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Letting cats out for the first time

(17 Posts)
PosiePootlePerkins Sat 28-Jan-17 20:36:45

We've had our rescue cats for four weeks, they are 3 and a half. Today we let them out for the first time. I am extremely nervous about it as our last rescue went missing after 4 months with us. Girl cat wasn't fussed, in fact she seemed a bit overwhelmed and ran back in after a few minutes. Boy cat on the other hand was very keen to explore. Completely ignored our lovely large lawn and walked around both sides of the house, onto the front drive, through the fence to next door, sniffing and exploring. After 20 mins I couldn't take any more and lured him in with dreamies. They are safely again in for now.
He's been looking longingly at the door...I guess we have to keep going now and let them try again tomorrow. Any tips? Shall I just let them go out and get on with it? Aaagh this is really hard!

Obligatory photos attachedsmile

PosiePootlePerkins Sat 28-Jan-17 20:38:11

Girl cat is the tabby, boy is the black and white one, you can probably tell that by his alert looking face and her chilled out pose!

celtiethree Sat 28-Jan-17 20:39:14

I think you just have to get on with it. But I'd always bring them in at night.

PosiePootlePerkins Sat 28-Jan-17 20:41:07

Thanks for the quick reply. Yes we plan to keep them in after their tea, don't think I could sleep at night otherwise! I hope he learns his way back quickly.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 28-Jan-17 20:41:51

Let them out hungry in the morning, we keep ours in overnight.

celtiethree Sat 28-Jan-17 21:08:03

And four weeks is loads of time to have kept them in. Can they freely get back into the house?? If not I wouldn't let them out unless I was there to let them in. At least until they have returned safely on their for a number of times.

PosiePootlePerkins Sat 28-Jan-17 21:21:10

We have a microchip cat flap but I'm not sure if they know how to use it! Think it will take a bit of training. Today we let them out of the patio door and kept it open for them to come back in again. Will do the same tomorrow. I won't let them out in the day unless I'm there, until I am confident they can get back in through the cat flap.

LeopardPrintSocks1 Sat 28-Jan-17 21:41:27

Apparently it's good to sprinkle some of their litter (used) around the garden so they can find their way back

PosiePootlePerkins Sat 28-Jan-17 21:42:48

Leopard that's a good idea, thank you.

PosiePootlePerkins Sun 29-Jan-17 09:09:53

Well it is raining today and boy cat is charging around the house like a crazy thing, I think I will let him out in the hopes the rain will make it a short trip! Seems cruel to keep him in when he's like this. Girl cat is just looking at him with a hmm look on her face.

idril Sun 29-Jan-17 16:08:30

We let our rescue cat out for the first time yesterday too! Also had him 4 weeks. Was an ex-stray so it was very scary.

At first it was OK - he kept coming in and out but then he suddenly got braver and disappeared through a whole in the fence. We couldn't see him anywhere and what followed was 10 minutes of panic. We eventually saw him on a shed roof a few gardens down and he eventually came back.

I knew we had to bite the bullet and let him out again today and kept reassuring myself that he did come back yesterday.

He hardly bothered today. No further than the patio! I think he spooked himself yesterday and didn't want a repeat. He wouldn't even entertain the idea of going out until he'd been fed either.

On the catflap - what we did was prop the door open with pegs so that he knows the idea of it and also to get it to recognise his chip (he went through it fine when it was propped open). Then we will use treats with the flap open lower and lower so he gets used to pushing it. With the microchip catflaps it's also good to get them used to the click of it opening whilst it is propped up.

My last two cats didn't go very far at all and always came in when called so I'm not used to this!

PosiePootlePerkins Sun 29-Jan-17 16:34:22

Idril that sounds similar to today's experience! He went in and out for a bit, then the rain stopped and he suddenly got brave and disappeared through next doors hedge. I got panicked as there was no sign of him, convinced we'd managed to lose him. 20 minutes later he came charging back from the other neighbours side! At least he knew his way home but my goodness it is a worry.
Like you my old girl never wandered far, then when we lost her aged 18 we got a rescue who sadly went missing after 4 months with us. So I am extra paranoid. I know that boy cat is going to be a wanderer, I will just have to get used to it.

