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How do you make that leap of faith - my cat will be safe outside?

(20 Posts)
LikeATeddyBear Wed 19-Sep-18 19:59:15

I very much would like a cat - but I couldn't keep it inside (I live in a basement flat with a garden); I'm a windows, doors open person.
But I fret that if it's doing its thing outside, it might be in danger from foxes, cars, cat murderers and so on.
It would be neutered, chipped and wear a collar.
Can I get over this fear? Has anyone faced this fear and overcome it?
I've heard that the longer you keep your cat inside, the less it's likely to roam but I don't know if this is true.

OP’s posts: |
sleepismysuperpower1 Wed 19-Sep-18 20:03:48

you should keep your cat indoors for around 3 weeks, then let them outside. its scary, but mine stayed close to home and just wandered around the garden. won't be the same for all, but hopefully will be for yours. we also don't have a cat flap, and she gets called in every day at around 5 pm (earlier in the winter) so she is back before dark, which minimises the chance of something happening to her.

MrsMoastyToasty Wed 19-Sep-18 20:08:03

I would recommend that the first time you let the cat outside that you stay with them so that they know it's a safe place to be and that you don't feed them before they go out so that they come back for food.

thecatneuterer Wed 19-Sep-18 20:25:20

Well it really depends on the layout of where you live. Would there be direct access to a road? What sort of road is it? Some places are really just too dangerous to have outdoor cats.

But if it's a fairly safe location then yes, it should be OK. But it is certainly always a risk (and collars are always a bad idea).

Cachailleacha Wed 19-Sep-18 20:29:56

Faith is action. Just do it.

I am still anxious about my cat because she is small and will always be smaller than the (many) other cats on my road. It would be near impossible to keep her in now though.

ItsJustTheOneSwanActually Wed 19-Sep-18 20:35:47

Ours only go out when we're at home and they come in at night.

They love a bounce about in the garden and one can get over the fence, but they don't go that far.

Grumpyoldpersonwithcats Wed 19-Sep-18 21:53:58

Hopefully your cat will not get into trouble going out - but his quality of life going outside will be far better. I'd much prefer a cat of mine to have a shorter happy life doing catty things outside, rather than being stuck indoors the whole time. Mine also have the freedom to stay out at night if they wish (Basil almost always does).
You do get used to it!

viccat Wed 19-Sep-18 21:54:42

There are things you can do to minimise risk like only letting the cat out from he back of the property (assuming there's no road or railway line directly behind your garden) and always having them indoors from dusk til dawn. The safest location is mid-terrace with back to back gardens where the cat is less likely to get onto roads.

But it's certainly always a risk. If you own your flat and garden, you could cat proof it so your cat won't get out of it and other cats and foxes won't get in.

hartof Thu 20-Sep-18 10:12:54

This is something I'm struggling with at the moment, our cat is 5 months old. All jabs done and he's neutered. We live mid terrace with another row of terraces backing us with an alley between. But there is a dirt track leading to a very busy main road which worries me.

Neighbours cats play out fine all day, our cat escaped the other week and just sat under the cars on our street but wouldn't come out when called or when I took the Dreamies over. I took him out on his harness last week, 2 cats were on the street and he was terrified. We've walked him around the terraces on his harness and whenever a car went past he just lay on the ground.

We're definitely a few weeks off letting him out (if we do) but I really don't know if he'll be safe and we'd all be devastated if anything happened to him.

UtterlyUnimaginativeUsername Thu 20-Sep-18 10:25:47

They're essentially tiny lions. They have amazing senses, speed, claws and teeth on their side. It's not like letting a toddler out alone. Unless you live near a very busy road, I wouldn't worry. And they really do love being out.

Mind you, when they get to a certain age, they might only want to go out for twenty minutes a day, and only if it's sunny. But they still have to check and make sure the outside world is still there.

iamacatlady Thu 20-Sep-18 11:35:10

If you have a private garden look to install Katzecure fencing. I have it and it given me total peace of mind my cats are safe

LikeATeddyBear Thu 20-Sep-18 12:16:17

Thank you everyone.
I do live mid terrace with back to back gardens. And yes, remember that they're tiny lions - that made me feel better.

