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

minish

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I have no knowledge about airhorns but minish stopped dashing by pure chance. I live in an apartment and someone was coming up the stairs. She screamed her lungs out because minish surprised her. Minish was so afraid she lost control of her bowels. From then on, she cautiously checks out a few meters outside the apartment door and comes in.
Then she discovered the balcony. Started to dash out and I'm on the 3rd floor. She still dashes out but doesn't do crazy acrobatics since she saw I was fearing for her life. She checks on my reactions for that kind of cues (lightning, heavy machinery sounds.. Looks at me before she reacts). This is a great advantage if your kitten is the same.
Minish stays in a house and allowed outside during summers. For luring her in, we use extra yummy treats or laser pointer. It works unless she's just eaten and very full. We never open doors after her evening meal. She had strayed overnight sometimes until she was 2 years old. Such sleepless nights..
 

Meowmee

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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



In Arizona, there's lots of danger for cats to go outside. javelinas and coyotes! 😲
Do not let him roam freely, it is not safe. No matter where, and I say that as someone who had mostly indoor outdoor cats years ago, who were ok but well trained. The problem is there is always that one time that something bad happens. It is not worth the risk. I do not even take for walks anymore because that is a risk too, we were once was chased by a loose dog attacking in our own garden etc. No harm except a fright fortunately, because kitty ran under a bush and I scared the dog away.
Spray bottle if used correctly will not damage your relationship, but I prefer the pennies/ can. You could use any object that will make noise but coins are really good.
 

Caspers Human

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You can probably find an air horn at Walmart or some such place.
Look in the sporting and fishing section. They are often used on small boats or canoes as warning devices.
Some jurisdictions require some kind of horn or loud warning device on any boat that goes in public waterways.

They usually come in two sizes. One is about as big as an oversized coke can with a long trumpet, about 6", on top. There is a miniature sized kind, small enough to hold in one hand. Both of these are really loud. Probably in excess of 90-100 decibels (dB) at close range.

(50 - 60 dB is the loudness of your average human conversational voice, measured from arm's length.)
(85 dB is the legal limit, set by OSHA, for noise in machine shops or factories. Above 85 dB, hearing protection is mandatory.)
( 100 dB is the loudness of the sound of a firetruck siren.)

So, yes! Those little horns you buy at Walmart are LOUD!
If you've ever seen YouTube videos of people scaring each other with air horns right next to the ears, it's STUPID!
NEVER blow an air horn closer than arm's length from anybody's face/head or you might damage somebody's hearing!

If you're planning on using an air horn for your cat, make sure it's done from a distance. By that, I mean a good ten feet away.

My late mother in law had a little, Chihuahua dog. She (the mother in law) had suffered a stroke and couldn't walk or talk. She couldn't manage the dog when it misbehaved because of it. Normally, one would only need to shout or clap their hands to discipline such a little dog but, since she was laid-up, she couldn't do that. We thought that one of those pocket sized air horns would do the trick.

I tried the air horn on the dog when it misbehaved and it worked. All that was needed was a little tap on the horn.
You don't need to blast it.

But my mother in law was a crotchety, old bird from the start and the stroke affected her mind even more. She started to get her jollies scaring the dog with the air horn. She used up the whole can of air in one day so, after that, we refused to buy her another. We eventually had to rehome the dog. Luckily, the people we got the dog from had a good take-back policy!

So...Cautionary tale! Don't harass the cat with the horn! That would be bad!
You only need to give a tiny tap on the horn!

I suggest you verbally warn the cat before giving him the horn... "Kitty! No door!"
Then, if he still doesn't listen, give him a tiny, little "BIP!" on the horn. Not even a half-second!
That ought to be enough to scare the crap out of almost any cat. (Literally! ;) )

Remember this: It's not the horn that's disciplining the cat to stay away from the door. It's YOU!

YOU set the rules. You decide on what to do when rules are broken and you absolutely must reward your cat when he does what you want... Praise, petting, play and treats!

Always be absolutely consistent with sanctions and rewards. Like I said, be like a "RoboCop!"

Do it consistently. Do it every time, all the time. Always fair! Never punitive!

Do it like that and I bet it won't take, maybe, two or three tries before your cat starts getting the message... "No door!"
 
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danteshuman

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I shake the water bottle as a warning & spray the floor in front of him before I spray his feet (& I only spray him if he persists) So1 verbal warning 2 bottle shake or spray the ground 3 probably another verbal 4 paws or backside get squirted. If you do the air horn I suggest the warning system to ...... though given a cat’s sensitive hearing they might prefer the water bottle!

I live in an area with cars, coyotes & hawks! So I worry about my guy escaping. My little twerp is a maverick about getting out of his harness once he gets the leash caught on something. (He escapes any type of harness.)