EarlGreyT Sun 29-Jan-17 20:11:17

I second the idea of letting out in the morning before breakfast. We also tried letting out for short periods initially and training to come back when called by luring with food (tinned tuna in spring water works well!). With some microchip cat flaps you can switch the microchip control off so it's used like a normal cat flap until the cats are used to the cat flap, but I'd only do this if you're in a low cat density area and other cats aren't likely to get in.

givemushypeasachance Mon 30-Jan-17 15:16:32

You might do it already but I got into a habit of calling the cats when I fed them in the morning, and that has meant they will (sometimes) respond when I stand at the back door shouting for them. More chance than if they didn't associate it with breakfast anyway!

Yewbluegrey Thu 11-May-17 13:18:55

So.. i'm a little late to this thread but today is the first time my cat has been out with me.

She's nearly 2 and i've had her since a kitten. She was rescued from a farm where she was outside from birth. And... she was the instigator of them all. First to climb the trees and get into trouble.

When we took her on, we were living in a large house on a main road. We agreed it wasn't safe for her to be outside and so her and our other cat stayed inside. Both with more than enough space to run and play and they never even cared to go outside. Even with the door open! I felt bad because my dad took her brother and he lives in the middle of nowhere... trees, fields etc. And looking at the two they could not be more different to when we went to get them! She's only ever caught a fly or spider...where as he's off catching and eating hares!

I've since moved and she came with me. I've moved into rented accommodation further out of the city which at the time knew it would be perfect for her... only my housemate has two dogs... and she's not fond of them! Infact she has spent most of her time in our room and warning them away!

Over the past few weeks the weather has been warmer and she's shown more interest in going outside. So last week I left my patio doors open to see what happened. Nothing.

Today working from home with the sun shining, i've done it again. Except this time she's keen to explore, but not far. The dogs keep coming round the corner to watch and annoy her too - but I kind of feel she's going to have to get used to them. After all, she's fine with my partners dog (within reason).

My worry here is that I work long hours, she's never had a set routine for food, and we don't have a cat flap! But I can't help but feel it's not fair to keep her in now that I'm more in the countryside.
We've always just done things our our way and it's worked. She has free access to water and biscuits (which are via a microchip feeder so no other cats or dogs can steal them from her) but eats little of them and has two wet meals a day, one first thing and the other between 6 and 9... which she doesn't eat till even later (when she wants to - not when i'll tell her to). And yet she's tiny but not under weight... still very kitten like and very lovable. Belly and paw rubs being her favourite!

Has anyone got any other tips to help easy me and her into this? It's such an uneasy thing to do, but I know it's right for her!
I'm here all day today, but then her next chance to go out will be the weekend.

Thanks in advance

Kirabelle Sun 14-May-17 12:39:09

I think if she has a safe place to shelter while you are at work like a shed/garage with a little bed or some blankets to curl up on she will be fine.I'm in a very similar situation..I have a kitten,about 7 /8 mnths ,found her in the garage in february-feral,starving,a broken leg and pneumonia-but is now in good health (though tiny still due to stunted growth probably from a rough start in life) and was spayed last week and I am all set to let her out tomorrow .I am terrified but I know I have to do it.She is looking up at open windows,trying to get out doors etc.We are in the countryside too and it really is the right thing to do.I have another cat,a 7 yr old rescue,and she poodles about outside,spends lots of time in the shed by choice in a little bed in there but comes in when she fancies.

I think yours will be fine, I have no catflap either and also have 2 dogs one who stalks the kitten relentlessly but as you say she has to get used to this.
Let her out...especially if you have a shed or suchlike for her to hang out in while you are out. She will be fine...Am dreading tomorrow myself though I have to do it!

justpeachy74 Mon 15-May-17 10:59:59

This is something I am concerned about with my kitten so just following really. I had no idea how anxious the idea of letting her out would make me. We have a while yet as she's not yet spayed or mirco-chipped.

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