Kittens, cats and roadsense

(33 Posts)
Yukduck Mon 10-Oct-16 21:08:20

I met a new member of staff at work today and we got to talking about our cats. We have a 7 month old kitten who is just going outside now for a mooch in the daytime only. I am nervous of the road out the front. He is our first kitten and much doted on.

My colleague said she has had 3 cats/kittens run over in the past few years. This has freaked me out a bit as I thought cats/kittens generally (apart from when being chased by dogs or other cats) had some road sense. No one I know who has cats has had one killed on the roads.

Do kittens/cats often get run over? Do they have road sense? Reassurance or advice equally appreciated!!

Oliversmumsarmy Mon 10-Oct-16 21:13:01

Afraid I am with your colleague. Lost one of ours on our very rural road. Friend has 3 indoor cats because they live on a busiest road.

cozietoesie Mon 10-Oct-16 21:13:46

I'm afraid that they do - but keeping them in at night seems to help. Does he have a curfew?

(I'm assuming he's already neutered and if so, that also helps. Fewer rushes of blood to the head etc.)

Oliversmumsarmy Mon 10-Oct-16 21:14:09

Busiest = Busyish

EwanWhosearmy Mon 10-Oct-16 21:14:10

Our neighbours opposite lost 2 kittens outside our house last year.

We already have a house cat and our 2 kittens won't be going outside.

When we lived in a cul de sac with fields over the road we had outdoor cats. They were 8 when we moved here and had developed road sense. They do learn it but not until about 3 or 4. (we have lost a great many cats over the decades)

PoppyPicklesPenguin Mon 10-Oct-16 21:15:35

Mine are indoors because we live near a busy road.

They do go out in the back garden when we are about and seem quite happy with the setup.

Neighbour let her cat out when he was a kitten within a week he was hit by a car, thankfully he was injured but not killed but I just would never risk it with my fluffballs just not worth it.

cozietoesie Mon 10-Oct-16 21:15:52

Sorry - I see you said 'daytime only'. You plan to keep it that way?

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 10-Oct-16 21:47:56

We trained ours by driving at him on the gravelled road and over revving the engine.

It sounds worse written down than it actually was. He is terrified of cars though.

I vetoed dhs original idea of banging his head on the car so he knew the car was hard.

LynetteScavo Mon 10-Oct-16 21:59:40

We trained ours by driving at him on the gravelled road and over revving the engine.

shockgrinshock

I read somewhere the average age for a cat was 4years, because so many get run over. I'm not sure if that's true.

I always gave my cats hi-viz collars. I'm not sure if that helped, but they never got run over.

LynetteScavo Mon 10-Oct-16 22:04:22

We trained ours by driving at him on the gravelled road and over revving the engine.

shockgrinshock

I read somewhere the average age for a cat was 4years, because so many get run over. I'm not sure if that's true.

I always gave my cats hi-viz collars. I'm not sure if that helped, but they never got run over.

PoppyPicklesPenguin Mon 10-Oct-16 22:29:20

If I did that one of mine is so stupid he would have more than likely then run into the road. He's seven but still runs into the radiator on occasion to then look up at me with utter disgust because I obviously just put it there.

SecretNutellaFix Mon 10-Oct-16 22:32:38

My two are indoors cats because I had previously lost two to very quiet roads and the place I live now is used by day by learner drivers who don't always have the fastest reaction times and then by boy racers who screech around it by night. They go out into the back yard supervised when it's fine and dry weather.
My neighbours cat has no road sense at all- he'll lie in the middle of the road licking his arse if the urge overcomes him.

MsMims Mon 10-Oct-16 22:40:47

Seven months old is way too young. Kittens are still giddy and lacking common sense at that age, let alone roadsense. Cats are unpredictable so will never truly have roadsense, they can be dazzled by an oncoming car and killed. Spooked, run into the road and killed. Some sadists won't slow down just because your beloved pet is in the road.

Personally I think it's totally irresponsible to let cats out near roads, bar rural areas with little to no traffic. So many cats are killed by cars every day and it is totally avoidable

If you wouldn't let your toddler out alone why would you let your cat? They have roughly the same intellect.

I've had outdoor free roaming cats but never again. Can you cope with the thought of your pet being killed way before their natural lifespan? Sometimes it's instant, other times there is suffering, and you probably won't be with your pet in their final moments when they need you most. There's no excuse now when other solutions like cat proofing are cheap and offer the best of both worlds. It is just a huge problem in our culture, in places like America not allowing your cat to free roam is the norm. Hopefully with education and an awareness of the alternatives now available more people will follow suit here.

Oh, and before anyone thinks I'm being callous, I'm one of the people who picks up dead/ dying cats off the road and takes them to my vet. I've seen some horrible, horrible sights. It's upsetting without even having an emotional connection to the cat. No way will one of mine be snuffed out like that, no way.

FunSponge82 Mon 10-Oct-16 23:18:31

I lost one of mine only 4 days ago and it has broken my heart. I feel sick at the thought of what happened to him and tomorrow I have to go collect his ashes.

Cats are naturally meant to be outside . Some don't mind being indoor cats and if they have never experienced the great outdoors they don't know what they are missing.. others are desperate to explore and will not be happy being kept in.