So just in case your cat gets out let me give you my escape cat tips:

1) stay calm if you are angry the cat will never let you catch them!

2) listen for rustling noises and look under things (a flashlight will reflect the light back in their eyes.) When my guy is super hyper he will hide under bushes and crawl away from me! 🤦🏻‍♀️ So listening carefully may help you find your cat faster than looking with your eyes. Most cats hide & stay real close to their home.

3) walk slowly behind your cat (my twerp will walk me for 1-5 minutes before he lets me catch him.) Jackie just walks 10-15 feet ahead of me and slowly lets me get closer. I talk to him the whole time.

4) reward don’t punish your cat for letting you catch them. I just tell my 🤬🤬🤬 twerp that he forgot his harness, pet him, take him back to my patio, put his harness on & then walk him (reward so his fun doesn’t end when I catch him.)

⭐ My guy doesn’t escape when I walk him. I live in an apartment complex so I let him run around/hunker down to hunt things on his long leash. I also keep a closer eye on him and stop him from escaping & untangle his leash.

⭐Jackie would be an indoor only cat but he is to hyper for that! If I could though, he would be indoors or in a catio!
 

Caspers Human

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Yes, I agree! Progressive warnings are the way to do it! :)

Tell the cat, "No!" If he doesn't listen, give a warning. If he still doesn't listen, apply a small corrective action. If he still doesn't obey, give him the whole thing. If THAT doesn't work, you go get the cat, pick him up, take him away from the scene of the crime and, if necessary, put him in a room and close the door for five minutes.

It's really a lot like disciplining a two-year old child.

Also remember! If the cat does what you want... Play! Pets! Praise! Treats! Toys! Good kitty!

Even if you do end up disciplining your cat, after you let him out of his "time-out room" you still have to "make nice" with him, afterward.

Just remember: "Good kitty!" = Fun! -- "Bad kitty!" = No-Fun!

Even on those couple occasions when Casper escaped and we had to haul his fuzzy, little butt back into the house we DID play with him once we got back inside, safe and sound.

A cat has an average attention span of only a few minutes. After the anxiety of disobeying and getting punished wears off, you want to reinforce the good aspects of his behavior.

You can catch more flies with honey! Right?
 

danteshuman

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🤣 “scene of the crime” 🤣 Jackie knows I mean business when I get up (since I’m basically on bedrest.) So he stays on the counter, I tell him off 5 or more times, I start to get up and he gets down immediately! “Oh 💩 she is serious about the counter thing!” 🤣

You have to reward or correct a behavior within 1-2 seconds of the cat’s action for the cat to link your reaction to their action. If not, they just think you went crazy and punished them for nothing! This applies to clicker training to.

I like to distract my guy out of his bad behavior or gently annoy him to good behavior. Just remember for every negative interaction with your cat, you need 9 or more positive interactions. It is easier to change the environment then to train your cat.

Jackie gets 15-30 minutes of time out when he is super naughty or I have a migraine coming. All it does is let him reset so he doesn’t keep doing the same naughty thing & still be focused on his naughty ambition. When he comes out I can distract him with something new (wand toy.) It really isn’t a time out; it is more like kitty quiet time.
 
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shebaa

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Update: Not going well. He leaves the yard more often now and today I found him out the yard in some bushes. I've been using spray bottle, which works whenever someone actually uses it. Not getting the full support with everyone, to a point someone will leave the door wide open. So frustrating! Waiting for my airhorn to arrive, hopefully that helps too.
 
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shebaa

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Jackie gets 15-30 minutes of time out when he is super naughty or I have a migraine coming. All it does is let him reset so he doesn’t keep doing the same naughty thing & still be focused on his naughty ambition. When he comes out I can distract him with something new (wand toy.) It really isn’t a time out; it is more like kitty quiet time.
Time out? What do you do?
 

Ashanti

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I've used a cage on the past for kitty time out. It did work to redirect a cat that nothing else worked on.
 

ArtNJ

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Without everyone helping, this isn't going to work. It might be that the best you can do is if a coyote is spotted in your area, keep the cat in your bedroom. Well, that would work in my area, where coyotes are rare and have only been transient visitors, but I understand it may not work in your areas.

I don't think a time out will work for this. Its not immediate enough, like a squirt gun or airhorn.

The previously mentioned idea of a catio is very unlikely to eliminate the desire to go out the front door.
 
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shebaa

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Without everyone helping, this isn't going to work. It might be that the best you can do is if a coyote is spotted in your area, keep the cat in your bedroom. Well, that would work in my area, where coyotes are rare and have only been transient visitors, but I understand it may not work in your areas.

