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
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.
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 https://cat-world.com/how-high-can-cats-jump.html#How_far_can_a_cat_jump
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.
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