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Cat stopped going outside

(49 Posts)
IceFall Thu 23-Nov-17 10:27:09


My cat has stopped going outside!

He used to LOVE being out in the garden, climbing a tree, chasing leaves, mooching around in the bushes, sitting up high on the wall checking his 'territory' or just sitting on my patio table watching things birds.

He was spending hours and hours outside.

Now he won't go outside at all except for 5 or 10 mins to go to the toilet, and sometimes he isn't even doing that and using his litter tray (I don't mind that - in fact would prefer he used litter tray) but I DO mind that he isn't getting much exercise and is getting board.

I am playing with him in the evenings but he was much happier when he was exploring outside.

Does anyone know why a cat (he is just over a year old) might stop going outside? Do you think something bad could have happened to him in the garden? Do you think someone could be using one of those high pitched noise emitters?

He also seems slightly more flighty than he used to, like now he reacts if you drop something where as he didn't really before.

IceFall Thu 23-Nov-17 10:29:59

Photo attached of him NOT outside

AnnaMagdalene Thu 23-Nov-17 10:32:21

Do your neighbours - or anyone else in the area - have a new cat?

Is your cat young/large/dominant?

hapagirl Thu 23-Nov-17 10:35:31

My cat is doing that as well. I think in our case it’s the weather. She loved to hang out in the garden with the kids but no one goes out there now.

TheSpottedZebra Thu 23-Nov-17 10:40:04

Because no one outside is telling him he's so pretty? grin

At 1yo, and with you noticing other skitishness, I'd guess the problem is something to do with territory. Likely there is another cat who is more dominant, who 'claims' the garden.

But he could just be a cat who prefers warmth and comfort?

HotelEuphoria Thu 23-Nov-17 10:41:16

Maybe he had a fright, one of my cats now sadly gone used to go out lots, he came flying home one day soaked and stinking and very frightened. He didn't like going far after that. I don't actually think he was abused, I suspect by his smell he fell into a pond or something.
TBF, he was ten when we got him so was probably middle aged by the time this happened.

Let him do things at his pace, maybe he will gain confidence over the winter and be back to normal when the sights and sounds of Spring come.

retirednow Thu 23-Nov-17 10:50:23

What a gorgeous kitty, its turned cold outside so maybe he prefers to be indoors. Have you tried going outside with him to give him confidence just in case something has spooked him.

gamerchick Thu 23-Nov-17 10:51:40

He’s waiting for you to turn the sun up because it’s too cold and is going to PLAGUE your life all winter because you haven’t done it yet.

IceFall Thu 23-Nov-17 10:57:36

Thanks for all the replies! Much appreciated.

Is your cat young/large/dominant?

He is 1 year old, quite chunky (BSH) but its not dominant at all, he is a real softy and a bit thick.

Do your neighbours - or anyone else in the area - have a new cat?

I haven't seen a new cat at all but could be one.

At 1yo, and with you noticing other skitishness, I'd guess the problem is something to do with territory. Likely there is another cat who is more dominant, who 'claims' the garden.

No other cats come in the garden - there is only one way in/out (the wall) but my boy did used to get out and go in to the gardens attached to the wall and sit on their shed roofs a little bit (but never jumped down int other gardens) so it isn't like he ever really had a territory outside the garden.

He does hate water with a passion so it could be a combination of fright/new cat/weather.

I'm WFH today so I'll go outside at lunchtime and see if he will have a play with me outside.

SpongeBobJudgeyPants Thu 23-Nov-17 11:01:26

I'm wondering if you could bribe him with treats to go outside when you have the time? Kind of a positive reinforcement thing, to take away any fear, if that's what it is.

IceFall Thu 23-Nov-17 11:04:03

@SpongeBobJudgeyPants I used to bribe him with treats to get him inside!

I'll take him out at lunchtime today for a play and dreamies.

DaftCat Thu 23-Nov-17 11:05:39

It could be as simple as the weather. PicklePig is basically a house cat for six months of the year. He hates the cold and only goes out very briefly for toilet purposes. Other than that he’s either in his basket, on our bed, or on my lap. He doesn’t do cold weather at all.

SpongeBobJudgeyPants Thu 23-Nov-17 11:31:57

Fairy nuff Ice fgrin Let us know how your play-date goes!

Perfectly1mperfect Thu 23-Nov-17 11:43:18

Our cat is always scared to go out for a few weeks after bonfire night. Could it be he has been frightened of them ?

IceFall Thu 23-Nov-17 12:47:16

He didn't seem bothered about fireworks - couldn't really hear them in the house.

We have been been out for a play and I got him running round the garden, and we had dreamie stops at a few different places. Then there was a really cold gust of wind and he ran back inside! So potentially he just hates the weather.

NoSquirrels Thu 23-Nov-17 12:55:32

If he's only a year old, presumably this is his first winter if going outdoors- and he's just not a fan!

Our boy loves going out, but is in much more in winter. Our girl cat will go about 5 feet from the house to sunbathe in summer but otherwise stays indoors all the time through choice.

Perfectly1mperfect Thu 23-Nov-17 13:07:10

It does sound as though he just isn't one for cold weather. You can have a lovely winter together snuggling in blankets instead. Get lots of toys for him so he doesn't get bored and gets some exercise.

And I meant to say in my first post, he's absolutely gorgeous.....and matches your sofa !

Tika77 Thu 23-Nov-17 13:12:45

It’s just the cold. He’ll be out again in the spring.

Oops4 Thu 23-Nov-17 13:21:59

Because it's winter and there's not as much fun things to chase? My cat always becomes a lazy lump in the winter.

IceFall Thu 23-Nov-17 13:26:42

@Perfectly1mperfect he actually matches the entire house! Carpets, curtains, bed, my clothes.... it turns out I don’t have a very imaginative taste in colours and I really like great and white. :-)

The house was decorated and furnished after I got the cat so everyone jokes I’ve made the perfect cat camouflage environment for him.

Perfectly1mperfect Thu 23-Nov-17 13:41:52

IceFall That's funny ! He really is stunning. Our house is also mainly charcoal, light grey and white and therefore matches our cat as well !

He's a cat after my own heart, much rather be warm inside. He's got you to fetch his food, play with him and clean his toilet...who needs to go out ! Lol. Enjoy him.

IceFall Thu 23-Nov-17 13:59:43

Maybe its like people say dog owners often look like their dogs... cat owners style their houses to their cats! :-)

I'm off to buy more toys on amazon for him to keep him winter occupied... he already has a 7 foot cat tree, tri-tunnel, the cat track thing, feathers, balls, boxes, puzzle toys and his favorite thing in the world - strips of cardboard.

TheSpottedZebra Thu 23-Nov-17 14:18:10

Well, my cat is orange and stripey.
My house. .. is not grin

IceFall Thu 23-Nov-17 15:04:09

@TheSpottedZebra not even a little bit.... ;-)

TheSpottedZebra Thu 23-Nov-17 15:20:44

Well, not yet...

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