I don't think a time out will work for this. Its not immediate enough, like a squirt gun or airhorn.

The previously mentioned idea of a catio is very unlikely to eliminate the desire to go out the front door.
coyotes come often. the other day out ducks got out. we went looking for them and a lady had them saying a coyote was chasing them. the lady chased away the coyote. and it was day time. I wasn't expecting that. Can't wait till air horn to be delivered.
 

danteshuman

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Holy ____ there are coyotes in your yard sometimes?!?!?!? If you can’t keep the cats safely inside they are in serious danger! Coyotes kill small cats and dogs! I moved to a city in the hills 3 years ago where coyotes may appear (I live by a golf course.) My kitty’s outside time is restricted to daylight or no walking near the hedge (where a coyote could hide) & I keep a close eye on him. I look under the hedge when I walk him all the time & make a lot of noise. I lived in another coyote area years ago and saw a coyote cross a 4 lane street in the afternoon to cross from the golf course to my condo neighborhood (where there was a fake waterfall/stream & ducks.) We heard stories of coyotes jumping out from under a bush to take/kill a small dog out on a walk. A coyote can kill a at in seconds and study after study shows that they can & do regularly eat pets!

Your cat’s best bet might be for you to move. In your position on a scale of 1-10 my worry would be at least a 9 if not a 13! Meaning I’m not sure all your cats will be alive in a year (& that a coyote won’t pick one off.) If I lived by a busy street or a highway I wouldn’t let my cats out on their own either!

Time out: I calmly place my little twerp in the bedroom and close the door. Then ignore him for 15-30 minutes. Then calmly open the door and let him out. (While he is tucked inside the room I can take migraine medication or hide/move whatever he is obsessing about. If he is hyper I can play with him or give him interactive toys when he gets out. Honestly he is a super chill well behaved cat provided he gets his outside time.

Trust me my cat is very content being inside most of the day. Because I’m home, he gets up to 4 hours outside in the best weather. On cold days like today he lays on my lap and looks out the open (just enough to let him out) sliding glass door most of his outside time. But 2 is his normal. He rolls around in dirt, chases (& sometimes catches) things, climbs trees, walks & marks his territory....... all while being in his harness & leash. His Velcro vest is comfortable & easy to take on & off.
 

Ashanti

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Your cat’s best bet might be for you to move.
This may not be possible due to finances especially not for a disabled person in a wheelchair.

Which is why we've been trying to suggest things that can be done from a seated position and possibly a few feet away from the door.

A water gun is something else that could work, actually.

I've taken my boy when he's healthy for supervised outside time. I had to stop, as for my cat it increased his door dashing. As he wanted out every time we walked anywhere near the door.
 

ArtNJ

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I don't think the airhorn will work either with household members not cooperating. Cats can certainly distinguish who cares from who doesn't. Heck, mine can tell when I am paying attention to the door and when I'm not. It may be that you need to keep him in your room full time. Millions of cats live in a studio with no problems.
 

danteshuman

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A set time/ritual every day helps a lot with harness time. Then when he comes in, give him a meal. However if you are not able to do it every day, then a little window catio might be your best bet.

I’m not sure about the family. Maybe hang squirt bottles outside inside by the door. 😈 Then evil & probably illegal suggestion: make it known if your cat gets hurt/lost/injured outside they can expect the same treatment to their cars? 😈 I don’t know that kinda threat is about the only thing my a-hole side of the family would respond to ....... & honestly I would rather be homeless then live with them!

I am on SSI so I hear you about finiances. I would suggest you call your local social worker and ask them to point you in the right direction for independent living. In my case it subsidized housing that I was on a waiting list for 3 years for. So do your research and get on the list now. There are quite a few programs to help the disabled with food (meals on wheels.) Again a social worker can help. Here in CA, USA they offer you discounted internet, HEAP which gives the gas or electric company $500 credit to your account each year. So doing research & asking for help can change your life in positive ways. Believe me, I know the advantage of getting away from toxic family members!
 

danteshuman

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If you keep him in your room then a window catio or daily harness time, I think is needed. You can also let him run around inside the house on a long leash with close supervision (to untangle the leash.) That way you give him time out of your room but he stays safe.
 
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shebaa

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coyotes do not come in the yard, they wander in the neighborhood. and my kitty has now wandered off out the yard a couple times.
i want to move because of this, since a certain someone isnt helping, he doesnt even tell me when my cat takes off, and im just here thinking hes inside the whole time! but rent is crazy right now and im on ssi. i am on a waiting list for 2 apartments but both dont allow pets! 1 apartment has finally called me but with no pets allowed, thats a huge deal breaker. ive never heard a social worker providing that kind of help. ive told mine and she only gave me a list of apartments.
kitty has a window bed in my room. at first i didnt allow him outside but figured maybe he will stop dashing out if he has outside time. so then i let him. it just made it worse, he wants out all the time. and he broke my trust when i saw him out the gate. so hard cause i had to put my cat down almost a year ago, it broke me. she was my everything, and i dont want to lose this kitty😢
 

Ashanti

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I've had to threaten to take people to court and force them to pay for anything that happened to my cat because of their inattention. I also threatened to press animal cruelty charges. They decided to pay better attention thankfully.

