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Advice wanted in how to train my adolescent cat to go outdoors.

(9 Posts)
SteamboatSprings Sat 08-Mar-14 14:02:35

We got him as a 7 month old kitten from the RSPCA in October when our previous cat got run over.

He's quite skittish & nervous sort of character so we have kept him as an indoor cat ever since he arrived. But, as Spring has arrived I really would love him to be able to go in & out and use the cat flap an patio doors.

I was hoping he might follow us outside once it is warmer & the patio door is open, but today when I opened it for the first time this year, he panicked and ran away!

I think we will have to do it s l o w l y but I am also unsure how to train him to use the cat flap. Currently he just ignores it (it is locked) but I know he did use one at the RSPCA shelter, to go outdoors into his run.

Any tips or ideas gratefully received, thank you! smile

SteamboatSprings Sat 08-Mar-14 15:20:18


Fluffycloudland77 Sat 08-Mar-14 16:56:06

Maybe he's happy being indoors. One of ours went out so rarely we took pictures.

SteamboatSprings Sat 08-Mar-14 19:43:02

I think he is happy being indoors smile

But maybe once me & the DD's start using the garden & popping in & out, he will be reassured and his natural curiousity might get the better of him.

shouldbedoingtheironing Sat 08-Mar-14 19:48:50

Yes just go at his pace. Slowly does it and he'll build up his confidence I'm sure - dreamies are a great way of teaching use of the cat flap grin

Lovethesea Wed 12-Mar-14 13:24:14

We found taping the cat flap open for a few days helped. And having the back door open when in the house tends to reassure the nervous they can get back in ASAP if threatened.

Once they get in the habit he will love it, even if just for short bursts.

Huntercat goes off for hours then comes in and sleeps for England on my bed, or DD's bed, or DS's bed...

Madtortie dashes out, chases a leaf, wees, then runs in like she is being chased by madmen. Now the weather is improving she'll go out more. She lost her confidence when ill last year so I am hoping she'll go back to being out more once the sun is warmer. She guards the territory and fiercely goes for anything that trespasses except Huntercat. As she is tiny and the neighbours cats are fairly big this is most amusing to watch, they don't quite believe that something so small is fluffed up and snarling at them. I love her attitude.

SteamboatSprings Sun 23-Mar-14 16:28:25

Well, last week when the weather was warm I left the patio door open and SteamCat ventured outside ultra-cautiously. He skits back in if unsure about something. I also started taping the cat flap open, as suggested but he hasn't used it yet. However, cat- training has been put on hold for a bit now the weather has taken another turn for the worse. Too cold for open catflaps and patio doors. We shall resume as temperatures rise though.

Thank you for all your tips smile

soaccidentprone Sun 23-Mar-14 16:33:40

Have you tried opening the door, picking up your cat and stoking him and talking to him, the slowly walk towards the open door, then just stand in the doorway holding him, and talking softly to him in a quiet, reassuring voice. Do this a few times, then build up to taking a step outside, then a couple of steps.

Also tape the cat flap open and put some tuna or pilchards in the cats bowl and place the bowl outside by the cat flap. Or put the bowl very near the open, outside door.

Different things work for different cats.

Good lucksmile

SteamboatSprings Sun 23-Mar-14 19:32:14

I can't pick him up, Steamcat will only let DD2 scoop him blush

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