Make sure your new cat or kitten outside has identification before releasing, preferably a microchip put under the skin on the scruff of the neck or a collar that is securely attached and includes a tag with your contact information.
Before going outside, it’s a good idea to make plans for how you’ll eventually allow your cat or kitten access to the outside. If you spend a lot of time at home, you might wish to provide access “on demand,” such as through a carefully located window or the back door. However, if you work during the day, you can decide to install a cat flap. The rules you set for any time limits on access outside will be influenced by the surroundings in the area. You might want to confine your kitten or cat at sunset so that it can spend the night inside. You might also want to limit its access to the outside during times when there may be a lot of local traffic.
When your kitten is 13 to 14 weeks old, following its initial series of vaccinations, you should wait at least a week before letting it outside. This is due to the possibility of contracting diseases like enteritis or cat flu (depending on the vaccine). Then, if it’s being observed, you could let it go outdoors to explore. Once your kitten has had all of its vaccines and has grown accustomed to living in your house, you can start letting it go outside more frequently. However, before allowing your kitten free access to the outdoors, be sure it has been neutered (at around 4 months). You should first make sure your garden is secure for your cat before you cover any ponds, fill any fencing gaps, or remove any potentially hazardous garden items or supplies like wood preservatives, insecticides, sharp objects, etc.
Your kitten or cat needs to become accustomed to answering your calls when you call to it. This can be accomplished by rewarding it with little treats. You then have a little bit of control when you go outside to call them in.
Choose a dry day (if possible) and a quiet time when letting your cat out to explore its new surroundings. In order for your kitten (or cat) to focus on you and not be frightened during the first few outings, it’s best to avoid excitements like other cats, dogs that might bark, and children shouting in the neighbor’s garden. Stop accompanying your cat once it is comfortable in your garden and can safely return to the home. It is better to wait until your kitten is 6 months old and neuter it before granting it unsupervised access to the outdoors (from 4 months of age).
If you recently bought an adult cat, you were likely advised to give it two to three weeks to become used to its new home. While some cats may do well during this period, others will be impatient to leave the house. Generally speaking, sticking to the timetable is ideal, especially if you think there have been any signs of apprehension since it was introduced. When deciding when to allow your cat outside for the first time, choose a peaceful, dry time right before a normal mealtime when you are at home all day. Bring your cat outside with you, but don’t be concerned if it gets lost in the underbrush. This is a common strategy to help it adapt to its new environment in a place where it may see without being watched. Leave the back door open at first. Call your cat inside for its breakfast after 30 to 60 minutes. The next day, repeat the procedure. Most cats don’t require this kind of gradual introduction because they rapidly become used to exploring their new territory outside. The more cautious cats, on the other hand, might profit from progressively increasing their time spent outside during the first several days.
In order to lessen the dangers of outdoor access while maintaining the high level of enrichment that the outdoors offers, some cat owners decide to put up a confined outdoor area for their kitten. Depending on the features and size of the garden, options include:
- Cat fence barriers are ideal if your current fence can accommodate an overhanging barrier.
- A privet hedge can be covered with cat enclosures, a sort of cat fencing, to separate different portions of your garden.
- Smaller suburban patios or scenarios requiring a mesh roof option for enhanced security are suitable for Catios.
Some people wonder how well-suited adult cats that have never been outside will be to adjusting to life there. However, cats are remarkably adaptable, and there are several examples of cats who have spent the most of their lives indoors appreciating the opportunity to wander outside in a novel environment. They could first experience some anxiety, but the majority of them rapidly get used to it. It’s incredible to consider that all of this basic behavior has lain dormant but is still capable of awakening when the cat has the opportunity to act in a way that is natural to it. Even some cats hunt occasionally.
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