How do we stop our cat returning to our old house?

tarasgirl06

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Hi - we moved 2 months ago and are having similar issues. Our cats were kept in for 10 days but really unhappy so we let them out. one cat is fine and potters around and comes back. The other cat pottered around for a bit and then found her way back to our old house (1 and 1/2 miles away) - we found her after 5 days and brought her 'home'. We then kept her in for another month thinking that would be enough. she again went outside and pottered around a bit but kept heading towards our old house so we went and got her twice. She was wearing a tracker. A couple of nights later we let her out again with her tracker on and she headed the same direction but this time further but was in some one's back garden and it was late at night so we left her. We watched her on the tracker the next day and I went to look for her but she'd moved and gone in to someone else's garden. Later on that evening we went and knocked on another door to look in their back garden and the tracker had fallen off with the quick release collar :( She then was missing for another 5 days. We went to our old neighbours house and called her from their garden. She appeared after 20 minutes. So twice now she had gone back to our old house.

We have kept her in for another week but she is wanting to go outside. She had a quick release collar on with the tracker. Should we use a non quick release collar?
A safety collar is ESSENTIAL for her survival and health, no matter what. Of course I strongly advocate for cats being indoors-only, for their health and survival and the peace of mind of their families.
There are modular pre-fab catio/cat enclosures that enable cats to be outdoors but still safe. You can find them on eBay, amazon, and by using your search engine for "cat enclousres" or "catios." And there are custom builds such as these: catioshowcase.com.
 

danteshuman

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If you own the place you can build or buy fence toppers that are at an angle so the cats can’t jump over it. Here in the states there is purrfect fence toppers. I think it would be worth the investment! That or harness train your cat or build a catio. 🤷🏻‍♀️
 

tarasgirl06

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If you own the place you can build or buy fence toppers that are at an angle so the cats can’t jump over it. Here in the states there is purrfect fence toppers. I think it would be worth the investment! That or harness train your cat or build a catio. 🤷🏻‍♀️
YES! Cat fencing is absolutely wonderful. And if you don't want to buy it, you can make it yourself if you have the tools to bend the fencing inward. Just be careful to smooth any sharp edges and it's preferable to frame them.
 

prayingpantis

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I have the exact same issue as OP, moved about a month ago to a new place that's only about 900m away and the one cat has gone back twice, spending 5 days and 2 days away from home.

Ended up having to catch him and bring him back both times. I'm going to keep both inside now for a few weeks or maybe a month or two. They both absolutely hate it and go bonkers, but not keen to repeat this in such quick succession.

As for a long term strategy I'm going to let them outdoors eventually but only during the day for the next year or so, closing the entrance at dusk once they're in. Possibly also considering getting a GPS tracker for the one once they first go outside again.

I'm personally not an advocate for indoor cats / catio's. I understand people feel strongly about this and it can be a divisive topic. I respect other people's choice, but it's just not something I want for the cats.

Just wanted to post this as another possible strategy. Not sure if it'll work, but I think it's worth a try.
 

imaginewizard

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I disagree strongly with the idea a cat used to outdoors can't adapt to being indoor only - but I, like most people, am basing this only on the experience of my own cat. I, unlike most people, don't think cats are unchanging in what they're used to, I just think they're creatures of habit, and if that routine changes, they assume it's accidental and will do what they can to bring attention to it. Once they realise the routine has changed for good, they'll adapt to their new routine and that becomes their norm.

Any cat can live indoors only as long as they're stimulated enough, in my opinion.

I was gonna suggest Keffish Keffish getting a GRS tracker but you've already done so - I guess that helps with a lot of the issues, so long as the GRS tracker doesn't fall off. Tbh I kind of wanna get a GRS tracker for my cat, for if I ever move to a residential area I'd be happy letting them out in - but I'm always worried that a. the tracker will fall off or b. someone maliciously inclined will see an electronic object on my cats' necks and feel inclined to mug them for it, possibly hurting or kidnapping them at that time (while a cat with no electronics would just be passed over as unusual). Maybe that's paranoia but hey ho.
 
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