What did we do wrong? Letting cats outside

Tom9192

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We had our little chewie ran over last sunday only 9 and a half months old, we think he died straight the way its still killing us both now, we waited till he was 5 months till letting him in the garden supervised and blocked up all the exits, i have a long big garden so i thought that would be enough, as the weeks went on he gradually explored more and more and could easily hop over the side gate onto the front i tried getting him back each time but he would still find a way out, we had him neutered and vaccinated, didnt let him out at night and controlled when he would go out, the road isnt even that busy, i was so comfortable with him being out he seemed to stay way back from cars coming down the road and there are about 7 other cats on the street who have been there for years. Im so gutted hes been took from us, should we have waited till he was older to let him out or would it have not made him any wiser about the roads? Thanks so much for reading
 

Claire07x

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I'm so sorry you're going through this!

It's important to understand it absolutely isn't your fault - you didn't cause this. There are so many reasons outdoor cats are at risk and I won't divulge into that, but this could have been a freak accident, the one time he didn't pay attention, or perhaps he did but the driver didn't. I see loads of drivers being careless and unfortunately a lot don't see animals or, it's too late when they do.

He could have had the same fate going out 2 days before, 7 years later etc. It doesn't matter, it's just chance and a horrible thing to experience. I'm truly sorry.

I'd say the best thing is to keep your cat indoors only or indoor with a catio/secure back garden, built to keep him enclosed. this avoids accidents like these with cars/other animals/people etc. You didn't cause the problem but hopefully in future, keeping your cats indoors will avoid any further heartache like this.

Sending you love and best wishes x
 

susanm9006

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I am very sorry about your little guy. I grew up in the country and we had many cats over the years. A majority of them died by being hit by cars and the rest just disappeared. cats don’t have good vision when it comes to moving vehicles and even the most cautious eventually get hit. The only way to prevent this is to create a safe enclosed space for your cats in your yard that they can’t climb out of.
 

ArtNJ

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I hear you on the not that busy street with lots of cats. My indoor/outdoor cats, when I had indoor/outdoor cats, and others on my street, darted into the sewer openings when they heard cars coming. They just seemed so prudent about it, and the street isn't busy, so I thought it was relatively safe. And maybe it was. Something else got one of my indoor/outdoor cats, and I converted the other to indoors only. Anyway, in other locations I've seen other cats be very stupid/reckless about cars. I don't know if its a cat-by-cat thing, or if it has to do with the location they learn about cars or what, but regardless I don't think there is zero risk unless you have a specifically constructed cat enclosure (catio).

Unfortunately, you are in a lot of company. Many on here used to have indoor/outdoor cats and switched after a tragedy. An aweful lesson, but all you can do is learn from it. You thought it was safe; don't beat yourself up.
 

lollie

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Cats have great vision up close, but poor distance vision. They stop seeing clearly at about 20 feet. A fast moving car is only going to give them a fraction of a second to react.
 

gilmargl

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There was nothing you could do. You believed your Chewie would be safe outside just like the other cats. Most of us thought the same until ........... something dreadful happened.

Quiet streets are perhaps more dangerous for cats than busy city roads. I lived in London, more than half a century ago, on a very busy road, where, even then, buses and cars would be moving at a snail's pace during the rush hour. Most families owned a cat probably to keep the number of mice down. These cats were all indoor/outdoor cats and, although dogs, children and pedestrians were often hit by cars on this road, I never saw a cat even try to cross the road and never heard that a cat had got hit by a car. There was sufficient noisy, smelly traffic to deter them and they much preferred to explore the numerous small gardens behind the houses than venture into the front gardens closer to the road. (There was even a cat-lady. living in the next block, who lent us children cat carriers to take our pets to the vet (on the bus) and who made sure that all our cats were neutered!)

I have since lived in very quiet streets with hardly any traffic. Unfortunately, my cats always seem to prefer the fields on the opposite side of the road. The inevitable happened so now we stay indoors. If I could construct a catio, away from the house, with a connecting tunnel, I would. But, transpoting 4 cats backwards and forwards in carriers is just too much trouble. I don't think that sitting in a catio, however large, would help much. They have far more space to run around indoors, away from tics, fleas and mites, and they can sit in the sun behind the cat-proof insect screens.

Don't dwell on Chewy's accident and death too much. Try to think of the good times. Have a good cry as often as you need to but think of him as the happy, pretty kitty he was.
 

Bananna4444

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Unfortunately accidents happen, cats love being outside and obesity is a big problem made more likely by indoor cats. Remember that you tried to give him a good quality of life and that is what is important. If you get another cat assess where you live from a cats perspective, can you make it so they can go out the back but not get to the front, make where you want them to go desirable, make where you don't want them to go undesirable.
 

Joan M

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I'm so, so sorry. This is the hard part of having a cat. You've had lots of good advice already, I won't repeat any of it. Just know most of us have lost a wonderful cat and know what you're going through. And when you're ready, you can give another one a home.
 

Carolina SA

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I'm so, so sorry. This is the hard part of having a cat. You've had lots of good advice already, I won't repeat any of it. Just know most of us have lost a wonderful cat and know what you're going through. And when you're ready, you can give another one a home.
So true, and if you eventually decide to try keeping an indoor cat, perhaps give two sibling kittens a home? Then they'll be fun and entertainment for each other and help heal the loss of Chewie.
 

rubysmama

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I'm so, so sorry about little Chewie.🤗

My family once had a similarly aged kitten killed by a car, so I have an idea of how devastated you are feeling. It's so hard when the kitten wants to badly to go outside, but it's just so dangerous out there for our precious cats.

When you feel up to it, you might find it helpful to post a tribute to him in our Crossing the Bridge forum.

RIP dear Chewie. :redheartpump::angel3::redheartpump:
 
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