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How to keep your cat from running away

I know from bitter experience the horror of losing your cat. The heartbreak and worry, imagining the worse one minute and hoping the next. My cat had come back, but some cats don’t. Runaway cats can be hit by cars, eaten by predators, or taken in by a stranger. This is how you can keep your cat from running away.

A secure cage

How to keep your cat from running away

Whenever taking your cat to the vet, make sure the cage’s door is locked. Try rattling the cage’s door before you put your cat in it. If it’s loose, don’t put your cat in the cage.

Don’t pick up the cage by its handle. It might strain the top and cause it to come off. Slide one arm under the cage and wrap your other arm around it, circling the door.

Hold the cage with the door slightly higher than the back. If you hold the cage with the door tilting downward, the cat may slide and slam against the door. The weight of the feline may cause the door to open.

Cover the cage with a towel or a long shirt. The dark soothes cats and makes them sleepy and less likely to fight and rattle the door.

Choose a cage instead of a cat’s carrier. I’ve once put my cat in a carrier and attached a leash to his collar. He was out of the carrier in less than five minutes. Luckily, I didn’t have enough time to take him out of the house when he escaped. Always check the cage’s door in the store before buying it. A strong, secure cage will keep your feline from escaping.

Secure your house

My cat had torn the screen on the open window and escaped, although he did come back the same day. If you want to keep your cat indoors, screens themselves may not be enough to keep your cat inside.

How to keep your cat from running away

Two four, brief me on the outside surroundings.

Well, sir, there’s no fence around the human’s house, and beyond that there’s a humanless field leading to the Great Feline Mountain.

In his attempt to escape, Fluffy studies the outlines of his human’s home and plans the most daring and amazing escape plan of all times.

Now playing in a theater near you.

To keep your cat from escaping this way, shut the windows behind the screens, or have shutters installed.

When moving into a new house

In the event of moving a cat into a new house, wait two weeks at least before letting your cat out of the house. It gives the cat time to accept the new house as his home. Otherwise, the cat will attempt to go back to his old house and may lose his way.

Cats are notorious for escaping when their owners open the door! If you can not leave your house or let anyone in for two weeks, keeping the door closed all the time, that’s an excellent way of keeping your feline from escaping.

However, if that’s not an option, other cautionary measures can be taken. To keep your cat from running away, every time you leave your house, look behind you and make sure your cat isn’t hiding behind a furniture nearby, ready to leap toward the door the moment you open it.

When coming back home, open the door a crack and make sure your cat isn’t hiding behind it. Then hurry inside and shut the door as fast as possible.

You can carry a spray bottle full of water with you, and spray your cat if he tries to run out the door. Or you can install a buzzer that buzzes loudly whenever the door opens, causing the cat to stay away from it.

Spay and neuter

Kittens run away before reaching sexual maturity so they won’t have kittens with their immediate family members. It’s an evolutionary trait that keeps them from having kittens with birth defects. Spaying and neutering you kittens lowers the chances of them running away, especially if they’re outdoor cats.

Secure your yard

If you live in a home, instead of an apartment, you can let your cat outside if your build a cat-proof fence around your yard. The fence must be higher than six times the length of your cat. Cats have powerful muscles in their back legs that help them jump to amazing heights. Don’t take chances. Make the fence much higher than that. Better safe than sorry.

Only a fence made of rocks or steel will keep your cat from escaping. A wooden or plastic fence can be climbed easily because the cat’s claws sink into the surface, the way a person holding two knives can climb a tree by digging the knives into its bark and pulling himself up. A wooden fence can be coated with steel, but beware! The covering may peel off eventually, leaving bare wooden spots your cat can dig its nails into.

The fence must be far away from trees, the house’s roof, or anything else your feline can climb and leap from. Everything must be beyond leaping distance. Keep in mind cats can leap pretty far, and every cat is different. The longest horizontal jump for a cat was 7 feet according to

Make sure there’s no chair, ladder, large rock or anything else your feline can climb near the fence. A 7 feet high fence with a 2 feet chair right next to it is really just 5 feet for your feline to jump to.

And there shouldn’t be any flat surface in the middle of the fence, anything that sticks out like a shelf, that you cat can use as a trampoline or a temporary stop on its way to the top. Or any other flat surface like a windowpane that your little jumper can land on, that will shorten the jump above the fence.

Make sure there are no large holes in the fence, and that it digs way into the ground. Remember cats can dig under fences. They can also squeeze into holes half their size.

Don’t walk your cat with a harness

I’ve tried this one with my cat, and he was out of the harness in five minutes.

Don’t take your cat to the vet without a cage. You may not be able to hold him. Cats often panic when being taken to the vet, and they’re much stronger than their size, with sharp teeth and claws. A cat can easily wiggle out of your grasp, while biting and scratching like crazy in his struggles to get away. And even if the cat isn’t scared, he might leap suddenly out of your arms.

Get a tracking collar

A tracking collar can be helpful, but it may not always work. The device can fail, or the cat may be wondering off too far. The cat may get rid of the collar, too. My cat always knew how to get out of cats collars.

Getting a tracking collar can lower the chances of losing your cat, but all cautionary measures mentioned above must be taken even with a cat wearing a tracking collar. A tracking collar doesn’t replace these steps and isn’t enough to keep your cat from running away. It’s just an addition.

This treat-dispenser will keep your cat entertained and provide exercise. Stimulates your cat’s hunting instincts. Let your feline have fun while eating. To read customers reviews and watch videos of cats playing with this ball, click here.


