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Jude's avatar

Any of you have an indoor/outdoor cat (or cats). How did you go about getting them used to the outside, so, that they didn't run away?

Asked by Jude (32144points) November 26th, 2011

If one moved to a small apartment and wanted to have an indoor/outdoor cat (so, that the cat wouldn’t feel so cooped up in a tiny space), what could one do to make sure that they don’t wander?

This cat is already an indoor/outdoor cat. Just dealing with new surrounding now and want him to stay close to home.

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15 Answers

bobbinhood's avatar

When my family moved, they would just wait a week or so before letting the cat out, so the cat had time to associate the new place with home. They never had any trouble with their cats running away. However, I’m not sure there’s much you can do to keep your cat within a certain distance of home, if that’s your goal.

lillycoyote's avatar

When I moved from Texas to where I am now I brought my two cats with me and I was really worried about the same thing. I was really concerned that they would run away. They were 4 years old and had lived with me in the same apartment since they were each 8 and 11 weeks old and had always been indoor/outdoor cats too. I let them go outside during the day but always had they come in for the night.

When I moved I did what @bobbinhood suggested. When I first moved I kept them inside for about a week so they would get used to their new home. I also bought collars and ID tags for them, for the first time in their lives, just in case, but Bugsy hated his and always managed to get it off. After about a week I let them go out but kept an eye on them. I continued to make sure they came in for the night and I never had a problem. They knew where they lived and alway came home. You might consider an ID tag or ID chip just in case. So if they do run away someone will know who the cat belongs to.

jaytkay's avatar

I don’t think you can control it. If you let the cat out, be prepared for the sad day it gets hit by a car.

Or build a fence.

Chain link fences are ugly, but cats can scale most any wooden fence

Coloma's avatar

I usually start letting them out for a little bit after a few weeks and getting acclimated to the surroundings. I’ve never had a cat run away. I have a kitty door into my garage and my newer cat has been here a year and a half and comes and goes at will, she is always in at night.

She adjusted quickly within about 3 weeks.

anartist's avatar

Home is where the heart [and the food] is. Unless there is something intolerable about their new home they will know to come back. But as jaytkay says, there is always that risk.

JLeslie's avatar

My mom actually took the cat out on a leash the first few weeks, not going very far from home, just a couple blocks. I think keeping them inside for a week is a good idea so they have time to mark up the new location as their territory, and know that is where the food is.

tinyfaery's avatar

Cats that are strictly indoors live longer, healthier lives. As long as you keep him stimulated he will be fine in an apartment.

Try a leash.

Roby's avatar

Cats are environmental by nature..that should adapt to surroundings as long as they know where their food sorse is. I don’t have a problem with my cats getting hit by a car..I live in the country…It’s the stray dogs that worry me. So they are house cats.

laureth's avatar

I know it doesn’t really answer your question, but if you feel your apartment is too small to satisfy a kitty, have you considered making it seem larger by providing three-dimensional climbing and play space? When I read your question, I was reminded of this Cute Overload post about an apartment optimized for cat pleasure. You might not want to go that far, but it’s an idea.

YARNLADY's avatar

My grandson’s cat lives in his single room rental without any problem what-so-ever. You could consider buying a large cat cage

boffin's avatar

…so, that they didn’t run away?

You’re feeding the cat, right? Then he/she knows where home is.
The rest is on the cats terms.
Mid year we were adopted by a stray. After the vet had done his thing; check-up, shots and the spaying. We were just along for the ride. We put her in a harness and walked her around the property. We tried to keep her in at night. That was a fight and we finally agreed that it wasn’t right to keep her cooped up. If the critter wants to roam and stay out all night well then, get used to it. We have had many a sleepless night worrying about our little girl. Yet, (so far) she always comes home.
As @jaytkay pointed out that when she doesn’t return…. Well, yes that’s a large void to fill.
It’s a tough call. One you have to make.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I can’t imagine any fixed and domesticated cat leaving home for any reason. They always stay where the food and warm bed is. As long as they don’t get hit by a car or deliberately stolen, they will always come home. We always had indoor/outdoor cats when I was growing up, but we lived out in the country. Now that I am a city girl, I don’t dare let them out. Too dangerous!

JLeslie's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt I don’t know. A friend of mine had a cat for about 10 days when it never came back. It was a grown cat from the shelter. We don’t know if something bad happened to it or if it ran off I guess.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

@JLeslie The cat probably went to try to find it’s previous owner. Ten days isn’t long enough for a cat to really bond with a new owner. When my sister got married, she took her cat with her to her new house, which was over 15 miles away, across busy highways and everything. After disappearing at my sister’s house, he showed up back at our house, as if nothing had happened.

JLeslie's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt I thought the same thing. That maybe the cat when searching for an old household he lived out. I’m not sure how the cat wound up at the pound.

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