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How to keep a cat from going outside?

Keeping your cat from going outside can be a struggle.  Read this article to learn what you can do to prevent an escape.

Why Keep Your Cat Inside?

Do you ever wonder if keeping your cat inside is worth the effort?  In many cases, the answer is yes!

Many domesticated house cats have never been outdoors.  Their lack of experience makes them unlikely to cope with the threats of the outdoor world.  Plus, some cats suffer from health problems that would make them easy targets for predators. 

Here’s a closer look at the reasons why you should keep your cat inside:

  • Ensures your cat’s safety – Traffic, dogs, wild animals, nefarious people, or even other cats looking to pick a fight are all threats to your cat’s safety.
  • Prevents illness – Although indoor cats can still get sick, the odds greatly increase when your cat is surrounded by bacteria and parasites found outside your home.
  • Keeps your cat close – When your cat spends more time with you instead of being outside, you will notice signs of sickness sooner. 
  • Gives you control – There is no way to stop an outdoor cat from catching and eating prey and accepting food from neighbors, but you can control an indoor cat’s diet.

Why Cats Try to Sneak Outside?

Why would your cat even want to go outside?  Because of strong instincts that can be difficult to satisfy indoors.

Their hunting instincts drive cats to find and capture animals and birds, while their instinct to reproduce causes them to seek out possible mates. 

In addition, domesticated cats have the same drive as wild cats to mark off and guard their territory.  That territory could include the outside space surrounding your home.

Why Cats Try to Sneak Outside?

Why would your cat even want to go outside?  Because of strong instincts that can be difficult to satisfy indoors.

Their hunting instincts drive cats to find and capture animals and birds, while their instinct to reproduce causes them to seek out possible mates. 

In addition, domesticated cats have the same drive as wild cats to mark off and guard their territory.  That territory could include the outside space surrounding your home.

How to Keep Your Cat from Going Outside

You can’t take away your cat’s instincts but there are ways to keep your cat safely contained in your home.  Keep reading for some tips.

Deter Your Cat from the Front Door

Make a loud noise anytime you notice your cat by the front door.  Your feline friend will begin to associate the door with that obnoxious noise, causing your cat to avoid the area.

Have a Toy Ready to Go

If your cat has a tendency to dart for the door whenever you come home, keep a toy near the entrance.  Each time you come through the front door pick up the toy and throw it away from the door.  Make sure it is a toy that your cat loves to chase.

If necessary, keep the toy on the outside of the front door.  Partially open the door, throw the toy inside, then open the door the rest of the way and come inside while your cat is running after the toy.

Provide Plenty of Playtime

Satisfying your cat’s instincts inside will reduce your cat’s desire to go outside.  Try playing games that allow your cat to ‘hunt’ for toys.

Aim for at least one 10-minute session each day. Whenever possible squeeze in several sessions throughout the day.

You will need a ball, a wand, or another toy that your cat can chase. Get your cat to run after and pounce on the toy.

Walk Your Cat on a Leash

Although you probably can not take your cat for a walk around the block, a leash will allow your four legged friend to safely explore your front or back yard. 

Give Your Cat an Outdoor Enclosure

An outdoor enclosure allows your cat to safely get some fresh air.  You can make your own enclosure, buy a pre-made product, or find a craftsman who will build one for you based on your specifications.

Distract Your Cat with Treats

If your cat runs for the door whenever you are on the way out, try to distract your furry friend with treats.  Give your cat the treats in a spot that is far from the door.

Make an Indoor Cat Paradise

Providing cat trees, hiding places, tunnels, window perches, toys, and scratching posts will keep your cat entertained.  This will help to decrease your cat’s urge to go outside.

Preventing an escape is extremely important if you do not think your precious kitty can survive the harsh realities of the outdoors.  Try at least one of the above ideas for keeping your cat inside.  Your cat’s safety is worth the effort.

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