Should I walk my door dashing cat?

Khagerma

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I just adopted a 5 month old kitten. He is VERY curious about the outdoors. He sees my dogs go out and he tries to door dash. We also have a dog door and he has been showing interest in it. My parents refuse to get rid of the dog door. Should I take him on walks and/or let him in my backyard on a leash? I have a privacy fence. Or, do you think that will encourage him to slip out the dog door unleashed? I lost my 12 year old tabby early December because he was an indoor/outdoor cat and I think the stress that puts on their bodies is what caused him to have rapidly progressive kidney disease. I don’t want this new little guy to have the same issues. I’m moving out in a year or two and I’ll take him with me and he’d be an indoor cat there.
 

Maria Bayote

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That's cute. He probably thinks he is a dog too. :redheartpump:. Congrats on your new kitty.

Can you try putting up a catio for him?
 
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Khagerma

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That's cute. He probably thinks he is a dog too. :redheartpump:. Congrats on your new kitty.

Can you try putting up a catio for him?
Yeah I thought about that but I don’t have a suitable window to put it. The dog door is in the only window with flat ground on both sides (it’s in the window with stairs on either side) that’s why I think i’ll get a long leash and let him explore outside. I researched for HOURS how to keep him away from the dog door and the only viable solution is an electric one but one of my dogs likes to stand halfway in the door so he can just run out then. I’m worried that by letting him out on the safety of the leash that will encourage him to go on his own. I’m hoping that using the leash will cause him to not go out on his own (or at least not leave the backyard)
 

ArtNJ

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I'd say no. Firstly, cats can back out of the popular harness leashes. You need some complicated hybrid approach including a traditional collar as well to be secure. Secondly, actually doing the walking is not likely to go the way you think. My cat was indoor/outdoor until last year. He liked to accompany me on jogs on his own initiative. "Accompany" is a loose term, since if something made him uncomfortable, he would divert course a bit and rejoin me in 50 or 100 feet. Sometimes he'd go too far and we'd approach busier streets, and I'd need to turn around to take him back home. So he clearly liked doing this. When I put a leash on him and he could no longer control his destiny, however, everything panicked him. From distant cars, to a crow launching from 50 feet away. It was a totally different ball game for him without the ability to divert his course a bit, and stressed the heck out of him.

I mean, its possible. Some people do pull it off. I've even seen an unleashed cat on a dude's shoulder hiking in the wilderness preserve, which was a WTH moment for sure. But I'd need a magical training manual or a pokeball to try that.
 

susanm9006

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I am also a ”no”. Give an already curious cat a taste of outdoors and the door dashing gets many times worse.
 

Bananna4444

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My brothers cat was an indoor only cat and he was clearly miserable, always hiding away. My brother then moved into a house with a garden and his cat was so much happier, he absolutely loved going outside as most cats do, unless it is raining, my cats get the grumps when it is raining.
 
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