How To Ensure A Safe Transition From Indoor to Outdoor Cat

Many cat owners ask what is the safest way to introduce their indoor cat to the outdoors. This may be because the cat is now old enough to go outside, the owner is moving homes or the cat is changing owners. The following advice will help you to ensure a safe transition from indoor to outdoor cat. However, the important thing to remember is to take things slowly and to pay attention to your cat’s behavior. In some cases, staying indoors or monitored outdoor play may be the safest option.


Visit the vet

Before you introduce your cat to the outdoors you must take him or her to the vet. The vaccinations for an indoor and outdoor cat are different. Outdoor cats have additional vaccinations for infections and viruses they may pick up outside and from other felines. Tell your vet that you intend to introduce your cat to the outdoors, and they will instruct you on the course of action. An outdoor cat is also more likely to pick up common health problems such as worms and fleas. So before they go outside stock up on the appropriate medication from for example. If you have any other medical concerns about introducing your cat to the outdoors, ask your vet that’s what they are there for!

The first outing

Don’t be alarmed if your cat exhibits from strange behavior when it first experiences the outdoors. This is just a natural cat reaction. Cats have an acute sense of sight, smell, hearing and touch and when they go outside these senses are being bombarded with unfamiliar information. To make you and your feline feel safe and secure, you may wish to use a cat harness for the first couple of weeks. This will allow them to sniff out their new environment without you having to worry that they will run away in panic. Talk to them while they explore their new surroundings as this will also help to make them feel safe.

Keep outings regular

For the first few weeks of their new outdoor life, it is a good idea to stick to a regular time. For example, when you return from work and before you have fed them is an appropriate time. Because they will be hungry and pleased to see you home, they are less likely to disappear for a long time outside. Introduce a sound like clapping, shaking their food or whistling to get them to come inside. Reward their return by feeding them or with a few treats. This will train them to come inside whenever you need or want them to.

Don’t force anything

Some cats, for a variety of reasons, don’t take to the outdoors. Some won’t go out at all, and some only spend very short periods of time outside. If it is obvious that your cat is distressed by being outside, don’t force them to go out. If they prefer to be an indoor cat, there are plenty of ways to keep them happy and healthy.


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