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Letting out a non-streetwise cat

(14 Posts)
IRegretNothing Wed 25-Jan-17 23:21:40

A month ago I adopted two boy cats who are now around 14mnths old. The rescue centre had no history on them other than that they came to them from another rescue centre so I had no idea whether they'd encountered traffic.
They've been going outside (only in daylight) for just over a week now and are gradually getting more comfortable. They stay close to the house in greenery. We're in a close and away from through roads so it's nice and safe.
Today, one of the boys followed me on the school run (it's only a 4min walk). We got half way before he freaked out at the first car he met. As he dashed home he very nearly ran in front of a car.
Do I give it more time to see if they become a bit more streetwise? Or do I keep them in so they stay safe? They're both neutered so hopefully shouldn't roam too far but I'm very worried they'll get hurt.

TheSilveryPussycat Thu 26-Jan-17 00:04:10

I would try to avoid letting them follow you to begin with.

I appreciate this may be easier said than done, depending on your household.

In my childhood a long time ago we had a cat that would follow, (in fact she and I used to walk round our little block), but if DM (or DM and me) wanted to go out, and have the cat out (no cat flap or litter tray, but we had a garden), we used to have to let her out the back, then dash out the front before she could get round!

IRegretNothing Thu 26-Jan-17 00:39:11

I think you're right. He was quite clearly torn between running home and following me so he's obviously not feeling comfortable. We don't have a cat flap so I will just have to call them inside before I leave.
Hopefully then any exploring will be at their own pace, not because they've seen me and want to follow.
Tbh, seeing him nearly run out under that moving car has made me want to wrap them in cotton wool. I think even if they get street savvy I'll keep them in once it's dark as they are black cats and hard to see.
Is that fair, or is it important to let them roam at night?

shouldwestayorshouldwego Thu 26-Jan-17 02:04:37

Ours are in every night, although harder to enforce in the summer when dboycat likes to stay out late at cat raves. If he likes to walk with you would you consider a harness?

thecatneuterer Thu 26-Jan-17 02:27:49

Definitely don't let them follow you. Ever.

It's probably fine to let them out generally during the day if you're not close to the road.

Foldedtshirt Thu 26-Jan-17 02:30:43

Why don't you have a cat flap?

hollinhurst84 Thu 26-Jan-17 03:03:48

I have a cat and no cat flap smile downstairs apartment. He enters and exits via a window

Fluffybrain Thu 26-Jan-17 03:57:02

Cats are nocturnal by nature. Some like to roam by day, some by night, some both. Best scenario is that they have a cat flap or window to come and go as they please.
The more they go out the more they will learn about traffic. They need to suss out the area and establish their territories. We have 2 black cats (plus 2 more!) and they wear fluorescent collars. As others have said try not to let them follow you.
I am not a fan of forcing cats to be house cats. Some are home lovers but it's their choice to make.
As they've not been with you long letting them out for short periods and gradually increasing is good.

PlumsGalore Thu 26-Jan-17 05:27:14

I agree with those that say don't let your boy follow you, cute as it us, it is dangerous. I do the same as a pp, if mine tries to follow I put her either inside or round the back and run out of the front.

PlumsGalore Thu 26-Jan-17 05:29:40

Oh and I don't have cat flap either, I used to but got fed up of a neighbours cat sleeping on my beds and then my cat at the time spraying in response.

Mine come in through the windows and I work from home so they rarely stay out all day unless summer and through choice.

IRegretNothing Thu 26-Jan-17 07:53:49

Thanks all. I don't want to keep them inside by all means but as a pet owner I'd be remiss if they couldn't cope with traffic and they got hurt. I don't want indoor cats, I want happy cats who have the best of both worlds. I'll do what I can to stop them following me.
Dh works from home so is always around for them. They don't wait by the door wanting to go out or anything but we let them out for a couple of hours in the morning and a couple of hours in the afternoon and we can see when they want to come back in. We can leave a window open if that's better for them.

RubbishMantra Thu 26-Jan-17 13:39:47

Keep them in at night, that's when they're most likely to sustain an injury.

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 26-Jan-17 16:56:26

I keep mine in at night, it's a bad time for rta.

LivingInMidnight Thu 26-Jan-17 17:23:39

I'm in a similar position with one of mine. She's about 18 months and was in a shelter from 5 months until I adopted her 4 months ago. So far I'm only letting her out the back door (she escaped out the front door one time, panicked and flew back in). My plan is to wait until the days are longer and let her go out there for small stretches of time so she gets a little more streetwise. She's black and white so also hard to see in the dark. I'd rather she stay away from cars but at the same time I don't want her to panic if she sees one and do something stupid!

On the plus side the grumpy older one can go out the front to escape her for a bit at the moment.

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