14 thoughts on “How to keep your cat from running away

  1. Very good advice. Our Chloe did well, as wild as she could be, to stay within one house on either side of ours. Once when I felt bad for mom losing her cat, I took her to Tennessee, to be with mom for company. When my step father died and when the paramedics and coroner came, she got frightened and escaped. She was gone two months, when I suddenly hear this loud meow at the front door. There she was out front, sitting patiently for me to open the door. I am inclined to think,someone had taken her in and it had taken her that long to get away and back to us, but she did.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Happy ending! You must’ve been so happy to see her.

      I remember how happy I was to see my cat come back. At first, I thought I was only imagining her because I kept thinking about her coming back all the time, though it was an illusion. For weeks later, I’d think maybe I imagined her combing back, and I’d turn around real quick to see if she’s still there.

      Sadly, she’d died two months later, because she was very sick even before she ran away. It was all many years ago, but it was awful. I’m very glad your Chloe came back in one piece.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, I’m so glad we got her back safely too and because of that, we were able to enjoy 14 more years together. I’m so sorry, your kitty did not last as long, but I know from having watched Chloe decline, it’s almost a relief to know they no longer hurt or suffer. Hubby and I see her all the time and sometimes expect to trip over her or find her curled up on our heads like a cap when we wake up. They become so much a part of us, don’t they?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It really is a relief to know they won’t suffer anymore. Especially the last day, when you know they’re going to die. This is the day that lasts forever. You want it to end, but you fear tomorrow. Awful.

        They definitely become a part of us. My supervisor at work had told me, when I told her my cat died, “It must be difficult. They become a part of the house.” But I wouldn’t put it this way. They don’t become a part of the house but a part of the family, a part of our lives.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. My first cat ran away and came back a couple of weeks later sick with intestinal flu and had to be put down. My other cat, the black Persian, was found dead in the next-door neighbor’s outside cellar entrance, presumably poisoned whether deliberately or accidentally I will never know.I have an elderly friend who has a cat she picked up at her daughter’s quite a few years ago. Her daughter had been feeding it, but not taking it in the house. My friend took it home and has had her ever since. If anyone opens the door, the cat disappears in the opposite direction. Other than looking out the window, the cat doesn’t want anything to do with the great outdoors. It’s a good thing, because my friend is nearly 85 and uses a walker. She would never be able to chase a cat.

    Have a happy Easter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Such sad stories.

      My cats go outside every day. They’re feral adopted right off the street, and they go crazy if I ever close the window and try to keep them in, even for a few hours. I have no choice but to let them outside.
      Amiga had been hit by a car, and I had spent hundreds of dollars on her operation (two broken jaws) and antibiotics, and she attacked me whenever I forced them down her throat. But she’s ok now.

      A cat is definitely safer inside, but for some cats, that’s no an option. Maybe feral cats survive better outside than house cats, and their immune system might be better, too. They won’t eat poison, because they always sniff everything, up to a point that it’s difficult to crush a pill in the food. And the nearest road to my building is a quiet side street with few cars driving slowly. Hopefully they’ll be all right.

      Have a happy Easter, too.


    2. Cat’s running off can leave one feeling so helpless. Gracie, was mentally challenged I think, because she could never find her way back with us standing right there. She didn’t live long because she managed to get out and the coyotes got her. One of my first cats, a Siamese we called Samantha got lost one day, when the movers came in and she fled. (They were big guys) I wasn’t home at the time, so they weren’t able to convince her they were okay. She was lost for several days and because I’d left my information at the shelters, I one day got a call for me to come and identify her. The worker said, some power company guys found her in one of the holes, they’d dug. They couldn’t understand why, as a cat she hadn’t just climbed up the board that was in the hole. I explained that she had been declawed and would not have been able to get out. In those days, I would declaw my kitty’s so they wouldn’t tear things up. Ignorantly, I thought those cat’s could still handle themselves fine with their hind legs and they lived a long time, but imagine what a disadvantage! I quit doing that with Gracie. When I discovered what the process was to declawing, it turned my stomach and I quit doing it, not to mention knowing that dumb little Gracie would not be able to protect herself. With Chloe, we bought her an old junk chair for $15, that she could do whatever she wanted to. Up until then, she’d use the scratch pads we would set out for her, but once she got old, she wouldn’t go to them. She was clever enough to leave everything else alone, so we let her have the chair.


      1. They don’t tell you about the horrible process of declawing, and what it does to the cat. They don’t tell you much of anything when you buy a cat, how to care for it, to change the food slowly and not right away, where to buy the cats. No one tells you about puppy mills and pets with genetic disorders due to inbreeding.

        I didn’t know any of that when I bought my Persian, and she had pkd and a tendency toward heart problems. That’s the cat who’d died. I’ll never buy cats from stores again.

        Good for you for deciding never to declaw your cats again. You obviously want what’s best for them.

        You had a mentally challenged cat, and I used to have a hyperactive and violent cat who wouldn’t stop biting and scratching playfully, and when he was angry, too. But I loved him like crazy, and he was extremely affectionate. Demanding and jealous, too.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You are right, cat (pet) ownership is a learning process. Chloe was a cool cat and I’ll mention her over and over again, but she would grab us and never extend her claws when she played rough. When she was done playing, she’d jump back and do this little hiss thing and walk away. She would use her teeth and never clamp down, but her teeth were razor sharp, so you had to be careful not to pull away or you could get hurt. Only once did she bite me for real and that was the last time I bathed her. Normally, she would just sit in the sink and let me wash her, but I may have hit a tender spot or something and she let me know. I quit bathing her after that.


      3. Your Chloe was very polite, biting you only once. If I ever attempt to bath one of my cats, I might as well write a will.

        Liked by 1 person

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