The day has finally come to let your cat outside, and you’re a bag of nerves, and we totally get it. Letting your cat venture into the big wide world for the first time is a big deal, no matter how old they are.
Most people tend to start letting their cats outside when they’re no longer kittens. Kittens and young cats should absolutely not be allowed to go outside. However, if the time has come, keep reading to learn what you should expect for your cats first outing.
They Should Go Out Into The Garden First
Before you let your cat go and explore the world, you should first get them used to going out in your garden and coming back inside. A great idea that allows you to do this gradually is using a cat enclosure, which you can find on protectapet.com. Cat enclosures let you work on recall – yes, you can recall train cats as well.
Start by letting your cat into the area for 30-minutes or so before breakfast. Call them back in for breakfast by clearly showing them the bowl of food, and repeat this daily until you can call their name, and they’ll come running.
That lays the groundwork for getting your cat to come home once you’ve let them out, meaning they’re less likely to be gone for days at a time.
They Might Run Back Inside
You might find that the first time letting your cat outside, they run right back inside. The younger the cat, the more timid and fearful it will be of new experiences. However, you should always encourage them back outside so they can get used to their surroundings, build confidence, and become the outdoor cat they’re destined to be. Outdoor cats are far less stressed, can exhibit their natural behaviours, and are mentally and physically better than indoor cats.
Coax them outside with tasty treats or toys and show them there’s nothing to be afraid of – even if you are slightly worried about them leaving the house!
They Might Be Gone For Days
Beware – once your cat gets a feel for the outside world, they might not want to come back in. Outdoor cats can go outdoors for days at a time, and in the first few weeks, while they’re getting used to navigating their way around, they might not come home. This is why so many people prefer to secure their gardens.
If it has been more than 24 hours, consider asking neighbours and people close by if they’ve seen it and start leaving food outside the perimeter of your home to help guide them back to safety.
You’ll Naturally Feel Anxious
You can expect to feel anxious for the first few weeks – but you’re doing the best thing for your cat by letting them outside. If you wish, you can put trackers on your furbaby, so you know where they are at all times. Some fur parents prefer to do this for their peace of mind.
Letting your cat out for the first time will definitely be a memorable experience for both of you. However, it’s natural for a cat to be outdoors; it’s us humans that have brought them into our homes and made them stay. Trust that your cat will come home – which it should always do if you took the time to teach them recall and associated coming home with being fed.