OP’s posts: |
Grumpyoldpersonwithcats Thu 20-Sep-18 12:53:16

I think mine are more Panthers than Lions - but the point is well made grin.

BackToTheFuschia7 Thu 20-Sep-18 13:30:20

But I fret that if it's doing its thing outside, it might be in danger from foxes, cars, cat murderers and so on.

An outdoor cat is in danger from all those things and more, like accidental poisoning, out of control dogs and getting trapped.

My cats free roamed for over 10 years. They’re house cats with access to the garden now and I’d never go back to letting them fend for themselves. I’m also a doors open, windows open person but with catios, cat proof gardens, ‘flatcat’ window screens & more, having a house cat doesn’t mean you can’t have fresh air. I don’t want my cats to die in their prime, and I don’t want them to suffer a violent and traumatic death by themselves. You don’t have to live near a busy road for it to be dangerous, I remember a heart breaking post on here from a lady who had witnessed her cat being driven over by a very slow moving car.

ifonly4 Thu 20-Sep-18 15:42:21

I've always been a strong believer in quality of quantity. When we had our first two cats, I think I went through the same as you knowing and wanting to let them out, but we didn't question ourselves and thought about keeping them as outdoor cats. However, one of our cats was desperate to go out, he'd sit by the glass door and ages meowing to go out.

We've just got two new babies. They're at the back door and window watching us outside, and watch me go off to work, and for me it just seems so mean not to let them have that experience. Since I've had them we've only been able to have windows open a small amount and it was driving some of my boys mad yesterday that he couldn't get out.

Autumn101 Thu 20-Sep-18 15:48:14

It’s very daunting but I really believe cats are happier when they can go outside. Some will never want to venture further than their own garden, others will love to explore.

I have a roamer of a cat, often out all night or gone for a couple of days. I do worry about something happening but she is so so happy, if she’s shut in she gets really stressed and paces up and down. I’d be devastated if anything happened but I’d rather she has a good quality short life than a long miserable one.

YesSheCan Fri 21-Sep-18 08:05:55

Personally, having lost my 3-year-old cat to a road accident, I would not have another cat without ensuring that they could not access the road. My cat was the joy of my life and did not deserve to go that way - she should have lived out her full lifespan in safety but I was naive about just how common road accidents are - even after she was injured by a car a couple of years ago and I kept her in for a while, I thought she'd be more careful from then on (like, how stupid of me, she's a cat!) After she died, I was shocked to find out that the average life expectancy of a free roaming cat is only 5 years. That's terrible when they can live to 20. I plan to build a large garden enclosure when I'm ready to get another cat. If allowed enough fresh air and stimulation I'm sure cats can still have a very happy life without being allowed to roam freely. Of course, would be easier to get a cat from kitten age and raise them this waybrather than trying to confine a previously free-roaming cat but even so worth a try.

Fadingmemory Fri 21-Sep-18 08:17:23

Fadingcat is a real outdoors type. He has free access through a cat flap. Kept him in recently on vets’ advice (a fight injury) & he sat by the door, howling & scratching. Occasionally he goes out of the front door (quiet cul de sac, terraced house) but our back garden & adjoining plots are his domain (hence the fighting). Have seen him chase off a fox. Happy him, happy me. If you are fearful of letting a cat out, don’t, but if he/she has an “outdoor spirit”, unhappiness will result. I wouldn’t want to have an indoor cat but plenty of people do & are certain their cats are happy.

Iwouldratherbemuckingout Fri 21-Sep-18 08:19:50

I've also put cat proof fencing up to keep my lot safe. I used protectapet.

Alternatively you could get a senior cat from a rescue, less likely to wander?

Aprilshowersnowastorm Fri 21-Sep-18 08:22:28

When you start letting dcat out do so before meal times.
More likely to come in for food!! Practice getting dcat to come to the sound of a rattled dry food box!!

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