Author Topic: What should I do with my cat?  (Read 2551 times)

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ica171

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What should I do with my cat?
« on: August 26, 2013, 01:35:41 PM »
We adopted our cat from the local shelter, and they told us he loved going outside and walking on a leash. We tried it a couple times and he absolutely hated it, so we stopped doing it. Lately, though, he's been running through our feet and out the door at least once a week. He's fully clawed so I'm not worried about that, but a) if he gets picked up by animal control it's like a $400 fine because he's not wearing his tags (breakaway collar that he constantly breaks away), b) he could get injured, and c) he brought home fleas, so now the house and our other pets have to be treated.

DH and I keep going back and forth. We don't know what to do. We love him; he's part of the family. But right now, with the way he's acting, he's wearing our patience very thin. My parents live on a farm with a barn with a few cats (that's where our other cat came from and you couldn't pay her to go outside) so that's an option. But there's also wild animals out there, and even though he likes to be outside he's been an indoor cat for a while now. So far our only ideas are to have a spray bottle at the door and spray him whenever he goes near it, and to have a noisemaker (like a can of pennies) and shake that whenever we come in or out to make him associate the bad noise with the door. I don't know how that would work when we were coming in, though. He loves to sit in the windows in the spring and fall but they're closed now, so I was thinking maybe he'd calm down if we got some of those perch shelves. I've seen things online that say get him toys that look like animals that he can hunt, but he doesn't play with toys.

Anyone have any suggestions? Or have a cat that does the same thing? I don't want to have to rehome him but my tolerance for animal shenanigans is a lot higher than DH's, and although he doesn't want Bill to go anywhere, I know he will get rid of him if he keeps this up.

Firecat

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Re: What should I do with my cat?
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2013, 01:53:41 PM »
I used to have a cat who would try to run out the door when I'd leave. I solved it by throwing a few cat treats on the kitchen floor (away from the door) right before I left. He was more interested in the treats than in the door, so it worked fine.

Coming back in, I'd hold my purse down near the level of my feet as a "blocker"/gentle way of pushing him away from the door.

Is it an option to get Bill microchipped? Does Animal Control in your area scan for a chip if a pet is picked up? That might help with the collar situation at least.

Snooks

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Re: What should I do with my cat?
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2013, 02:04:40 PM »
Is it when you come in or go out?  Our boy loves going out but we prefer him to be in during the day, our stairs are by the front door so we pick him up to around level with our heads and put him on a "high" step.  Something about being lifted and put up high is supposed to stop cats getting down, seems to work with him.  Coming in if he gets past us he's dopey enough that he likes to have a roll around on the concrete just outside the door so we scoop him up, failing that we rattle the treats and in he comes.

Firecat

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Re: What should I do with my cat?
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2013, 02:06:08 PM »
Is it when you come in or go out?  Our boy loves going out but we prefer him to be in during the day, our stairs are by the front door so we pick him up to around level with our heads and put him on a "high" step.  Something about being lifted and put up high is supposed to stop cats getting down, seems to work with him.  Coming in if he gets past us he's dopey enough that he likes to have a roll around on the concrete just outside the door so we scoop him up, failing that we rattle the treats and in he comes.

Yours, too? My DH and I joke that I can make two cats appear out of nowhere just by rattling the treats.

Snooks

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Re: What should I do with my cat?
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2013, 02:12:14 PM »
Is it when you come in or go out?  Our boy loves going out but we prefer him to be in during the day, our stairs are by the front door so we pick him up to around level with our heads and put him on a "high" step.  Something about being lifted and put up high is supposed to stop cats getting down, seems to work with him.  Coming in if he gets past us he's dopey enough that he likes to have a roll around on the concrete just outside the door so we scoop him up, failing that we rattle the treats and in he comes.

Yours, too? My DH and I joke that I can make two cats appear out of nowhere just by rattling the treats.

Worse than that one of the neighbour cats has got wise to the treat rattling and he comes running too!

shhh its me

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Re: What should I do with my cat?
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2013, 02:15:05 PM »
   You may want to try the leash with a harness again.  I had an indoor cat that sometimes just wanted to roll on the concrete and smell the bushes on occasion.  He would dart between my legs and lucky just flop on the porch(he didn't have all his claws so couldn't be left unattended outdoors)   I'm also assuming your cat is neutered.

Firecat

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Re: What should I do with my cat?
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2013, 02:20:42 PM »
Is it when you come in or go out?  Our boy loves going out but we prefer him to be in during the day, our stairs are by the front door so we pick him up to around level with our heads and put him on a "high" step.  Something about being lifted and put up high is supposed to stop cats getting down, seems to work with him.  Coming in if he gets past us he's dopey enough that he likes to have a roll around on the concrete just outside the door so we scoop him up, failing that we rattle the treats and in he comes.

Yours, too? My DH and I joke that I can make two cats appear out of nowhere just by rattling the treats.

Worse than that one of the neighbour cats has got wise to the treat rattling and he comes running too!

LOL - just like a kid called home for dessert and has a friend tagging along  ;D!

ica171

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Re: What should I do with my cat?
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2013, 02:54:45 PM »
He's neutered and microchipped. They do scan for a chip, but you still get the fine. Supposedly you can get part of it forgiven if you go down to city hall and show them all the paperwork. We haven't been fined yet, but there was a couple picking up their cat when we were adopting our dog, so I got to learn all of this.

