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The litter tray

Is your cat an outdoor cat?

31 replies

Monstermuncher · 03/09/2014 19:52

..and if so, how much time do they spend outdoors? We have had our rescue cat for 4 months now (kept indoors for the first month on adoption centre advice) and we don't really see a lot of her! I don't know if its just the summer weather and she will want to spend more time indoors once it gets colder and darker earlier or if this is just how she is. She is a fairly young cat, only about a year old and was a stray when found and taken to the adoption centre. I have had a cat before but she was an older girl who wasn't overly keen on exploring outside so this is new to me. We have a cat flap so she can come and go as she pleases. Does anyone else's cat do this? Does she just not really like us? I have told her she treats this house like a hotel but she's not bothered

OP posts:
cozietoesie · 03/09/2014 19:58

Summer has so much excitement and things a-doing outside. Winter less so. I've always allowed my outside-going cats to do as they please subject to night curfew.

cozietoesie · 03/09/2014 20:00

PS - cats are great pragmatists, If she's coming home, she likes you!

Monstermuncher · 03/09/2014 20:05

Thanks Cozie! She is a lovely little thing - we just would like to see a bit more of her

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ThatBloodyWoman · 03/09/2014 20:06

Our cat is about 14.
We've never seen a lot of him, but he hasn't got a huge roaming area outdoors either.
He has a cat flap, and comes home when its dark or when it rains.
He's a happy boy and we love him.

CMOTDibbler · 03/09/2014 20:10

We have 3 cats. evilgingercat spends about 20 hours a day outside in the summer - he likes to sleep on the car, in the hedge at the front, or other places he can watch the world go by. tinytabbycat is more like 22 hours as she only comes in to top up her food on top of what she has killed. blackandwhitecatwith ishoos possibly 20 though she comes and goes a lot.

In the winter, they are mostly in. This week tinytabby has been sleeping with us at night, so its obv getting colder

Methe · 03/09/2014 20:17

I have a (just) one year old tortie. She goes out after her breakfast and comes in for her tea when we get in from work between 4 and 5. She then goes out for the evening and comes in at bedtime. We lure her in with dreamies as I don't want her out all night killing the local wildlife.

If one of us is working from home she'll be in and out all day and if were very lucky we might get a bit of affection!

I expect she'll spend a lot more time inside in the winter although she doesn't seem to mind the rain she often comes in soaked to the skin.. Who knows.

Tabby1963 · 03/09/2014 20:23

Our cats are out at night. They have an 'arrangement' with next door's cats Grin. Our cats patrol our and next door's gardens to keep out a particular cat from down the street. During the day our cats stay in the house sleeping (yes, all day) while next door's cats patrol our gardens. At tea time they have their dinner and rest before going out to continue the patrolling.

This arrangement seems to work well and ensures that unpopular cat from down the street is kept off our properties.

Monstermuncher · 03/09/2014 20:24

I get nervous about her being outside at night but she doesn't always come home before dark. My neighbours are getting used to seeing me out in my pyjamas rattling the packet of dreamies and calling for her...

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Monstermuncher · 03/09/2014 20:25

I love the idea of cats working a shift pattern to protect their gardens!

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CatKisser · 03/09/2014 20:26

Of my three, one is an outdoor cat. He is 2. We have a tacit agreement that he comes home every evening, at which point I lock the cat flap, but he's pushed his luck this summer. Longest time away was five days and I was convinced he was dead. He's a bastard really. Comes home, eats, dashes upstairs and sleeps for 13 hours!!

cozietoesie · 03/09/2014 20:27

Er - why do they need another rest, Tabby?

villagecorner · 03/09/2014 20:30

Has anyone got any advice for letting cats outside for the first time? We've had our two 5 weeks and have started letting them out into the garden for about 30 mins a time before meals. How do I build up to letting them come and go as they please through the cat flap? How do I make sure they come back?! BlushConfused

rideyourbike · 03/09/2014 20:31

Our boy is about 1 year old. He stays in overnight, maybe 11pm til 7 am. Then he's out and busy all morning, sometimes coming in for a cuddle. If I go in the garden he will spend some time with me there. Comes in about 12 ish and sleeps on my sons bed til about 4 pm. Then he has tea and goes out. He likes to supervise the children's bath and bedtime, then we don't normally see him until our bedtime, 11pm ish!

