When to let rescue cat out?

(7 Posts)
littleladyluna Sun 02-Aug-15 11:18:39

We've had a foster cat for four weeks (our first), and she is desperate to go outside. Our foster coordinator is happy for us to let her explore and says it's up to us to determine when would be a good time.

She was originally very shy (abuse case) and has taken a little while to come round, but now she follows me around, meows at me, and loves a head rub. She knows when it's mealtimes, and we've been using sound association to indicate when she's about to be fed.

I'm a worrier, and I know if it were up to me I'd never let her out which would be really unfair on her as we are likely to have her for a number of months. We have a communal, walled garden shared with a few other cats.

Any ideas or tips gratefully received!

Indomitable Sun 02-Aug-15 11:25:17

After 4 weeks she should be fine.

However, let her out before you feed her in the evening. So she'll go out for a nose around but come back quickly when you call her for dinner.

I'd do this a few days in a row, shutting her back in safely. That way she'll get used to finding her way back before she goes off exploring properly.

If she'll come to you for treats you could try calling her back for a morsel and then sending her off again too.

Don't worry about limiting her outside time for a while. I used to worry about ours until I worked from home for a few months - despite having a cat flap she'd sleep all day anyway!

Sparklingbrook Sun 02-Aug-15 11:25:41

In my experience you just have to bite the bullet and start. 4 weeks is great so it's probably time.

How about a little potter around the garden with her to start with? You can be on the alert for other cats.

timtam23 Sun 02-Aug-15 11:26:21

I would let her out on a quiet morning before breakfast so that she is hungry & therefore likely to come straight back for food (maybe a weekend morning?) And I would also go out with her the first few times to introduce her to the garden. Use the sound association etc to call her back in for breakfast. DH did this with our cat when he was a kitten just getting ready for his first outing, and I think the "escorted walks" did help.

littleladyluna Sun 02-Aug-15 11:36:35

You're all marvellous - thank you!

Letting her out when hungry is a great idea, and I'll feel a bit more in control of the situation (haha!)

RoosterCogburn Sun 02-Aug-15 12:04:27

Four weeks when she is hungry is what we do.

I then play the I'm not anxious game which involves me giving DH a running report on what the cat is doing, culminating in a shriek when I suddenly lose sight of her.

I then fret and imagine the worst until the cat saunters back in.

cozietoesie Sun 02-Aug-15 12:39:05

That moment when you see the tail disappear over the wall is .....not good. You pace and pace if it's their first time.

I wish I could say it gets a whole load better but unfortunately, they only have to vary from their normal routine by an hour or so and you're back to the pacing again, be they ever so mature and seemingly streetwise.

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