My cat wants to go outside but I’m selfish

toebeansplz

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hey! i need advice on if i should let my 7 month tabby outside. she was born/ raised the first 8 weeks outside before we adopted her. now she constantly cries at the door to be let outside, and tries to run out. when she runs she usually doesn’t go far, but i take her out on a leash every 2 days. and walk around holding her and not letting her go down. she also cries when i take her back in and I feel really bad. i’m thinking i should let her roam by herself once i give her a collar with contact info. but i’m just so worried she’ll leave and never come back:( she never bolts away but our yard isn’t fenced in so i’m worrieeed. she also always cries when my dog is let outside and she can’t go with her friend so long story short i’m very conflicted because i feel like it’s in her nature to be outside and she just wants to see the world, but i live in an urban town and i’m scared she will be hit by a car, picked up from some humans and be hurt by anything . (photos of miss girl for reference)

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DreamerRose

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She's a sweetie! You aren't being selfish by keeping her in. It's the safest way, but you can't tell her that. It's too dangerous for cats to be roaming around outside, especially in an urban environment. I don't let my two outside for any reason. Has she been spayed? That's another reason to keep her in. If she hasn't, this is the age when her first heat would be coming on.
 

ArtNJ

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You *might* be able to solve the issue by doing leash time at the same time every day, and even setting an alarm on your iphone that the cat hears. If there is a *very* clear ritual and the cat is never let out without the ritual . . . maybe the annoying crying at the door will stop eventually. YMMV.

Agree its not selfish. "My cat always stays in the yard" is a bit like trusting natural contraception to "always" work. Over the long run, there usually will be a problem. Probably. All cats are different, and yours has a dog buddy which *might* help keep him in the yard. Nonetheless, some wandering beyond the yard is still likely to happen eventually, and yes, its dangerous.
 
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rubysmama

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Hello and welcome to TCS. Your kitten is pawsitively adorable. Please know that in no way are you being selfish for wanting to keep her safe. My family once had a kitten who also wanted to go outside all the time. He was killed by a car before his 1st birthday. Having lived that experience, I'll say again, you are not being selfish wanting to keep your kitten safe.

Has she been spayed yet? If not, as DreamerRose DreamerRose posted, your kitten is at the age where she will have her first heat, and want to find a mate. So another reason why she should not be allowed out on her own.

Since she cries at the door to go out, here's a TCS article you might want to read:
How To Prevent Your Cat From Darting Out The Door – TheCatSite Articles
 

Crazyfostercats

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I think that as long as she is not leaving your yard and is hanging around your house letting her outside will not be an issue. Cats all have different personalities and some do better outside. Especially if she was born and raised outside than she is used to it and would be able to handle herself out there. I have had several outdoor cats and none of them have been injured or hit by cars ( depends on what kind of neighborhood you live in). I would get her spayed before letting her outside because if she goes in heat she will travel up to 5 Miles to find a mate ( We also need to control the cat population!) I think she would be happier outside with a collar during the day and you let her back in at night or whenever she wants to come in. :)
 

Tik cat's mum

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I've had indoor/outdoor cat's years ago I now have 2 indoor cat's, I learned the hard way. I had 2 cat's killed by car's not nice to find. Like you I live in a area where it just isn't safe to allow the cat's out. I think my cat's will forgive me for being selfish, no worries about car's or preditors. If I lived in the countryside thing's might be different.
 
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toebeansplz

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You *might* be able to solve the issue by doing leash time at the same time every day, and even setting an alarm on your iphone that the cat hears.

Thanks for responding!:) This is a good tip and i’ll try it out
 
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toebeansplz

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I’m sorry to hear about your kitties, that breaks my heart. You’re right, she will forgive me being a tad selfish
 
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toebeansplz

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I've had indoor/outdoor cat's years ago I now have 2 indoor cat's, I learned the hard way. I had 2 cat's killed by car's not nice to find. Like you I live in a area where it just isn't safe to allow the cat's out. I think my cat's will forgive me for being selfish, no worries about car's or preditors. If I lived in the countryside thing's might be different.
Thanks for the response! I’m sorry to hear about your kitties, that breaks my heart. You’re right, she will forgive me being a tad selfish
 
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toebeansplz

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I think she would be happier outside with a collar during the day and you let her back in at night or whenever she wants to come in. :)
Thanks for the response! She is spayed already. Do you have any tips to transition her to being outside? I’ve read that putting her litter box near the door will entice them to come back. Or even if i go out with her the first couple of times and call her back with treats when it’s time to come back in. I don’t have any means to make a kitty door or anything like that so I’m also worried about her not being able to come back in at night if she ventures too far. Any tips would be appreciated:)
 
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toebeansplz

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She's a sweetie! You aren't being selfish by keeping her in. It's the safest way, but you can't tell her that. It's too dangerous for cats to be roaming around outside, especially in an urban environment. I don't let my two outside for any reason. Has she been spayed? That's another reason to keep her in. If she hasn't, this is the age when her first heat would be coming on.
Thanks! She is spayed already. I
probably should’ve mentioned that. This made me feel less guilty about keeping her in
 
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toebeansplz

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Hello and welcome to TCS. Your kitten is pawsitively adorable. Please know that in no way are you being selfish for wanting to keep her safe. My family once had a kitten who also wanted to go outside all the time. He was killed by a car before his 1st birthday. Having lived that experience, I'll say again, you are not being selfish wanting to keep your kitten safe.

Has she been spayed yet? If not, as DreamerRose DreamerRose posted, your kitten is at the age where she will have her first heat, and want to find a mate. So another reason why she should not be allowed out on her own.

Since she cries at the door to go out, here's a TCS article you might want to read:
How To Prevent Your Cat From Darting Out The Door – TheCatSite Articles
Thank you! She has been spayed already. Do you think it would be smart to wait until she is a little bit older to let her out? Or should i try to train her to stay away from the door (by spraying) and just give her more interesting things to play with inside?
 

rubysmama

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Thank you! She has been spayed already. Do you think it would be smart to wait until she is a little bit older to let her out? Or should i try to train her to stay away from the door (by spraying) and just give her more interesting things to play with inside?
Good that she's spayed, as that will lessen her desire to go outside.

As to whether you let her out or not, my personal opinion is that there are too many dangers outside, and that as long as you play with them, and give them access to windows to watch "cat tv", cats can live happy and healthy lives as inside only pets.

Your girl, having had a taste of outside, might take longer to adjust, so you would have to watch to ensure she doesn't rush out when the door is open. There are tips to prevent that in this TCS article: How To Prevent Your Cat From Darting Out The Door – TheCatSite Articles As for spraying water on her, you might want to read this TCS article: 5 Reasons To Never Spray Water On Your Cat [Or otherwise punish them] – TheCatSite Articles

If she continues to really, really want to go outside, I would stick with the leash and harness method that you're currently using.
 
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