Sometimes you have to be pretty extream to get someone to listen and do as you ask.
 

Caspers Human

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Without everyone helping, this isn't going to work.
No, it won't! If everybody isn't on the same page, the cat will never learn the rules. He will learn who is the authoritarian and who is a pushover. He will avoid the authoritarian and gravitate toward the softie. Whenever the "boss" is around, he'll behave but, as soon as the boss turns their back, he'll go right back to doing the unwanted behavior.

As an example, have you ever come into the kitchen and caught your cat "counter surfing?" (Assuming that your rules don't allow the cat on the counters.)

What does the cat do? He quickly jumps down then plays it all nonchalant like he didn't do anything wrong.

Well, if one person is the boss and another person is the softie, the cat will be on the lookout for that. When the boss comes, he'll play it cool. When the softie is around, he'll do whatever he wants.

The same thing will happen with your "door dasher" kitty if everybody doesn't consistently enforce rules.

Cats often act like two-year old kids! Sometimes, you have to treat them that way when they misbehave.

A water gun is something else that could work, actually.
I have a story about one of my cats. My second cat, named "Jerry," was born feral and was brought inside as a kitten. I adopted him from a girl who I used to work with because she couldn't keep all the kittens and they needed homes. I adopted Jerry out of sympathy for my coworker who was afraid that she would have to put him in a shelter.

Because of being born feral, Jerry didn't have good litter box habits. He was fond of peeing in the potted plants.
I put some rocks in the planters but he just pushed them aside and peed, anyway. I put chicken wire over the pots but he just peed through the mesh. I tried hollering, clapping hands, stomping and time-outs. Nothing worked because Jerry thought he was "supposed to" pee in dirt, not the litter box.

One day, I was standing in the living room, about five feet away from a large potted plant when Jerry hopped up and started peeing.
What balls that cat had!

There was a "SuperSoaker 1000" water gun laying on the table and it was fully loaded and pumped up.
I picked it up and used my "mean voice" to yell, "Jerry! NO!!!" Then, I let him have it right between the eyes from point-blank range!
The cat skedaddled and hid under the sofa for about an hour but he never peed in the plants again.

I can't say that I'm proud to admit doing such a thing but, in my own defense, it was done in the heat of the moment, out of sheer frustration. It is the one and only time when squirting water on a cat ever actually worked for me, as intended.

If you try such a thing with your cat, it MUST be done with absolute consistency and you have to catch the cat "red handed."

Same thing goes for the air horn... Every time, the very moment the cat misbehaves.

About coyotes... Yes, I am confident that coyotes HAVE been in your yard. You just don't see them. They are sneaky, little buggers!

I used to live close to town, near the airport. There were coyotes roaming the airport grounds at night but I never thought they would come into my yard. I used to see tracks in my yard but I thought they were dog tracks.

It wasn't until I went outside, late at night, to take out the garbage when I came face to face with a coyote in my yard. It was, maybe ten or twenty feet away. I could have thrown a rock and hit it! I yelled and scared it away but I was still surprised to see it.

The next day, I went to the local Nature Center and spoke to one of the Environmental Educators from the State Department for the Conservation of Natural Resources. She gave me the lowdown on coyotes and showed me how to tell dog tracks apart from coyote tracks.

Coyote tracks are similar to a dog's but, if you know how, it's not hard to tell them apart.
Dogs have wider, rounder footprints with the toes splayed out. Coyotes have narrower footprints with the toes pointing more prominently forward.

I went back and looked at what I originally thought were dog tracks and discovered that almost all of them were coyotes.

After that, followed that educator's advice and made sure that my garbage cans were all closed up at night and that stopped most of them from coming into my yard. Only an occasional straggler.

This is why I tell you that it's almost a sure thing that you have coyotes in your yard but you just haven't seen them.

Here's a diagram that might help you tell the difference if you see tracks in or near your yard:
Coyote-vs-dog-tracks.png
(Click to enlarge picture.)

I hope you DON'T find any coyote tracks but, if you do, maybe you could take a picture of them, print it out and post it by the door so that everybody else can see.

Put a note next to the picture that says, "If a coyote ever hurts my cat, I'll do to you like the coyote did to my cat!"
;) ;) ;)
 
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