We've tried the leash/harness a few times, and he just freezes and refuses to move. The running outside is a fairly new behavior; when we first got him he was like our other cat and wanted nothing to do with the outside. Then he started getting closer to the door when we were going out. Then he would stand in the doorway but not go out. Then he ran out once or twice but immediately froze and was able to be picked up and put back in. Now he takes every opportunity to get out. It's usually when we're going out, but lately he's been waiting when we come back in, too. The treats might work; he loves food (and it shows :D ). One time when he had gotten out we saw him hiding under the neighbor's car and we got him back in by shaking some food in a cup.

We do have an open foyer, with one living room "wall" being a railing, so we could lift him up and put him on the living room floor. He seems to plan ahead, though, and will wait and dart out when the kids are going out the door so he can't immediately be grabbed.

Part of our basement is semifinished/unfinished, and that part has a door that separates it from the rest of the house. If we can find him before we leave, locking him back there would be an option. There's a cat flap in the door so he could get out as soon as he figures out we haven't locked the flap. Or we could lock the flap.

We plan to eventually build a screened three season porch. It will have perches and shelves for both cats out there and a cat flap in the door so they can go out when they want, but it's not in the budget for a few years. I wish we could do it now; I think it might give him the best of both worlds.

sevenday

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Re: What should I do with my cat?
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2013, 03:24:22 PM »
Chiming in for a minute - you could build a temporary cat sun porch outside of a window rather than a full on porch.  If he still tries to bolt, you could open that only when you're about to leave and he might be too distracted to bother trying to escape out the door.  Basically something like this:  http://www.catpalaceusa.com/cat_doors/PPA00-10774_cat_veranda.html  (this particular item is discontinued, but you could probably build one for not much, certainly cheaper than a full porch)

I do have a cat who will run out the door any chance she gets, but she's the type that stops to eat grass or freezes two feet out the door so our recaptures have been unremarkable. We have to keep an eye out for her anytime we're going in and out the door.  Our house is a bit... unique in that there's a hallway that has a door halfway down itself that is essentially a screened door with a smaller hole at floor level that can be closed with a square grate.  When we need to move things around and can't always be looking for her, we put her in there and put the grate in.  The other 2 cats will hide from all the activity and not bother trying to escape. 

artk2002

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Re: What should I do with my cat?
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2013, 04:50:55 PM »
Our cats have gone through periods where they want to rush the door. I do a pretty good hiss like an angry cat and that has taught them to stay back. Knowing a foreign language is always useful!
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

ica171

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Re: What should I do with my cat?
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2013, 04:53:52 PM »
Wow, I really like that. I bet he would love it. He didn't try to get out at all until we had to shut the windows for summer, so I think something like this would really help.

Lol, Art. I could do that, but half the time he's already outside by the time I realize he's rushing the door between the kids' legs. He's a big boy but he can really move when he wants to.

LibraryLady

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Re: What should I do with my cat?
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2013, 05:04:11 PM »
Frank the Cat has/is doing what your kitty is doing.  We have a spray bottle outside, and it is in our hand when we open the door to come inside.  He HATES  like the  >:D  to be sprayed with water.  ALso if your can tries to escape when you leave, give him/her a squirt with the water bottle.  All that Joe has to do now is pick UP the water bottle and Frank runs off.

HTH

Amara

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Re: What should I do with my cat?
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2013, 05:24:03 PM »
Cats also hate vinegar. I wonder if keeping a small dish (or a coffee mug) of it near the door would help. (Probably not; he'd just hold his nose as he rushed past.)

wolfie

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Re: What should I do with my cat?
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2013, 11:26:29 PM »
Leo does that too. I have gone with "if you can't beat them, join them". He gets a some supervised time outside, and he has to be in before dark. It does make me nervous that he is outside but he seems to stay close to the yard - he likes to guard the catnip patch. Maybe you can try walking him again - maybe he didn't go for it because he was still getting used to your house.

Nikko-chan

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Re: What should I do with my cat?
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2013, 11:51:29 PM »
I know you said kitty doesn't like the harness... but maybe if you get him used to it? doing so will probably take a few weeks. First start with the harness. Lay it down somewhere and let him sniff it. Any time he goes near the harness, he gets treatsies and coos. Do this until he knows "Okay, harness isn't going to kill me." Maybe about a week or so?

Then move it to where you put it on only one paw, or around his neck only, depending on type of harness. Again, lots and lots of treats and loves. We want him to associate "harness" and "Walk" with "Ooooh this is going to be amazing!"

Slowly build up to putting the harness on him for timed periods. First five minutes and then ten and so on and so forth. I wouldn't really make a big deal of it. Give him a few treats for not fussing when you put it on him, and leave him to do his own thing, that way he doesn't go "Oh my lordy why are my slaves flipping out!??!? This is a bad thing then!?!?!"

Last add the leash once he's gotten used to the harness and just let him drag it behind him. He might (okay he most definitely will, let's face it, he's a cat) play with it. Again give him a treat for being a nice kitty.

After this I would probably walk him a bit inside, just so he gets used to his crazy servants always following him around with the long ropey toy thing.

The final step: Take him outside with the leash on a short jaunt, slowly making the walks longer over a period of a few days to a week, maybe even two.

This is what I am planning to do with my little Houdini. Hope I helped you!