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Escape Artist

Discussion in 'Cat Behavior' started by ans5181, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. ans5181

    ans5181 Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

    397
    1,132
    Oct 22, 2018
    Tallahassee, Florida
    For anyone who knows my cats on here, of course it's Jade that I'm talking about :ohwell:
    She is slipping by me outside multiple times a day and it's really stressing me out. I feel like she's bored, i'm not home a lot right now and when I am, i'm preoccupied with school, etc. She is fixed and microchipped, and I guess I'm going to get her a collar with a tag. I got a harness and leash for her yesterday, thinking she might like to walk outside, but she was so freaked out and then managed to slip out of the harness and that was the end of that. To be fair, I know that may take some time and acclimation. She really freaked me out this morning, she slipped out at 430am and wouldn't come back to me, I finally got her to after about 5 minutes. She is acting possessed, she runs around outside meowing and meowing, she is not trying to hide that she wants out and is meowing at the door acting all antsy. She's so little and fast (and black, so hard to see in the dark), it's not like I don't know she's going to try and run out but she can get past me when even i'm on guard. I live in an apartment complex, so it's parking lot and road right there, and i'm afraid she is going to get hurt or killed running around like a maniac. In addition, I feel like a bad cat mom, like I am failing her. Does she not want to be here anymore? What if she runs out one day and I can't get her back? I love her so much. Additionally, the apartment above me is being renovated so there has been a lot of noise lately, and they have parked a trailer right in front of the cats' favorite window, so now their view to the parking lot by the dumpster is totally blocked. Which I know sounds weird, but the dumpster equals animals and interesting people walking by way more than any other vantage point. Jade is also my resident bully, so I am just second guessing everything. Is she not happy living here? Idk i'm scared and frustrated with her in equal measure. I don't want to lose her and i'm scared it's just a matter of time, she's getting bolder and bolder. Does anyone else have this problem? Help!!

    :running:
     
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  2. Stinky15

    Stinky15 TCS Member Super Cat

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    Jun 9, 2018
    East TX
    Did she ever live outside or has she always been an indoor cat? If she has ever been an outdoor cat that could explain her behaviour.
     

  3. solomonar

    solomonar TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Jan 13, 2017
    Romania
    I used to walk my cat. He used to scratch the door every evening, asking to take him out. Now, one year later, he is indoor only, but still meows to the door sometime. :frustrated:
     
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  4. FeebysOwner

    FeebysOwner TCS Member Top Cat

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    5,925
    Jun 13, 2018
    Central FL (Born in OH)
    Hi. I don't think it is because Jade doesn't want to live with you anymore, she just LIKES being outdoors - and, on her own terms. And, the renovation work is probably playing a factor, as well as you not being home as much. Is there another room with a view you can encourage her to use? Is she currently allowed outdoors? Do you want her indoor only?

    If you are letting her be an indoor/outdoor cat, I am not sure what to suggest. Letting her out sometimes, but not wanting her out other times is going to be a hard concept to get across to her. In this case, about the only thing I know to suggest is that you put her somewhere else in your home where she cannot get to the door when you want to go out but don't want her to.

    See if there is anything in the article below that might help you stop her from running for the door.

    How To Prevent Your Cat From Darting Out The Door
     
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  5. ans5181

    ans5181 Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

    397
    1,132
    Oct 22, 2018
    Tallahassee, Florida
    She showed up on my doorstep as a stray outside, i'm going to estimate she was about 6 months old. So at some point, yes, she was outside, but she is indoors only, I never intentionally let her outside. There are other windows with views that she can access, just not THAT view. I also thought about putting her in the bathroom when i need to go outside, but if i'm leaving the house I don't want to just leave her in there ... and of course i'll have to come home eventually. I think i'm going to stop free feeding, i've been meaning to anyway but have had young cats and jade as a mama who needed access all the time. But that's done now. I'd also like to mount some shelves for vertical space.
     

