Escape artist

tuxedokitties

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Our 9 month old kitten is the fastest, most fearless, most determined escape artist I have ever known.

Up until last month, he had tried once or twice to go outside to explore, but it was pretty easy to prevent him from getting out. Then a few weeks ago he walked out the door while my daughter had it open. While I was walking over to get him, a sparrow 🐦 flew right over his head. After that, he was a whole lot more interested in trying to get outside!

Two nights later, my husband forgot to feed the dog in the garage, and instead put her food out on the back porch again. A rat 🐀 (the reason we don't put food outside in the city) ran across the porch to grab some of the dog food, passing right in front of the glass door where that same kitten watched in utter fascination.

Now he REALLY, REALLY, REALLY wants out. 🤦‍♀️

He meows loudly and frequently at the back door. If we open the glass for fresh air, leaving only the screen door closed, he yowls nonstop and climbs the screen. My husband and I are both practiced foot-door-blockers, but he is so fast that when we're trying to go through the door, he'll jump and somehow squeeze through the space around our shins in the blink of an eye.

The first week, when he got out I could walk over and pick him up while he was sniffing noses with the dog, but now he runs like mad around the yard because he doesn't want me to bring him inside. He's normally crazy for treats, but when he gets out the only thing he wants is to be free to explore. Thankfully we have a wooden privacy fence, but I'm afraid he'll be able to jump that soon enough, or climb a tree. Every yard surrounding ours has at least two dogs. Kitten is friends with our dog and may not understand other dogs can be dangerous. Hawks and owls frequent our yard and the one next door because our trees are tall and bear nuts that attract rodents. Cars speed down our street. A very territorial feral neutered male roams our front yard and others in the area.

The only way I would feel ok with him being outdoors would be on a harness and leash. For now, we seem to be stuck putting him in the bathroom or having someone hold him whenever anyone opens a door, which is not ideal, especially with a child and her friends coming in and out.

Any advice?
(He's neutered, it was done at 3 months by the rescue)
 

Katie M

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I have my own escape artist. I live in an apartment building, and Selene has gotten out my door, down the hall, and even down the stairs. My solution has been to pick her up just before I open the door, go into the hallway, then put her back inside and quickly close the door.
 

ArtNJ

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Don't just block the door with your feet, give a little stomp to back him off a bit and get some protective distance.

I converted my cat to indoor only 3 months ago and he is masterful, but I can handle it if I'm paying attention and going out. Coming in after doing the trash or recycling, which he hears, he WILL get out unless I kick the door a few times to back him off, then crack it, and if need by more stomps or noise. Even though I have it down, when I'm moving the trash can to the street -- which is very noisy and he always hears -- its just easier to put him in the furnished basement.
 

Willow's Mom

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I don't have an escape artist any more, but when I did, I would either secure Franklin in the bedroom or bathroom before I opened the front door in the living room or else close the door to the laundry room, where the back door is located, and double-check it before I opened the back door.

The easy to remember rule of thumb is not one, but TWO doors between the kitty and the great outdoors at all times.

High risk situations call for high paranoia. If you do decide to harness train him, be sure to get a walking jacket style harness and check that it's tight enough that he can't slip it, especially if you're going to be around cars, dogs, and a feral tom. Yikes. I drive my furkids to public parks. That's why we pay taxes, isn't it?
 

Willow's Mom

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I also should probably mention that cats are weirdos. I thought my new kitten was a door darter, but it turned out that she just really, REALLY, wanted to sit on my shoulder and smell the fresh morning air when I let the dog out in the morning.

It sounds like what you really want is for him to be comfortable as an indoor-only kitty. That is possible. You don't have to harness train him to keep him happy.
 

deedum_23106

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My cats do the exact same thing, I usually just nudge them out of the way but sometimes I spray a bit of water on them (they don't take a grudge but are now more cautious and hardly ever escape) I also sometimes give them a treat if I leave the door open and they don't escape, I sometimes let my cats out when I know its safe, If they grow up inside they will always come back after half an hour as they usually get scared.:D
 
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