I decided that Bailey needed more than the house. The yowling at the door drove me bonkers and for 4 years we had no problems. I took great pleasure in watching him in the garden thoroughly enjoying himself and doing what cats do. For Bailey it would have been torture keeping him in. I have paid the ultimate price by giving him what he wanted and i miss him dearly

Had he not have been in the garden when he was younger (he escaped) I would have had him as a house cat. Having lived a life throughly enjoying his adventures I don't regret the life he lived. A very happy one.

Sorry Ive just rambled and not helped in the slightest

FunSponge82 Mon 10-Oct-16 23:22:00

Sorry failed to mention that if we get another cat it will be a house cat

Floralnomad Mon 10-Oct-16 23:28:20

We live on a fairly quiet road and my neighbour ( who always has 2-3 cats) has lost 4 cats in RTAs that I know of in the last 20 yrs and another one was seriously injured , and that's just one family so either they are really unlucky or lots of cats are getting killed .

Icequeen01 Mon 10-Oct-16 23:32:52

Ive lost 4 cats to the road over the years. 3 were killed when we lived on a busy road (one was run over in front of us). We had a huge back garden but they still went round the front.

I have also had one 9 month old kitten killed on the relatively quiet road that I live on now. Apparently she was chasing leaves in the wind and just ran out. Totally heartbreaking.

cozietoesie Mon 10-Oct-16 23:50:35

Seniorboy has been an indoor cat pretty well all of his life. He went outside my mother's house once - for about 20 seconds - in about 1997 and into my front garden for half a minute 3 years back or so. I took him on as a housecat, his status decided by my mother who had, previous to him, lost some 5 or 6 young cats on the trot to cars. (On what should have been a quiet country back road but was unfortunately known locally as one which could be used by 'racers' who would gun their cars past her house.)

He's been fine - but he has a roomy old house and people around virtually all the time. And he's a Siamese - his idea of a good time seems to be gazing in adoration at people. smile

The Lodger, I didn't even bother to try to contain - apart from a curfew which he accepted with very good grace.

Glastokitty Tue 11-Oct-16 00:15:03

We live on a very quiet road, so I let the moggy out as he was an outdoor cat when we adopted him, so I feel it would be cruel to keep him in. My ragdoll only gets out on a lead as he is an utter idiot and would go and lie down in the middle of the road waiting for belly rubs if he got the chance.

Yukduck Tue 11-Oct-16 19:35:36

Cozietoes* and MrsMims Kitkit has a curfew and we get him in around 7pm, and he then stays in. We give him time in the garden in the day but only if we are home and have the garden doors open so we can keep an eye on him. I do not let him out at night as he is a bit small for his age, even after being neutered about 6 weeks ago and we have foxes over the back of our garden.
I am really quite dismayed to hear that kittens/cats don't have much road sense. I was not expecting the figures from some of the posters who have kindly responded.
I was expecting to hear that my colleague was unlucky, but it has made me think about whether we want kitkit to be outside so much.

LynetteScavo Wed 12-Oct-16 18:59:53

I think it's so tough... My cats loved being outside, and I think did have some road sense...what girl cat went blind and sat in the road boy cat nudged her out.

But DH did run over a cat bet beat our house. It's not a busy road, and he wouldn't have been going over 20mph. The cat ran along side the car, then in front. ItDH was very upset. This happened on the school run, so keeping in over night wouldn't have made a difference. We do have foxes, but they don't seem to have attacked any neighbourhood cats.

I'm thinking carefully about getting another cat and I honestly don't think I would have a house cat, having seen how much old boy fat cat loved going in and out whenever he liked.

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 12-Oct-16 19:05:35

You could get an adult rescue who's a house cat by choice.

We had one, she went in the garden once & we took photos to prove it.

iloveeverykindofcat Thu 13-Oct-16 12:51:08

I compromise now with a secure back yard - gives them outdoor space, exercise, access to leaves etc but no road danger. I have lost a cat, not to a road but to an accident (he seems to have fallen off a roof or jumped and landed badly) which ended up paralysing him. Surgery was not very successful and in the end he was pts. It was terrible, but he was a young, bold male who would not be confined. He would wait by the door and force his way out if you tried. My current two are females, spayed young, and don't seem to have the same drive to roam.

Nelleflowerpot Thu 13-Oct-16 13:36:16

It's a hard one. We lost our 9 year old cat on the road outside our house over the summer. It's not busy but he got hit just after 8am which is probably the time most people are going to work. I am still devastated by it. My stupid but loved boy who slept at least 20 hours a day managed to get killed on his morning stroll/ killing spree 😭. He refused to be a house cat and was a major escape artist even in our unsuitable for outside cats last house so when we moved here and had a garden and rural setting we let him out in the day. He had 6 blissfully happy years going out and it would have been cruel not to have let him enjoy the country and hunting. If I ever dare let the next cat out it will be only for short periods in day between rush hour. Not that we are that busy here as it's a small village and doesn't go anywhere. I am hoping next cat also doesn't want to leave the garden I also gather girl cats are less likely to be hit? . A boy siamese apparently got killed at other end of our village yesterday. It does happen.

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 13-Oct-16 13:39:58

I think girls roam less, all our girls have been home bodies.

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