  6. FeebysOwner

    FeebysOwner TCS Member Top Cat

    4,956
    5,925
    Jun 13, 2018
    Central FL (Born in OH)
    Well, since you do want her indoor only, the article above should be more applicable. I know you are in an apartment, so this may not be possible, but there are tons of cat tents, etc. that maybe you could buy/use if you have a little patio area that belongs to you? You could train her over time that is where you will place her when it is her time outside?
     

  7. Maria Bayote

    Maria Bayote Mama of 4 Cats, 3 Dogs , 2 Budgies & 2 Humans Super Cat

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    Jan 15, 2018
    Doha
    My Bourbon used to live in the streets, so naturally when I took her in she always wanted to sprint out the door. Several times she escaped, but we always managed to catch or find. After a few months she became resigned to the fact that she is strictly indoor only, unless she chooses to risk getting hit by a car (which often happens in front of our compound). Now she seems content lying by the window, watching movements outside. But my husband and I are still on high alert everytime we come in or out the house. Who knows what that little smart brain is cooking up.

    Anyway, yes as you said, put some additional extra shelves that she can climb onto, and additional toys to keep her busy. Try to put something on the other windows also that would compel her to favor those windows rather than the one blocked by a trailer, like toys and additional climbing shelves, too. The more shelves, the happier she may get.

    Also, in one of your windows, can you put some kind of a catio. At least she can feel the outdoors while still being literally indoors. That is what I did in one of my windows, too. I believe she is much safer indoors.
     
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  8. ans5181

    ans5181 Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

    397
    1,132
    Oct 22, 2018
    Tallahassee, Florida
    Those are all really good ideas, I especially like the idea of the enclosure! I'm on the ground floor and do have a cement patio pad. I will have to start pricing those out. Also, thanks for reassuring me that it's not that Jade doesn't want to live with me. I know it's a silly concern, but I hate the idea that she might be unhappy
     
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  9. Kflowers

    Kflowers TCS Member Top Cat

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    Jul 28, 2018
    It takes awhile for them to adjust to being indoor cats if terrible things didn't happen to them when they were outside. I'd set her up to be in the bedroom and lock her in whenever I left. It's not the best solution, but it is a solution that will keep her safe until she gets used to it.
     

  10. ans5181

    ans5181 Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

    397
    1,132
    Oct 22, 2018
    Tallahassee, Florida
    Yeah, but she's been inside since July! It's almost like she has reverted a bit.
     

  11. ans5181

    ans5181 Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

    397
    1,132
    Oct 22, 2018
    Tallahassee, Florida
    I have the windows open and it's night time here...all the cats are having a field day, but of course Jade seems especially happy!
     

  12. danteshuman

    danteshuman TCS Member Top Cat

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    Mar 27, 2017
    California
    I think she wants out and the loud strange noises bother her. Plus a new cat could be trying to encroach on her turf!!! I think a catio would help a lot .... especially if you can hang a bird feeder near by and grow some grass in small pot inside the catio.
     
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  13. ans5181

    ans5181 Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

    397
    1,132
    Oct 22, 2018
    Tallahassee, Florida
    There are tons of cats around because my apartment is situated literally next to the dumpster. She always seems super excited and keyed up to see them, but not upset per se. But maybe one has her worked up! Omg the bird feeder and grass are such a good idea! Now i have to find a way to fund all this; I'm in my last semester of my second bachelor degree and money is scarce, to say the least! But hopefully a new career is just around the corner!
     
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  14. DreamerRose

    DreamerRose TCS Member Top Cat

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    Dec 11, 2015
    Naperville, IL
    I assume she's spayed, but still it's going on spring, and she may hear male cats calling. I've got a door darter, too, but he's getting better about it.

    If she goes to the door with you when you go out, pick her up, go out the door, then put her back in before you shut the door. This might get the idea across.
     
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  15. Kflowers

    Kflowers TCS Member Top Cat

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    Jul 28, 2018
    There is something else you can try. Get the high-value treat the one kit loves and almost never gets. Put a shelf or hanging pot by the door, it should be high up but where you can reach it. Put the treats in it. When you get to the door, throw a handful of the treats as far into the apartment as you can. When kit goes for them - leave.

