Cat is a serial runaway

Pinkgemma

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jul 13, 2020
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Hello, I’m desperate for help so advice greatly appreciated.
I have 2 cats, 3 years old, brother and sister. He is great, she is more difficult. She is tiny. Only 2kg and is terrified of everything. We moved house a year ago and she seems to really like it here as we have a huge field and woods at the back. Winter was fine, but summer has been awful. We have a cat flap, so she goes out then doesn’t come home for days. We go over to the woods and call her and she calls back, but won’t come home or let herself be seen. We have also tried not calling her and leaving her to it, but she stayed out for 3 days that time. It seems like if anyone else is around she won’t come home as she is too scared. There are often men fishing, our neighbours or farmers around. When she comes home it’s normally 3/4am a few days later. It’s got longer and longer each time though.
This only started when it got really warm this summer.
Now you might think, she is fine, leave her to it. But when she comes home she is so distressed, hungry and thirsty and jumpy
We have kept her in this time as I cannot handle the stress. I’m 6 months pregnant with a lot of anxiety. She hates being in and occasionally wees on the carpet. She cries to go out and it’s hard to keep her in. I cannot stand the thought of losing her at the moment. I love her too much and can’t handle the upset.
I don’t know what is the kindest thing to do for me and her?
We have tried letting her out only a little but before meals, but once she is gone she is gone for days!
Any thoughts?
 

FeebysOwner

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 13, 2018
Messages
10,429
Reaction score
13,379
Location
Central FL (Born in OH)
Hi. I think you will have to suffer through getting her to understand she can no longer go out - which could take a while. Or, consider buying/building a catio. See link below for ideas about catios/cat enclosures. If you don't do one or the other, there will come a time she won't come back - for whatever the reason might be.
All About Catios & Cat Enclosures - Catio Spaces

Maybe others will have some additional ideas...
 

Mamanyt1953

Rules my home with an iron paw
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Oct 16, 2015
Messages
23,131
Reaction score
36,060
Location
Havelock, North Carolina
Be sure to enrich the INSIDE as much as you can. Shelves placed for climbing, cat trees, perches by windows for safe outside viewing.

Um...she IS spayed, right? If not, do that NOW!

And, as FeebysOwner FeebysOwner says, stick to your guns. Eventually, she will understand that she can't go out.
 

ArtNJ

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 1, 2017
Messages
2,839
Reaction score
3,148
I think sooner or later the cat wouldn't come back if you didn't make the switch, so you don't have a choice.

You might be right that the cat gets scared trying to come back, but when the weather is good some cats just dont seem very attached to the idea of coming home. Maybe they catch and eat something, or are having too much fun, or who the heck knows. But I do think its very much a warning sign if it goes too long, to be ignored at your (and the cat's) peril.

Also, I don't want to lecture you, but your cat is really small and that matters. You get below a certain size, a fox doesn't have to think about it. A coyote never has to think about it, but foxes will not pick on an adult size cat unless they feel like they don't have other prey. There are a lot more videos of cats fighting off foxes on youtube than there are of cats being killed by foxes. But the dynamic is just different for a tiny little thing like your cat. Being an outdoor cat is always risky, but being that size just stacks the deck against the cat.
 

fionasmom

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
1,651
Reaction score
2,469
Location
Los Angeles
I brought in two ferals, about 2 years old, who had become sociable over a long period of time. One is my avatar and the other is her almost identical sister. It got to the point that they had to come inside for their own safety. One had "visited" inside frequently, so was more used to it, but her sister had not...I just grabbed her and slammed the door forever. There was definitely an adjustment in which we were not sure if we would need to rescreen all the windows with cat proof screening, etc. Both have adjusted completely over a period of about 3 months. The more reluctant one has ironically become the more domesticated one.

I do agree that you are about to lose your cat if she is allowed to continue to go outside.
 
Top