Tabby1963 · 03/09/2014 20:45

cozie I don't know, the buggers sleep so much during the day anyway. I left Tabbycat1 asleep on the sofa this morning, came home at 5pm and he was still curled up asleep on the sofa!. I asked DH if he'd moved at all during the day. No, was the answer.

After tea they have another sleep (on our laps this time) before scratching the door to be let out.

Tabby1963 · 03/09/2014 20:48

When I come home it is their cue to slowly wake, stretch, yawn, scratch a bit and saunter to their bowls. They sit patiently and wait for me to get their tea. Sometimes I am a bit slow and they come back into the living room (I may be looking at post) and they sit, tails twitching a bit, looking at me expectantly. I am their slave.

cozietoesie · 03/09/2014 21:06

......How do I make sure they come back?! .....

I'm afraid that you can't villagecorner. Living with cats is a joy and a terror mixed together. Maybe just try to keep them inside during the night hours - they should be able to live with that and those hours are the ones of greatest danger fir cats.

Fluffycloudland77 · 03/09/2014 21:10

As soon as it gets cold the cat will be in. Except snow.

Snow is AWESOME for cats.

GemmaTeller · 03/09/2014 21:13

We live facing fields and everyone has big garden, Boy cat goes out after breakfast, pops back a few times during the day and then comes in for cat curfew at 7pm (earlier in winter).

Sometimes we don't see him for 3-4 hours, to get him in we have to catch his eye, show him the food pouch and shout 'want this?' then he zooms in like a cartoon cat, eats his tea and goes to bed.

He is definately not a cuddly lap cat Sad

StripeyOrangeTrousers · 03/09/2014 21:25

I have a neutered male ginger cat, about 4 years old. Our house backs onto a really wild, overgrown park and this summer we've hardly seen him. He's always been a roamer, but so far he's always come home. If we go out and call him, he usually comes running and follows us home, so we've concluded that he basically prefers to live in a bush than our house! Left to his own devices, he goes through phases but usually comes in to eat at least once every 24 hours. I do alternate between worrying about him and feeling annoyed that I buy him expensive food and hardly ever see him, but keeping him shut in is absolutely not an option - he goes crazy then becomes depressed. And the winter is a different story - he's usually in much more.

McSnuff · 03/09/2014 21:32

Our second cat was a big roamer, would appear once every few days for a bite and bog off again. I'd keep some biscuits out at all times in case he appeared, and all that happened was that our first cat, lounging at home, got fat on them.

So I stopped the on-going biscuit supply and put food out strictly only twice a day. Within a week he managed to get home twice a day - it wasn't as if he was miles away, he was likely just idling under a bush in next door's garden.

Rollypoly100 · 03/09/2014 23:19

My 14 year old boy is a rescue cat. We kept him in for 3 months as he had been in the rescue for about 5 years and we thought he'd be overwhelmed by the outside. Once he was out in the garden he loved it - climbing trees and exploring. We tried to lock the cat flap at night but he gets very vocal if he can't go out. In the summer he'd be out all night and come in about 5.00. Now it's cooler he is spending more time in with us. We think his outside antics are making up for lost time.

I've got a GPS tracker for him now so I know where he goes but that's another story!

cozietoesie · 03/09/2014 23:36

5 years in a rescue? Dear goodness.

(But well done that rescue for keeping him - and you for finally giving him his forever home.)

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeGoes · 03/09/2014 23:40

Ours (nearly two years old) go out for an hour or two at a time but don't generally go far from the house and I've never seen them sleep outdoors, they always come in for their naps. Probably because they are in a territory dispute with the cats next door. We switch the cat flap to in only mid evening, but occasionally forget, they usually come back no bother but occasionally one doesn't, which has happened tonight, just been out with the Dreamies to no avail.

Preciousbane · 03/09/2014 23:41

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DramaAlpaca · 03/09/2014 23:42

We have two cats, both of whom come & go through the cat flap as they please.

In the summer, we'd often not see the older one for a few days in good weather. He'd come back for his food during the night then disappear again. He's been more inclined to stay around the last couple of summers because he's getting older and a bit arthritic.

The four year old ginger pops in & out a lot, so we see plenty of him.

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