Cats keep going outside...Your stories how to stop it

shebaa

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I have a 5 month old male, neutered, who keeps going outside. He loves it outside, inside he has lots of toys. I'm in a wheelchair so I can't try double sided tape at the door way which I would love to try.
What are your guys stories about your door dashers? Do kittens grow out of this phase? How did you get your cat to stop?
 

ArtNJ

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Unfortunately, they do NOT necessarily outgrow this. Its fun outside. Every escape provides encouragement, and makes the cat more fearless. If there are zero escapes, then yes, the behavior usually stops, but if there are escapes, this is not the case. I don't have high hopes for double sided tape and would immediately move to either clapping loudly, saying "no!" loudly or an air horn. An air horn is a much more reliable tool than a squirt gun. You might need to do some stomping with a cane as well, if you own one and are fit enough to do so. You don't havve to be standing, just whack the ground with it. If the cat realizes that once you turn around and fuss with the door its safe to bust out despite the racket and the stomping, your in trouble unless you live with someone that can simply grab the cat and put them in another room beore you leave. So the key is to overdo it a little bit, and scare the cat enough that it won't challenge you when you turn around and deal with the door. If all else fails, perhaps you can lure the cat into a room with a door with treats, and close the door, before you leave. This is the "airlock" method, but has its own hassles and difficulties.

You *might* get some relief with winter coming, although thats far from guarrantied. Some cats dont mind the cold.

Not gonna lie to you. If you live alone, this is a tricky issue with you being in a wheelchair. If you lose the battle with noise/cane stomping, and the airlock method is unworkable for you, not a lot of options left other than putting a cat door and accepting that you have an indoor/outdoor cat. I'm perfectly healthy, and yet have allowed enough escapes that noise/stomping is unreliable, and I need to be physically eyeing the cat as I leave, sometimes literally backing out. This is a first for me -- usually cats can be deterred more easily -- but you must win these battles or cats become more and more confident and less deterred. My cat currently views foot stomping as a video game like timing excercise. He hasn't actually escaped in months, but there have been enough escapes over a long enough period, that he has life long interest, and will go to the door when we do, ready to sieze upon any weakness.
 
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Caspers Human

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Living in AZ, this won't work for you but, here in Pennsyltucky, the weather gets cold this time of year.

When we first got our cat, Casper, he briefly escaped. It was January and there were several inches of snow on the ground.
He got as far as the front stoop, stopped and looked around at the snow and the cold for about fifteen seconds then headed back into the house where it was warm.

We never had a problem with Casper trying to escape after that!

He's one cat that knows which side of his bread had the butter on it! ;) ;) ;)

Can you think of some kind of "aversion therapy" for your cat so that he won't want to go outside anymore?
 

moxiewild

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Have you tried clicker training?
 
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shebaa

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Today he did what I was hoping he would never do, he left the yard. I am so scared and stress that something bad is gonna happen to him. He came in the yard but only after I opened the gate for him.
He knows clicker training to give me his paw. How would that work to keep him inside the house? I've clicked before when he was outside but didn't care about the treats, he just wants outside. People here are always going in and out so I don't know how to stop him.
 

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I am so scared and stress that something bad is gonna happen to him. He came in the yard but only after I opened the gate for him.
The younger he is the easier it is to try and train him. Is he microchipped and/or wear a cat safe breakaway collar in case he escapes and doesn't come back in?

People here are always going in and out so I don't know how to stop him.
I don't know how many people live in your household, are they all adults? Perhaps you can put your heads together and come up with a plan that everyone will stick to and be consistent. And have a back up plan in case the first one doesn't work. Best of luck! :crossfingers:
 
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shebaa

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he is microchipped. no to collar, he always takes it off right away. 3 other adults. i left a spray bottle near the front door. they will eventually forget to use it. they dont listen. they all tell me "he wont go anywhere" ummm he just left the yard.. :confused2:
 

maggie101

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Have you tried clicker training?
Clicker train is a great idea. I click, command Maggie come! then she runs over. Have someone help you build or buy a catio. My 3 cats have no interest in going outside because I play with them a lot,give brushes,72inch tower,chew toys,cubes for hiding,tall square shaped and slanted scratch posts
 

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With my cats blocking their path with something like a peice of cardboard often worked. A firm get away from the door enforced by a spray bottle also worked pretty well. I'm not sure what else to suggest other than training on comming when called.
 

maggie101

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Once I rescued my cat from being outside for 2 yrs she does not to go back,like she's afraid of the out doors,whenever it rains,thunders,gardeners,animals, she hides under the bed. I took her out once,holding her and she kept staring at the door. As long as he's given lots of tlc it is very possible he will not want to leave you. If you start with an indoor out door cat, it will be harder to have him stay indoors. My cat Maggie was a stray for 3 months, she played
with her siblings running up and down the tree. Now she will not go outside because she has me to protect her. Good luck!
 
