1st time outside, nearly lost :((23 Posts)
Have had our rescue kitties 4 weeks now. They are 8 months old. let them into garden for first time before breakfast this morning and A ran off. G came straight back when we dished up food but we had to break into the neighbours garden and catch A, tempting him with food/toys.
not sure I will ever feel comfortable letting them out again
any advice? I'm so upset.
They're neutered and chipped?
It's always a worry and I'm afraid that it never goes - even when you have a mature cat, if they vary substantially from their routine you can find yourself pacing a bit.
Best to always let them out hungry and between breakfast and dusk. (Nighttime is more dangerous for cats, especially young ones.) It's also a better time of year at the moment - for their first forays - because of the worsening weather and the fewer things a-doing outside. (Early summer with good weather and young birds flobbling about etc is the very devil.) Hopefully, they'll soon appreciate the joys of a heated house and only go out for short periods over the winter.
Otherwise - join the club. That first sight of a tail disappearing over the garden wall is very difficult indeed but it goes with the territory.
It's horrible isn't it? Our old cat, the first time she was let out disappeared over the back fence.
I was inconsolable and was sobbing. She was gone about ten minutes then appeared at the front door. Then I sobbed a bit more.
You can't ever imagine that one day you will let them out and go out yourself, it seems impossible. But you do-eventually.
I found kittens good practice for older teenagers ... only start to worry when they don't come back for food for a few days ... they'll still probably turn up eventually, having been crashing at someone else's house.
I have a 4 yr old that frequently convinces me she's lost by going AWOL for days, then shoots through the cat flap as though she's been gone 10 minutes. I have another cat that I pretty much can find at any point during the day - she nips out every now and then, but is very much a house cat. We have no control over their basic personality I'm afraid!
Thanks for the support
yes, they are neutered /spayed and microchipped. I don't want them to be house cats. how much longer do you think we should leave it before letting them out again?
I'd be devastated to lose them x
What you describe as 'running away', I would think of as the kitten's natural curiosity. They don't recognise walls and fences and their agility means they can climb and overcome obstacles. All the cats I have ever had have been kept in for about a week when they first arrived, then encouraged out into the garden. They know where they live and they come back to eat and sleep. My current mog is a very outdoor cat, is in and out via the cat flap many times a day. He ranges over a number of gardens.
Problems can arise with neighbours who do not like cats using their gardens. Cats are very often more than capable of escaping from or even facing down dogs (no, I know, not always)
Some people never let their cats out but I think it better for them to have freedom - depends on local circumstances of course.
Hope things work out OK. (I do have friends who take their cats into the garden with harnesses and leads - not ideal but another option)
Totally normal for them to run off first time you let them out, I know it's scary, mine went missing for 24 hours when I first let him out, he now rarely goes further than our garden or the neighbours house.
So should I let them out again and just hope for the best?
Sparkling Cat on her first excursion jumped over into the neighbours garden and sat there for ages. I watched from our bedroom window, then when I went to look again she had gone.
But she must have jumped back over because she was back in our garden soon enough.
I think you do need to keep going, scary and horrible as it is. Once they have disappeared for a while and then come back again it will increase your confidence that that's what they will do. Otherwise it will be like the first time every time.
.....So should I let them out again and just hope for the best? .....
I'm afraid so - although now is the time to set your boundaries eg about No Going Out At Night. (They adapt very easily to that if they know they'll get out in the morning.)
You may find that they adapt to the great outside and change their ways once they've been out there and it's lost its excitement.
Lots of luck.
I'm in the same boat as you - my guy is out now. At first he didn't go far and just stayed in the garden. Next time he went over to the next door neighbours, and the third he was over the back wall into the gardens behind. I call him in when dusk is settling in, and keep him in for the night then.
Before I let him out I'd 'trained' him into responding to him name (with Dreamies) which made me feel a bit more confident about him going off exploring.
