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introducing a cat to the outdoors

kitten_kaboodle
April 15th, 2010, 08:36 PM
My cat is 6 years oldish..and has never been an outdoor cat. However now that the sun is out again im sensing that hes craving the sunlight. i would love to take him out to the park in the back and let him roll around or just wander (on leash and harness of course) however he pretty much hates harnesses and doesnt like being outside in his crate...is there a way that i can show him that the outside world can be a great thing? of course i will not be leaving him unattended out there. whats my first step?:shrug:

MyBirdIsEvil
April 15th, 2010, 08:39 PM
Really, if he has no inclination to go outside I wouldn't force him. A lot of cats are much happier just being inside. As long as he's happy that's all that matters.

If he just wants to be in the air and get some sun, is there anyway you can do a small outdoor enclosure and a cat door? That way if he DOES want to go out for a bit he can choose to without being forced and come back in if he gets scared.

kitten_kaboodle
April 15th, 2010, 08:40 PM
hey loves to run in the halls of the building and sniff and explore. but if the elevator or a door makes a noise he bolts for home...

14+kitties
April 15th, 2010, 11:07 PM
I just need to ask you one question. Why? :shrug: Your kitty has been a well adjusted indoor kitty for sixish years now. Why do you want to risk harm by taking him outside? If he doesn't like harnesses and hates being outside in his crate I would think he is telling you something. He is happy being indoors.

There are so many things that can happen even with you with him all the time. He could panic and slip the harness and in his panic run right out onto the road. If dogs are allowed in the park you want to take him to and he isn't used to them then you can pretty much guarantee he will panic. I have seen cats panicking on harnesses. It isn't pretty. I have also seen them slip out of them. When cats panic they don't care that you are the person who loves them if you try to pick them up. They will rip your arms and whatever else they can get to to shreds to get away and back to their safe haven.

You say he is craving sunlight. I'm sure he's happy with the beams coming in the windows. If he is content to stay indoors why ruin a good thing? You are keeping him safe and being a responsible owner.

If you sense he is still craving sunlight then why not invest in something like this? One of our members has this for her cats. It would be a safe alternative. No cars, no dogs to harm him.

http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=51337

MyBirdIsEvil
April 16th, 2010, 12:18 AM
Every cat I've ever had that disliked a harness slipped it pretty easily. They're slinky, so all they do is put their front feet way out and slip out backward. I definitely wouldn't try taking a cat that isn't comfortable in a harness outside.

Jim Hall
April 16th, 2010, 01:19 AM
lol give him a sunny window with a nice screen if he has never been out belive me youur better that way he will probaly just freak out anyway

catlover2
April 16th, 2010, 10:31 AM
kitten_kaboodle, I wouldn't use a harness, unless you have a very laid-back cat and it's in a controlled environment like a fenced backyard. As other's have mentioned too many things can go wrong and it's not worth the risk.

Another alternative you can try is a Pet Stroller. I have one and the cats love it. They feel safe screened in from passing dogs on leashes (in fact a lot of dogs don't even notice them unless I stop to chat). And they have the benefit of getting sunlight and seeing different things. We live adjacent to a park and they love to go through there. They like it so much that if I say "Who wants to go for walkies?" they'll actually jump in the stroller ready to go. Other times they will sit in it, telling me they want to go! I usually pick a warm day (room temp or more) and not too windy. They don't like the wind too much particularly if it's cool. Most pet stores carry them---get a small dog size.

14+kitties
April 16th, 2010, 12:51 PM
lol give him a sunny window with a nice screen if he has never been out belive me youur better that way he will probaly just freak out anyway

As long as the screen is pet proof that's a great idea!

kitten_kaboodle, I wouldn't use a harness, unless you have a very laid-back cat and it's in a controlled environment like a fenced backyard. As other's have mentioned too many things can go wrong and it's not worth the risk.

Another alternative you can try is a Pet Stroller. I have one and the cats love it. They feel safe screened in from passing dogs on leashes (in fact a lot of dogs don't even notice them unless I stop to chat). And they have the benefit of getting sunlight and seeing different things. We live adjacent to a park and they love to go through there. They like it so much that if I say "Who wants to go for walkies?" they'll actually jump in the stroller ready to go. Other times they will sit in it, telling me they want to go! I usually pick a warm day (room temp or more) and not too windy. They don't like the wind too much particularly if it's cool. Most pet stores carry them---get a small dog size.

Are those pet strollers safe for a cat that is jumpy or nervous? I would be afraid seeing as kitty already doesn't like harnesses and leashes and he sounds like he is a jumpy kitty to begin with - but if the elevator or a door makes a noise he bolts for home... - I wouldn't want to take the chance. :shrug: AG takes Vlad out in one but he gets a harness on first and attaches it to the stroller somehow.

cell
April 16th, 2010, 05:39 PM
If your cat loves the indoors I would say count your blessings and keep him there. When i was a kid we got a new cat after our old one got hit by a car, so we wanted to keep the new cat inside to avoid the same situation again. He ripped all the carpet out near the patio door so we started letting him out, he lived 12 years, and then got hit by a car. Cats that go outside can be a nuisance to neighbours and are in much more danger, and catch wild birds which is bad for biodiversity. Unless you have a cat pen, I would say just leave him inside where he seems happier.

Tundra_Queen
April 17th, 2010, 06:06 AM
I tried Willie in a harness and he slipped out of it. Thank goodness we were in the backyard and not out the front where the busy road is! It took me a while to get him back in the house too. So I never took him out again...I figured some one was trying to tell me to keep Willie in the house.

catlover2
April 17th, 2010, 08:10 AM
14+k, you were wondering if the stroller's safe for "a cat that is jumpy or nervous?" The one I have is. The cat is zipped in and the screen material where he sees out is tough nylon that cannot be ripped. One of my cats has a quick 'startle response' or "chicken cat" as my hubby likes to call him, and I often take him out by himself. He's so busy gawking around at all the sights and sounds, just really curious. Occasionally he gets a bit scared if there's some children who approach, but he just crouches down and doesn't try to get out of the stroller (not that he could anyway). If he's at home, when the doorbell rings he bolts to a bedroom and under the bed. He's getting better than he used to be, tho, in kitchen when the microwave beeped he would tear out of the room. Got used to that now.

14+kitties
April 17th, 2010, 08:30 AM
14+k, you were wondering if the stroller's safe for "a cat that is jumpy or nervous?" The one I have is. The cat is zipped in and the screen material where he sees out is tough nylon that cannot be ripped. One of my cats has a quick 'startle response' or "chicken cat" as my hubby likes to call him, and I often take him out by himself. He's so busy gawking around at all the sights and sounds, just really curious. Occasionally he gets a bit scared if there's some children who approach, but he just crouches down and doesn't try to get out of the stroller (not that he could anyway). If he's at home, when the doorbell rings he bolts to a bedroom and under the bed. He's getting better than he used to be, tho, in kitchen when the microwave beeped he would tear out of the room. Got used to that now.

:thumbs up Thanks