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Cat owners- do you keep them in at night?

(34 Posts)
sweetnitanitro Mon 19-Oct-09 10:41:00

I have 2 neutered males that are 6 years old and they are free-range kitties. We tried to keep them locked in at night but they smashed their way through 2 cat flaps (they are very large strong cats) so in the end we just decided to let them go out. We live in a quiet street and so far they have been fine.

Now. One of my neighbours has recently got a dog and since then their cat has been outside all night. I have my suspicions that it is an un-neutered male. It is always hanging around in my front garden (right under my bedroom window) and picking fights with my 2 boys, who although they are big are for want of a better phrase, total pussy cats grin

I'm going to try to keep them locked in at night from now on because I am worried about them getting hurt and also I am being kept awake with all the fighting angry

Those of you that lock yours in at night- what time to you lock them in? Do you keep them in as soon as they've been fed? Any words of wisdom for a cat owner with 2 outdoorsy giant cats? Can't say I am looking forward to it but I don't know what else I can do.

LittleRedCar Mon 19-Oct-09 11:11:03

I keep mine in at night - I feed them at about 10 so they are usually in well before then! I switch my cat flap to 'in only' when it starts to get dark.

I got my cats from Cats Protection and it was condition of the adoption that they be kept in at night.

Good luck!

AvengingGerbil Mon 19-Oct-09 11:26:40

Cats are nocturnal. They like it out at night, whatever the CPL say. They esp like to be out in the half-light, I find. Better hunting.

Mine can come and go as they like. Mostly they sleep...

Sagacious Mon 19-Oct-09 11:36:26

Same as Avenging Gerbil.

sweetnitanitro Mon 19-Oct-09 11:36:40

I would love them to come and go as they please but I can't sleep through any more cat fights! They don't really venture out of the garden but I don't know how I can keep this other cat away, I keep shooing it but it keeps coming back.

somewhathorrified Mon 19-Oct-09 11:38:58

I have 3 cats who stay in at night. Their outdoor time is about 8am-3.30pm. They get fed b4 going out and again when the flap gets shut...basicallly it's now got to the point that when they start yelling for food I shut the flap, they get full tummies then fall asleep till about 10 pm then we have 15 mins of playtime with toys and string running around then supper time and bed. I get a cat in my face at around 7.30 am telling me its 'that' time. I do put a heavy box in front of the flap when it's shut so that they don't get confused that it's open.

Ripeberry Mon 19-Oct-09 11:40:28

My cat always went out at night and spent the day sleeping. The one and ONLY time he went out during the day (kids were teasing him and I kept moving him from my PC chair), he went out during the day and was never seen again sad.
Night-time is for cats grin

LaurieScaryCake Mon 19-Oct-09 11:40:45

Mine come and go as they please.

Frankly they are on our bed from bedtime til 6am when dh feeds them.

<lazy elderly kitties emoticon>

123andaway Mon 19-Oct-09 12:41:58

Mine can come and go as she likes, although she mostly spends her nights asleep next to DS1!

It should be fairly obvious if your neighbours cat has been 'done' or not by looking between his legs!

I think it's unfair to keep cats in at night who are used to going out - although I do understand what you're saying about the fighting. If no one's getting hurt I would be tempted to leave them to it, they will soon sort out their pecking order!

Could you get a magnetic catflap? Put collars on your cats so they can get in and out, but Tom can't follow them. That way they have got somewhere to get away from him, but they are not confined to the house all night.

Mcdreamy Mon 19-Oct-09 12:44:16

I let my cat do what he wanted until last week but he is now sat next to me with a wired jaw after being knocked over last Tuesday night sad. I will be bringing him in at night once he is better.

moaningminniewhingesagain Mon 19-Oct-09 12:45:57

Mine comes and goes as he pleases, as the dog also uses the catflap to go out for wees etc.

But when the dog isn't here I often lock the catflap shut because the cat is more naughty and comes into the bedroom miaowing and waking me upshock

ShinyAndNew Mon 19-Oct-09 12:50:31

My cat has his own little routine.

He goes out at about 10pm. After 8am he is always waiting under a car just around the corner. I go and shout him and he comes home. I suspect the woman whose car it is has something to do with him as her door is always open and there are cat food bowls in her hallway.

He then sleeps under the dd's bunkbed untill they go to bed at 7 30 when he comes downstairs for his cuddle and supper.

