Q: My indoor cat wants to venture outside now. What do I do?
A: We have all experienced every cat owner’s nightmare, a guest in your home was careless about leaving the door open, and your precious indoor cat got out.
Most of these mishaps have a happy ending, unfortunately some of them do not.
The following tips and safety precautions can help keep your indoor cat safe inside, where they belong.
Train your cats to come when you call them.
This is not at all hard to do. Call their name and reward them with a treat each time they come to you. For many cats. simply hearing the sound of the treat bag coming out of the cabinet will do the trick, and that’s fine too. You need a reliable signal that tells your cat she/he needs to come to you. This will not only help in the event that your cat does get out, it will also be useful in emergency situations.
Use caution when opening doors.
Cat sitters are well aware that many cats are door darters, and they act accordingly. I use a indoor invisible fence system, because yes I have been subjected to the kitty escape, and once was enough as that took twenty years off my life. When coming into your home you can put your bags in the opening of the door before you even enter, that way, you gently push any curious kitties back into the house before you enter.
Distract your cat.
If you have a cat who consistently darts for the door when its being opened, distract them. Throw some treats into the hallway behind you before you leave, or ahead of you when you enter. Use a laser pointer to distract cats who respond to it. Don’t use squirt bottles to deter your cat. There is a trick to using the squirt bottle, if your cat sees you squirt them, this simply ruins the bond between you and your cat.
Use another entrance.
Another option is to not use your front door at all. There is always the garage entrance, this works well if you have a laundry room or a mud room that you can close the door before going to the garage. Having a double door entry is ideal as well, close your front doors before exiting or entering your screen doors.
Keep your cats in a seperate room.
Keeping your cats in a separate room when you have repair or service people in your home as they may have to enter and exit frequently. Its safe to keep kitty away from the activity until repairs are completed.
Make sure your cats are micro-chipped.
In the event that your cat gets lost, a microchip may be the only way she/he will be returned back home. Collars are important as well with updated information.
A few additional tips:
Cat proofing your exits and deterring him/her from hanging around the doors are essential management steps for you to take. Be sure that your windows and screens are not tattered. Tattered screens invite cats to escape. Its helpful to practice with your children as they often get distracted with their friends. Make sure all family members all watch for the cat’s attempt as they enter or exit your house.
Cats kept exclusively indoors live longer healthier lives than outdoor cats, prevention is the key to preventing your cat from getting outside.