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ArtNJ

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Its not necessarily the end of the world if the cat leaves the yard. Depends where you live, where the cat goes and what the situation is! One potentially important tip is that I would pay for the prescription flea and tick med that includes the anti-parasitic if your vet tells you its needed in your area. My cat essentially drowned, as heartworm gradually scars the lungs to uselessness over a period of years. Just one of the many dangers, but a truly insidious one.

Mobile adults can just stomp their feet. If they are paying attention, its really not hard to prevent escapes -- at least until/unless the cat loses fear of stomping feet.

Squirt gun isn't great, because some cats just aren't afraid of it. You could try an airhorn as I noted in my original post. Tends to be more reliable than a squirt gun.

But yes, if the adults are inconsistent and unmotivated, you have an indoor/outdoor cat. Tell your vet, get the appropriate shots and hope for the best. Many here have had bad experiences with indoor/outdoor cats, but depending on where you live, it can be a relatively modest risk. As in, if you have enough indoor/outdoor cats over enough years, eventually you will likely lose one, but any particular indoor/outdoor cat might live a full life. In my area, the order or risks is something like cars, other cats (not a lethal issue, but wounds are common), just wandering off and never being found, coyotes (rare here, but they will eat a cat), foxes (common, but not normally much of a risk for normal size adult cats) and as mentioned heartworm killed one of my cats. In Arizona, there may be other serious risks (scorpions?).
 
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Caspers Human

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This might be a long story but here goes...

When I was a kid, my parents owned a bar. (A saloon.) The bar was attached to our house.
We had a miniature schnauzer (dog) that wasn't allowed to go into the bar. There was a metal jamb on the floor, across the doorway separating the house from the bar. The dog was allowed to go as far as that metal jamb. Past that point, if the dog put so much as one foot past that metal strip, he got an empty beer can thrown at him.

The beer can didn't have to actually hit the dog. All that was needed was for the empty can to hit the cement floor anywhere near the dog. The sight and sound of a beer can clattering on the floor was enough to scare the dog away from the door.

Yeah... Imagine half a dozen drunken A-holes throwing beer cans at a little dog, laughing like hyenas.
That's what the memories of my formative years are like. I'm glad I don't live there anymore!

As cruel and sophomorically stupid as it was, that dog never put so much as one toenail past the threshold between the house and the bar.

No! I am not even remotely suggesting that you throw beer cans at your cat!

But, you, being in a wheelchair, have limited mobility so we'll have to learn to think on our feet.
(Okay... You can think sitting down. I'll think standing up. ;) ;) ;) )

However, picking up a small object and tossing it is something that a person using a wheelchair can do with relative ease.

What actions are you capable of performing can you do which would discourage a cat from getting too close to a door?

What if you took a soda can, partially filled with pennies, and shook it really hard?
Would that make a sound that would scare him away?

What about an airhorn? (Like A ArtNJ says.)

Put a line of duct tape on the floor, about six feet before you get to the door.

If the cat puts so much as one toenail past that line, do the "scary thing."

What about those canned air style automatic cat deterrent gizmos?
They are basically just a container of canned air with a motion detector on top, where the spray nozzle goes. If a cat gets too close to the device, it sprays a shot of canned air. Enough to scare any cat away!

Put one or two of those on the floor, near the door and put some tape on the floor to mark the limit of where your cat is allowed to go.

If the cat puts one paw over that line... P-SSSSSS-T!!!
 

danteshuman

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I know how to stop door dashing but the drive to go out never goes away. I suggest you get a catio or harness train your cat.


I was horribly mean and went against the advice of this site & used a squirt bottle to get my cat to quit door dashing out the front door. I sprayed the water in front of his feet. After a month or so he stopped all attempts and I didn’t need the squirt bottle at all. I just make the psssst psssssst sound & he backs away I made the sound with the squirt bottle.) I would try a penny can first but my cat was not fazed by penny cans. He was putting himself in danger trying to escape out my apartment door, otherwise I would not have resorted to such drastic measures. Now he knows the back door takes him outside where all the fun is & his harness = fun outside time.

Jackie gets daily 2 hours outside on the long leash. It calms him down.
 

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Meowmee

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You have to get the cooperation of everyone in the house to do this, so first talk with them and explain how important it is. I am having trouble visualizing the exact set up here and what double tape has to do with it exactly.

I definitely would try a spray bottle and the pennies etc. I trained Merlin to get away from the door when I feed my outdoor cats by shaking a coffee can with coins in it. But again it sounds like others may not comply with that. He really does not want out now except to get their food. He was previously dumped.

