Most cats love exploring the great outdoors and giving them free access to outside space can prevent behavioural problems that are often associated with cats that are permanently kept indoors. But what do you need to know before letting your cat outside for the first time?
Let them settle in
When a cat is introduced to a new home, he will need to get used to the new sights and smells. Keep your cat indoors for the first three weeks to give him time to settle in. He needs to feel safe in his new surroundings so that he will want to return once he’s been let outside. Be careful when leaving windows and doors open during this period. Use this time to ensure that your cat is vaccinated, neutered and microchipped.
Identify your cat
Before letting your cat outside for the first time, ensure that he is fitted with some form of identification. Microchips are an ideal way to identify your pet as they can’t get lost and they will stay with your cat for his entire lifetime. Your cat can be microchipped cheaply and painlessly at your nearest veterinary surgery.
Choose a suitable time
Before you let your cat out, feed him at the same times every day and call to him when his dinner is ready. When you let him outside for the first time, let him out just before his meal time and use the same call to entice him back inside. He’ll be keen to return if he’s hungry.
If there is a lot of noise inside or outside of the house, your cat might feel frightened when he goes outside for the first time. Be sure your home is quiet before letting him out. Check that there are no neighbouring cats in the garden that might intimidate your pet.
Try to select a day when the weather is fine so that they won’t be put off going outside if it’s very cold or wet.
Accompany your cat
Go into the garden with your cat when you let him out for the first time to offer him reassurance. Leave the door open so that he can easily get back inside if he wants to.
Provide easy access
Consider installing a cat flap to give your cat free access so that he can come and go as he pleases. Free entry to the house will give your cat a way to escape other cats in the neighbourhood without having to wait for you to open the door for them. If you are worried about other cats gaining access through the cat flap, install a SureFlap Microchip Cat Flap to prevent intruders.
Make your garden inviting
Cats love the freedom of being outside and they will enjoy going into the garden even more if you create an inviting space for them that is tailored to their needs.
Know when they come back
Give yourself peace of mind when you're out of the house that your cat is happily using the cat flap by installing a SureFlap Microchip Cat Flap Connect, which will send you a notification each time your cat uses the cat flap.