    When coming back into your house. for this you'll need to keep the treats in your purse. They may dry out in the car. Before you open the door get the treats out and have them in your hand. unlock the door, lean over so your hand is at kit's chest height, push your hand in as you open the door. You'll probabyly be shoving kit back, with a final shove throw the treats in fairly close to her. Slip in and shut the door.

    Hard, huh? Yes, it sort of is. But most cats will figure out to move to where the treats land in a couple of tries. Also the fact that there will be treats should cause the kit to slow down as she goes for the door.

    You can also guard the door with your foot. You'll get the hang of that in time and once you've got it you'll do it for the rest of your life. You'll see people leaving hotels, restaurants, and the like with the little move to the side foot block. They have cats or did once.

    You can do this. I know it seems impossible, but many have fought this fight and won. Kit may grump for awhile, but, we're talking the best treats - not the super good for you mess the vet hands out that even the dogs won't eat.
     
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  16. ans5181

    ans5181 Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

    397
    1,132
    Oct 22, 2018
    Tallahassee, Florida
    Hahahahaha yes, the McDonald's of cat treats, I understand :lol:.
    Thanks for the encouragement, I have already been doing some of these things with the foot block, I think she studied for weak spots in the matrix and then pounced!
     
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  17. Kflowers

    Kflowers TCS Member Top Cat

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    Jul 28, 2018
    Watch out for the running head but to the shin move. It's favored by males, but more than one female has done it. Not only does it get your leg out of the way, it slows you down.

    Don't worry if she gains a little weight during training. What's a pound or two compared to the safety of being a house cat? Nothing, nothing at all.
     
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  18. ans5181

    ans5181 Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

    397
    1,132
    Oct 22, 2018
    Tallahassee, Florida
    She's already a skinny mini, after being a teen mom and breastfeeding, she was a little rail, she could stand an extra pound lol
     
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  19. tarasgirl06

    tarasgirl06 TCS Member Top Cat

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    Sep 19, 2006
    Glendale, California
    Just my take on it: I think she does not like the noise -- most cats don't -- and she may think strangers are trying to get in, so she wants to run from them. You can't do much about that, but since I'm very noise-sensitive, I ALWAYS have the radio on -- a great classical station, kusc.org streaming (just in case you want to check it out) unless I'm sleeping or have the TV on. The music blocks out quite a lot of other noise and is frequently soothing for us all. And since it lessens my stress, I'm a better companion for my cats, too!
    The catio sounds like a great idea, as do shelves. You can get modular small catios online -- there are many types and sizes, and they don't involve any construction or drilling in the walls. Also, instead of shelves, you may want to get one or more cat trees/activity centers. You can get these things used, on any of the usual sites, I would think, or for a plethora of ideas, visit www.hauspanther.com which has lots of links to lots of sources of both.
    The treat idea is a great one, as well!
     

  20. Caspers Human

    Caspers Human TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    621
    Feb 23, 2016
    Pennsylvania
    Casper was abandoned outdoors and lived outside for at least a year.
    When he first came home with us, he was a door darter, too.

    Two things mostly put an end to that:
    1) He decided he likes to live indoors where it's warm... The first time he sneaked outside, it was a cold and snowy day. He hit the front sidewalk and decided that he'd rather be inside where it was warm. It was easy to herd him back inside. He practically went in by himself. There he has stayed and hasn't tried to get out, except when there is a stray cat outside taunting him.

    2) Whenever he gets too close to the door, if we are going in or out, we stomp our feet at him and shoo him away from the door. If he doesn't get out of the way, he'll get the boot. (Not hard... just use your foot to shoo him away.)

    Whenever you go out the door, turn and face the cat and go out the door backward. If the cat knows you are watching, it's less likely to try and dart for the door.

    I've got Casper trained so well that he doesn't even try door darting with me. I can go in and out the back, patio door and he even backs away because he knows I'll give him the boot.

    Occasionally, when we have visitors, he'll eye the door but, with me, he knows he'll get caught so he doesn't even try, anymore.
     

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