, but I'm sure she'll figure something out before long smile.

WebDude Sat 12-Sep-09 21:13:22

I moved a couple of years ago, to an area about a half hour's walk (for humans) along a main road.

Walked with my cat around the small estate the first evening around 7pm (to one or two strange looks - not everyone has seen someone walking with their cat {*}, it seems) and came home, gave her some food.

Went out with her for another walk around 11pm (it was June so warm and not especially dark) and next day let her out by herself, wandered out soon after and called her for some food and have never looked back.

There's a field behind back 3' wall so she can jump down into field - which tapers and where I am is narrow - about 20 feet to the main road. She pops into the field sometimes, but spends more time on garage roof in the sunshine to be fair.

The first time she saw a bullock's head and long tongue, going for some leaves off one of my bushes, she was a little shocked. Also when she first heard sheep (field other side of the main road), and a squirrel in the field.

{*} Note, cat walking independent of me - nothing silly like a lead or collar - she could go where she wanted, just happy to walk alongside me, as she had done when we lived in previous property. It is a little odd, however, that when she goes off for a walk she can be away for a few hours, but if we go for a walk together, then if I am out of sight for a few minutes, she starts miaooww noises as if she's frightened, and calms down once I am in view again!

underpaidandoverworked Sun 13-Sep-09 18:50:59

Put butter on their paws - don't know how it works but it does, never lost a cat after a housemove yet grin

GemmaCuthbert20 Sun 10-Jul-16 21:04:46

just before I moved my 9 month old cat went missing, I had to move with out him. I moved to a diferent area. but likely though posting adds on facebook etc we found him. he has settle in the new house well. I have keep him in for about a month now. should i let him out again ? so worried he will go off again and get lost.

Valmontuk Thu 13-Oct-16 17:34:09

I am moving soon worried my cat won't like it as she just showed up one day I installed a cat flap and she has come and gone as she pleased for 2 years since she was in this area before she moved in with me I worry if she goes out she will try to find her way back although I'm not moving that far she would have to navigate a few busy roads to find her way back but shes never been an indoor cat in mostly at night for a cuddle and like to sleep in between me and my gf under the covers hope she doesn't go missing when we move to bigger house

shell912 Tue 17-Jan-17 16:03:50

Hi. I moved last friday and my cat is going nuts trapped in the house at night she is crying all night long. Do I let her out and run the risk she may not come back? Any advise would be great as I am at breaking point

CatBallou2 Thu 19-Jan-17 23:11:06

Your cat should be in at nighttime as that's the time when they're most vulnerable to road accidents, attack from other animals, etc.

This might help you.

Good luck.

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