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Getting very nervous about them going out...(7 Posts)
I have two kittens coming up to 6 months old, getting spayed on Monday and the plan was then to let them outside.
But as the time approaches I'm a total nervous wreck. Every time I open Facebook another local cat is missing or been lost on a local road. There are only residential roads nearby - 20 and 30mph limits / but still seems very common.
The garden isn't suitable for a catio.
Is it normal to be this worried. Did you all just go for it and hope all would be well?
Shall I not feed them when letting them out for the first few weeks so they are hungry and need to come back?
Oh I really sympathise, it's the worst feeling in the world isn't it ?
I've had 6 cats over the last 40 years, and felt the same every time.
They always came back.
I let them out first thing when they were hungry.For the first few times I went out with them and brought them back in but eventually just let them go.It's not easy though I know.Hope all is well.The relief when that little face pops round the corner is great.Good luck.
We've just been through this. It's so nerve wracking! Letting them go out when you know they're a bit hungry is a good idea. We've been getting them used to coming to the sound of their bowls so of we need to get them in we can use that (they fly in when they hear the tap!). They've been out for a bit the past 2 days, we've just hung out in the garden with them. It's nice watching them explore.
I’m biased because I lost my most precious cat on the road last year and we live on a quiet cul de sac with speed bumps. We only bought this damned house because it was cat safe.
I’ll be cat proofing before even looking at kittens.
We used a GPS tracker on her collar for about the first 6 months of letting our new cat out. I couldn't decide whether I was being a bit mad and overly protective by doing it (I'd let previous cats out before without this much worry) but it did give me a lot of peace of mind until I felt I could trust my cat to know her way back home (and also to realise that she's not a wanderer and only ever ambles into a few neighbours gardens). Obviously it doesn't protect against everything bad that could happen - road accidents etc - but it does really help that nervy initial period when you're worrying they're going to get lost a couple of streets away. The trackers are pretty accurate (they tend to have a "wild" reading when first turned on or first connecting but then they become accurate, or at least that was our experience - it was possible to pinpoint which garden she was in if I walked down the street for example). One downside is that they are quite bulky, ours is a large breed cat, but if yours are petite they might seem too bulky. Also, of course there's a debate about whether collars should be used at all because of the risk of snagging, so if you use a collar in order to fit a GPS tracker to it, you're potentially reducing some risk but adding in the potential risk of the collar. Our cat is long haired so the collar got completely hidden by her fur and enormous ruff, which made it seem unlikely it could get snagged, so I felt ok doing it. So, not perfect, but maybe an option to consider at least in the early days? (2 cats means 2 trackers so would obviously work out quite expensive though).
I've read advice to tip used cat litter from the litter tray in the garden as apparently they can smell that from some distance away and it can help their homing instincts (no idea if that's true).
We always let ours out initially just before feeding time, to give the incentive not to go far and to return quickly!
We got harnesses for ours and took them out for short walks twice a day until we could be sure they were familiar with our garden and the general concept of "outside" (so less likely to get spooked). Took about 6 weeks and was still a bit nerve racking but I think it really helped.
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