He's off now and had also made he way around the front of the house from the back, but so far he's always come back. I'm thinking (not knowing a great deal about cats) he's going to have to establish his territory.
There also seems to have been an increase in cat in our garden since he's been going out!! One I have never seen before this morning and there was a bit of a stand off between them - well the other one was vocal towards my guy
I was beside myself when I first let my boys out and on day two they decided they liked hiding under the decking in the garden and didn't want to come back in - lost quite a bit of sleep waiting for them to eventually get hungry and come back! Monty spent over 36 hours out at one early stage... He was still quite timid with me at the time so I kept both cats in longer until he was confident with me, and I made an effort to call them to me and hand feed them chicken once or twice a day as well as calling when I gave them meals, so they'd associate being called with coming over for nice things. I also blocked up access to the decking so they wouldn't set up camp under there. It was still a wrench letting them out again but they really love being outside, and now several months later are in a good routine of out in the morning and they can come and go as they want but get shut in around 9-10pm.
I have this photo from August back when I started letting the boys out again regularly, showing Monty trotting off on an adventure. He seemed so small and fragile compared to the big outside world, but he thinks he's a giant fluffy tiger and this is his kingdom; patrolling it is an important duty. Unless someone comes through the cul de sac walking their dog - then he scarpers!
Scissorclaws doesn't go far at all. He seems quite content guarding a small patch outside.
No catches or kills either. Which I'm pleased about.
I'd let them out, close the door and go and do something else.
They are going to go into neighbours gardens & possibly further but they will be happy when they come back.
When ours comes back from far afield! We give him food or treats.
I kniw you are all right...I'm scared they won't find their way back x
Ooh Fluffy you are hardcore. My 'doing something else' would be sitting on the settee looking down the garden, fretting.
I am, dh is more like op.
He tells everyone it's me though. He woke me up once to tell me the cat hadn't come home, it was 4am.
I was not happy.
I have, on many an occasion been stood in the garden in my nightie shaking the crunchies at 2am because Sparkling Cat is playing silly beggars and refusing to come in.
Cats are highly territorial (do folk not know that?) They are only spurred to roam widely if unneutered. Your home is their home, they won't go that far for long.
This is the scariest part of having a cat, never knowing where they are.
When we got our two kittens many years ago the male got out of the house before he was old enough to be out and about. Dcs and I spent the whole evening in tears, I couldn't eat any dinner and went to bed where, unable to sleep I lay listening for the sound of distressed kitty.
Sure enough around 2/3 in the morning I heard very loud yowling outside the front of the house beneath my bedroom window. I dashed downstairs and there he was, one hungry little ball of ginger, yelling his head off and waiting to be hugged and cried over some more.
I know cats do go missing, but as pp said territory is everything and they usually find their way home.
We lived near a brook that ran into a very wooded park and to watch my tiny little female cat march into the dark park with her tail held aloft used to leave me with my heart in my mouth until she came home.
She also spent hours and hours in the garden of the empty house next door when she was first allowed out; it was heaven for an adventurous cat with it's tall trees and overgrown plants and weeds and the four topless water butts in contained. However, for me it was the stuff of nightmares.
Both cats lived long and happy lives.
Mine are 6 months old today. They have been going in the garden for nearly 2 months but it is enclosed. Then last week I got home from work at 4pm and my DD1 (home from uni for a couple of days) was sobbing because she couldn't find Obie anywhere. We called..and called.. and I was standing in the road when eventually the little bugger strolled round from a few houses away with a 'WHAT????'look on his smug ginger face.
That's when I gave in and they now go out for an hour when I get up, and a couple of hours after work. They eventually come in when called, with the aid of dreamies!! I worry every time, but it's clear they are already sussing out the nearby gardens They don't seem to realise that Portia is allowed out at night... and they won't be going out at night until next spring at LEAST!
They all do a good "what?" Face don't they?.
Your poor dd though.
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