He'd go berserk if I kept him in all night. He hates being cooped up. He was really upset when we moved and he had to stay in. He started pooing every where <he does this when he anxious>.

I was a little worried about him as he used to come home alone and would be waiting in the kitchen to be fed when I got up. Buyt he has been going out for a couple of weeks now and seems happy enough. I just don't understand why he waits under the car for me to go and get him instead of just coming home himself.

trellism Mon 19-Oct-09 12:58:50

I keep mine in. There are too many nutters with badly trained pitbull-alikes wandering the streets and boy racers zooming up and down in the middle of the night (one of my cats was run over and killed) for me to be at all relaxed about letting my docile and idiotic cats outside to deal with that.

Perhaps if I lived in the countryside or far from any main roads it would be different, but tbh they seem happy enough being out in the day and come in at night.

amazonianwoman Mon 19-Oct-09 13:15:50

I have 2 giant outdoorsy cats (both from CPL, with no stipulations about keeping in at night)

Both come and go as they please, there's no way I'd be able to keep them in at night, they'd just break through the (magnetic) cat flap. We do live in a quiet cul-de-sac backing onto fields though.

They'll eventually sort out the hierarchy with the neighbour's cat I reckon. Ours have - the people next door always seem to be rehoming strays and they fight initially then just have stand-offs.

Cosette Mon 19-Oct-09 14:05:26

We keep our cat in at night, and have done since he was a kitten. He tends to come in about dusk, and gets food and attention. We keep him in mainly because we live on a busy road, which is quiet at night, except for the odd car, so we felt he was at a higher risk of being hit than during the day, when he doesn't go near the road. We also have a lot of foxes, and deer and all sorts of animal screaming from the woods adjacent to us - and I would just worry about him if he was out.

He seems quite happy with the arrangement - and catches a lot of stuff during the day - mice, rabbits and squirrels, so is not too hard done by.

sweetnitanitro Mon 19-Oct-09 14:54:44

Thanks everyone for your input! Amazonianwoman, your cats sounds similar to mine and I also live in a culd-de-sac backing onto fields so I think I will just let them try to sort it out with my neighbour's cat and hope they are bit more quiet in the future hmm I just hope the rest of the street isn't being kept awake!

hennipenni Tue 20-Oct-09 09:26:50

We keep ours in at night, mainly because he's an elderly 18 year old deaf as a post gentleman who's also a little senile so it's not really safe for him to be out at night - he just sleeps 21 hours aday basically now anyway!

jackieOpaperLANTERN Tue 20-Oct-09 09:35:14

can i just ask those of you who do keep them in at night - do you have to provide a litter tray then? or do they 'hold it' til morning??

BertieBotts Tue 20-Oct-09 09:41:55

I have a litter tray but our cat barely ever uses it, even if he is in at night (he sometimes is and sometimes isn't, we don't have a cat flap so it's whether he is in when we go to bed) I use the wooden type litter as I don't find it smells or leaves red dust on their paws. DS likes to eat it though given a chance hmm I think you should give them the option. I wouldn't like to sleep somewhere with no access to a toilet!

BertieBotts Tue 20-Oct-09 09:42:17

Although I suppose dogs do manage...

hennipenni Tue 20-Oct-09 10:01:50

We provide a litter tray but he only really wee's in it occasionally.

LittleRedCar Tue 20-Oct-09 10:13:24

It was stated on my (several blush ) CPL adoption forms that I must provide a litter tray and keep my cats indoors at night.

More info here on the organistations that recommend keeping cats in at night:


jackieOpaperLANTERN Tue 20-Oct-09 11:24:25

yes that makes sense. but how do you teach em to 'go' outside during the day? do you just put the litter tray out at night and hide it during the day or something? <<clueless>>

my 5mo kitten is being allowed out soon, and i am keen to encourage him to do his stinky poos outside as much as possible grin

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Tue 20-Oct-09 11:28:04

opposite here. At night i lock them in the kitchen, with their food, water, soft blankets, litter tray outside the backdoor, open cat flap for free outside access and they stay out most of the night.

Or else they spend most of the night walking over my head, or being a general pain.

They are nocturnal.

LittleRedCar Tue 20-Oct-09 11:28:10

I leave my litter tray(s) out all the time but I find my cats prefer to do their business outside when they can. During the day there is rarely anything in the litter trays.

You can encourage them to go outside by making a patch of freshly dug over earth, and mixing in a little used cat litter.

Molehills are a favourite place for my cats to poo grin

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