A fleeing cat can be dangerous, annoying, and irritating. If you’re sick of chasing your cat around the yard or watching it disappear into the neighbourhood, you may need some tips on how to keep your cat from escaping. A run away “door darting” cat could put itself, and its owner in danger. A cat running out of the door could get hit by a car, knock something over, or startle someone. There are several steps you can take if your little cat thinks its a cheetah every-time the door opens. Cats run out because they are curious, they are interested in what’s on the other side of the door. Dealing with a runaway cat can cause stress for a pet owner. Here are 5 ways to avoid the stress and annoyance of a runaway cat.
- Change your greeting routine – Greeting your cat at the door could peak their curiosity for the outdoors. If you say hi to your cat at the door, you’re setting the precedence that your cat has permission to go to the door. Keeping your cat away from the opened door all times is the key. Instead of greeting your cat at the door, try greeting your cat from the opposite side of the room. Do not acknowledge your cat at the front or back door. Giving your cat a greeting space is the best option. A perch by the window or a cat bed are both great greeting places for your cat. You can train your cat to greet you in a specific spot by giving them treats in that spot daily when you arrive home.
- Get your cat fixed (Spayed or Neutered) – Cats and dogs alike are more feisty and rowdy before they are spayed or neutered. With cats, they may wander off or jump around more if they are not spayed or neutered. For female cats, they may wander off and find attract stray cats with their smell if they are in heat. A male or female cat who has been spayed or neutered is likely to be more calm when you open the door, they are also more likely to stay close to home and be more obedient.
- Distract your kitty – If your cat is not paying attention to the open door, they won’t try to run out and escape. Try different methods of distraction before you open the door to leave. A fun cat toy is always a good distraction, but a treat or food is usually the best option. Give your cat the toy or food that they cannot resist, they will be so busy playing with the toy or eating the snack that they won’t even get the chance to run through the door. A toy works best if you keep them at the door. If your cat likes to try to follow you out, pick up the toy and throw it on the other side of the room as a distraction.
- Train your cat – Dog’s aren’t the only pets that need training. You’ll have a huge return on investment if you decide to get your cat a trainer or send it to a training school. You should teach your cat to sit and stay. Your cat should know that when the door is opening they should be sitting in its designated cat space. You can train your cat by petting it and showing it positive consequences, like treats, when they obey you.
- Entertain your cat- Sometimes when your cat is prone to running out, they may just be bored. If you keep your cat entertained, they may not be so interested in running outside if they are entertained by toys or run space. Cats do best in vertical spaces with multiple angles. Watch your cat, see what takes its attention, and use those behaviours to know what you can do to keep them entertained.
- Set up your freedom door for your cat- Use one door, and one door only to let your cat out. If you switch doors, your cat may get confused and run out every time. Your exit door should differ from your cat’s exit door. If your cat can associate one specific door with an exit, they will only run out when that door is open. Try keeping your cat’s harness by the door so they can associate that spot with an exit.
- Get a cat door- Getting a cat door installed in your home could help minimize your cat running outside. A pet door could be locked or unlocked by you whenever you want. A cat door will also help your cat have a specific door to associate freedom with.
- Get a barrier spray- Cats are easily scared. A squirt bottle of water will have a cat’s hair standing on end. Use your cat’s pet peeves to keep him out of the street and away from the door when you are exiting. You can also use a pet proofing barrier. These barriers and sprays are a simple way to keep your cat calm when the door is open. An automatic deterrent can be programmed to spray every-time a pet attempts to go over a barrier. You can also use special collars that will monitor your cats movement and give them a slight pinch as a reminder that they should not cross a specific barrier.
Following these seven tips will help you to stop your cat from escaping your home when the door is opened. If your cat is prone to running outside, be sure to take extra precautions to avoid issues. Keep your cat equipped with tags and collars in case they get lost. Pay close attention to your cat, don’t let it get used to just wandering around without any consequences. Alert guests or visitors to be careful when opening and closing the door and be sure to keep your cat updated on all of it’s shots to avoid disease when wandering in the streets.