June 4th, 2004, 09:06 AM
I just moved to a house in Montreal where I have a fenced backyard. Merlin is my 2 year old cat and grew up in an apartment since I adopted him at 6 weeks of age. Now that he has discovered the trees and the shrubs he spends hours out there. I'd like to install a kitty door that would give him in and out access to the yard without me being around to let him in and out.
Any suggestions, brands, etc. I have seen various models at the pet stores, but I'd like to get people's feedback.
June 4th, 2004, 09:18 AM
I would never let my cat outside. Too many things can happen that you have no control over. Besides the obvious dog and car issue, you have plenty of contagious diseases and lots of sick and twisted humans.
I try to be courteous to my neighbors and don't allow my animals to do things that my neighbors might not like. My dogs don't bark outside and they don't poo in other people's yards. They are not allowed to roam about either. My cats aren't allowed outside to kill birds in the neighbor's bushes, poo in their gardens or walk all over their cars.
June 4th, 2004, 09:25 AM
I agree LavRott....my cats don't go outside either, unless they are on their leash and harness and I am out there with them at ALL times! I couldn't bear to lose them so I'm a very cautious Mommy.... They have always been inside cats, and along with all the other dangers in the outside world, I can't imagine them being happy anywhere else but inside with us! :D
June 4th, 2004, 10:14 AM
Thanks for your input. I agree with you two in some way. However, I see my cat as a living animal who needs to live his life to the fullest within security reason. If I did not have an enclosed yard and lived near the highway, I would be more concerned.
I feel that walking a cat with a harness is an approach close to what we see in a circus where animals are tamed to do tricks, which I don't think is in their true nature.
Obviously cats and dogs have been so domesticated over the years that they are able to adapt to an in-door life, but when I watch mine outside having fun playing with the flies and butterflies, hiding the bush and watching birds, compared to being bored indoors watching TV, it makes no doubt in my mind that he's happy. I see him as a creature that I share my life with, not as a pet that I own for my sole satisfaction.
By no mean do I mean to upset either of you. I understand your point of you, and I respect it.
Still, if anyone has information about kitty doors, I would love to hear from them.
June 4th, 2004, 12:05 PM
Philippe, I agree with you that cat do love to be outside, living the natural life.
There's just one problem with that - the city is hardly a "natural environment" for animals, and the dangers are many. Other cats, dogs, cruel people, cars, poison, etc.
If your fence is high enough, and solid enough that you are sure your cat cannot escape, you can get the pet doors at most petstores, and they are easy to install if you have a sliding glass door.
To make sure your cat can't jump the fence, you can put a border of wire (chicken wire, or similiar) around the top and have it bent downwards to make a barrier that your cat cannot get past.
As for walking dogs and cats on harness and leash, it's not to get satisfaction, but to keep them SAFE.
June 4th, 2004, 12:13 PM
I agree with the others.
Also something to consider about the cat doors,are you prepared for other cats along with raccoons and other animals to enter your house?
And please don't say that would never happen.It has happened and I have heard many of the stories about it..
June 4th, 2004, 06:58 PM
No worries Phillipe - I'm not upset and I'm certainly not going to berate you for allowing your cats outdoors. Thats your choice! :D
Just to clarify though, I don't "walk" my cats on a harness - what I do is I put on their harness, and they each have a 25 foot lead that I hold onto while I'm sitting there watching them. They still are able to roam free in the yard and chase butterflies and hide in the bushes, but I am more able to catch them if they decide to jump the fence or scoot under the gate, because of the lead. It makes me feel better knowing they are safe - thats all!! They still get a taste of the outdoors and I know that they will be safe!! And Lord knows, a cat tells you LOUD & CLEAR when it is time for them to go outside!!! LOL
Regardless of your decision, good luck! Go to a good pet store or pet supply store and just ask some of the more knowledgeable staff - they should be able to give you loads of info on the kitty doors. :D
June 4th, 2004, 08:28 PM
Mona,I too was going to mention coons,strange cats etc....I do not believe cat-doors are ideal,unless you only use them when you are home and only let the cat out when you are there to keep an eye on him and the door.
My 3-cats are only outside with me,in the summer for several hours,in the winter 2minutes :D
I have high fences and hedges,but cats can scale just about any fence if they want too,I am sure mine would was I not out there with them.But we somehow trained them not to jump,I have a large enough backyard with trees and stuff for them to enjoy and after a few hours,they are more than happy to go back inside.
Someone I know has an electronic cat-door,I am not sure what that is all about or how it works.
I also wanted to say,there are so many people who find they are restricting their cats by not letting them roam,sadly we read it all the time in our"Lost and Found"thread and when it's about cats,most of the time they stay lost :(
June 4th, 2004, 08:31 PM
Someone I know has an electronic cat-door,
Yeah! It's like the invisible fence idea. The cat wears a radio collar, and that opens the cat door, so no other animals can follow the cat into the house.
June 4th, 2004, 08:45 PM
Thank's Lucky!! That is the little Maine Coon the people let out at 5 months old and he kept coming to my house,they would let him out in the morning when they went to work and he would be out until 6pm.
I thought he was lost,called HS(no kill!)
after I'd been feeding him for a few days,he was adorable.
He was microchipped so HS called the owner and he got his cat.
We had a long talk and they realized the dangers of leaving him out all day,so now he goes out for short stints,seldom leaves his backyard and goes in through the electronic door.
Is it as dangerous as the invisible fence can be?
June 5th, 2004, 07:16 AM
One thing to remember is that if you do have a cat door - what it lets out can also let in. My daughter had a family of racoons in her basement because she had a cat door - they helped themselves to the cat food and wrecked the basement :D Also in Montreal you get a lot worse weather than down in Ontario - and your heating bills would be way up. I only have one cat that doesn't go outside, the others do, but not far as they are elderly and not quite so sure of themselves anymore - I just play door opener with them. We live in a small town and are surrounded by a large garden and backed onto by a field and scrub bush. I know many of you would be horrified that I let my cats outside, but that is what we chose to do. Never had a problem doing that, and our vet approves.
June 6th, 2004, 03:26 PM
Thank you all for the great feedback and experience you shared with me. Exactly the input I was looking for.