The catio is a great idea if you can do it because he can go in and out as he likes safely. And walks on harness also although that can be less safe and the cat has to be trained for it.
 

danteshuman

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Yeah Jackie started harness training at 2.5 months and went out my apartment in his harness at 4 months. So he was trained for it. If you go that route we can give you tips on how to do it. I trained my cat to get on a footstool to put on/take off his harness. I give him a couple of treats when I take his harness off. He reminds me about the treat part the few times I forgot & is a naughty twerp when he gets rained in for a few days!

You will need the whole house in agreement (& maybe a penny can or a squirt bottle hanging right next to the door so it is always on hand.) Cats need consistency when it comes to training. You can try putting a cat tree about 5-10 feet from the door and training him to go up there when you enter/exit. However it will require treats & with all the people in the house.... that may be an unhealthy amount of treats. The only thing I can think of is sssscat (motion activated air canisters) by the door to keep him away. Because regardless what other people in your house do, the canisters will work. However a highly motivated cat (especially one that has not been sterilized) will still sneak out.
 

Caspers Human

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I was just thinking about an air horn.

Gosh! If I ever did that to Casper, I'd have to use a spatula to scrape him off the ceiling! :eek3:
And I'd need a shovel to clean up the rest!

Casper is pretty skittish. 90% of the time, the most I ever have to do is holler at him and he scampers off and hides under the bed.

The basement is the only place in our house that's off-limits to Casper. The washer, dryer, furnace and water heater is down there. I store all my tools and household chemicals down there. It's no place for a cat but Casper still wants to go down there just because it's forbidden. If we leave the door open, even an inch, Casper will sneak downstairs. Occasionally, when I'm in the basement, I'll catch him at the top of the landing, checking to see if the coast is clear. A couple of times, he made it as far as the bottom of the stairs.

All I have to do is make a gruff voice and say, "Casper! GIT!" and wave my arm toward the upstairs.

Casper KNOWS he's not allowed downstairs but he'll try it any chance he gets. When it comes to the front door, however, it's a different story. He doesn't even try.

I told you how Casper decided that he wanted to be a house cat. Even so, there are still times when cats just need to know what's on the other side of the door. It's their nature. Yes, even Casper has had a few excursions outdoors. Thankfully, he was only out for a couple of minutes before he was corralled and hauled back inside.

First, always watch out to be sure the cat isn't near when you go out or come in. If he's near when you go out, distract him with a toy or shoo him away. Do the same when you go in but be extra mindful of the gap in the doorway as you first open it.

Insert penny cans, air horns and canned air traps here. (or spray bottle...if you really have to... :ohwell: )

Casper knows that, if he gets too close to the open door, he's liable to get the boot. Stomp on the floor or use your foot to push him out of the way. Don't actually kick the cat! "Getting the boot" is just an expression! Okay? ;)

When we open the door, from outside, we'll occasionally find Casper sitting, patiently, at the bottom of the stairs, waiting for us to come in and give him attention. If we've got groceries and things, the sound of the rustling bags often flares him off.
We'll occasionally have a fresh bag of kitty cookies or some other cat goodies in the bags which he has to go to the kitchen in order to get. He'll dutifully follow along and try to nose into the bags in order to get his "tribute."

I had to give Casper the boot only a few times, just at first, since we adopted him.
Don't worry. It won't hurt him as long as you don't actually kick him.
Hollering won't hurt a cat, either, even if you do have to peel him off the ceiling, afterward.

Just pick him up by the corners and give him a good shake like a pillow case. He'll fluff right back up.
What? You've never seen it happen in cartoons? You know! The giant anvil falls on the coyote, squashing him flat. Then the roadrunner comes by and gives him a shake to fluff him back up again.
;) ;) ;)

Kidding aside... When you do have to discipline a cat for something, consistency is key!

Set your rules, make them clear, then enforce them like Robocop... each time, all the time, always the same way.
The rules should never vary unless the exceptions are clear. For instance, if you have a fenced in back yard or a catio, the rule might be that he's allowed to go out the back door but not the front.

Outside, back door is GOOD!
Outside, front door is BAD!

Your average cat thinks on the level of about a two-year old child. Structure your rules, rewards and penalties like you would for a toddler.

Always apply them firmly.
Always apply them fairly.
Always reward with praise, petting and treats whenever they are good.

Do it each time, all the time and it won't be long before your cat learns the rules and how to obey them. :)
 
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imaginewizard

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i left a spray bottle near the front door.
I wouldn’t use a spray bottle (or really any punishment form of training) - cats don’t make that sort of cause and effect connection and just think you’re spraying them for no reason. It will damage your relationship with the cat and might even encourage them to want to out more.
 
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shebaa

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I also will try pennies in can. Problem is, who collects change these days?! lol. I Will have to go hunting for pennies

Its not necessarily the end of the world if the cat leaves the yard. Depends where you live, where the cat goes and what the situation is!
In Arizona, there's lots of danger for cats to go outside. javelinas and coyotes! 😲
 
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