Done with Door Dashing--Please help! - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-12-2017, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
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Done with Door Dashing--Please help!

Peter got out AGAIN last night. I got back from my birthday party (which was lovely) only to have my night ruined by discovering he must have slipped out from behind our legs on our way out the door. He wasn't in the house. We spent two hours with flashlights searching our neighbours' yards. Our roommate got up to pee in the middle of the night and Peter was sitting at the back door.

This has happened three times now, twice since moving to this house (not counting the times he gets out and dashes over to our neighbour's garden and we see him, catch him and bring him back inside), and I am about done with the terror of finding that he's missing in a neighbourhood with a very high population of ferals and people who speed and do not slow down for cats. Cats get hit constantly by cars in our neighbourhood.

I've tried everything I can think of to make him stop this. I've tried making other parts of the living room way more attractive--literally six or seven different places in sight of the front door are FAR more attractive, cozy and wonderful, with toys and cozy pillows and catnip. The area by the front door is an actual minefield of shoes and other irregularly shaped, uncomfortable for sitting/standing/laying on items. I've tried the ssscat cat before with Peter and he literally spent the night emptying a can of compressed air excitedly by waving his paw back and forth in front of the sensor. He was not startled or upset by it.

Being sprayed with water doesn't upset him. Loud noises? Nope. This cat is freaking bomb proof. I cannot startle or upset him. He's more interested in going out to see what's outside than he is in any treat I can throw. He goes outside on a leash so he can find out what's out there. He only dashes when we're going outside, never when we're coming in.

I just don't know what to do. I'm at the point of looking at kitty GPS tags for his collar. The only downside is they need charging every couple of days. I'm terrified of something happening to him!

Last edited by marie73; 02-12-2017 at 03:49 PM.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-12-2017, 12:42 PM
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I've had the odd 'door dasher' get by me, but most of the time I've prevented that happening. What you have to do is go out the door backwards. If he's near the door and looks like he's starting to come toward it stomp your foot on the floor and say "no". And only open the door enough that you can squeeze through it. A determined door dasher will usually give up if he keeps running into your foot while you're easing yourself out the door. This method has worked for me.

You may have to decide whether to keep him as an indoor only cat, but if he's too frustrated with that arrangement, I would take him out on a leash for walks. With my two I take them in a pet stroller, and they enjoy walks around the neighborhood and thro parks. It gives them a sense of 'patrolling a territory' and this gives them satisfaction. They will often sit in the stroller to tell me it's time for their "walkies".

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Last edited by catloverami; 02-12-2017 at 12:46 PM.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-13-2017, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
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He's only ever successful at dashing when we have our arms full at this point. We're good at the turn and stomp otherwise. He does go outside on a leash. I even built him a custom harness for maximum comfort. He's definitely not becoming an indoor/outdoor cat, because the traffic isn't safe for that at all. He's got to stay an indoor-only or he'll be killed for sure.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 04:39 PM
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When I come in the door I hold the stuff at floor level in front of my like a little snow plow and push them all back. Then use my foot to shut the door behind me. My guys aren't door dashers but MOwMOw has been known to wander out if I'm not paying attention (luckily my little cow stops at the closest patch of grass to graze so he's easy to catch).

My purse, grocery bags, whatever shove them backwards until the door is shut.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Spidercatshuman View Post
He's only ever successful at dashing when we have our arms full at this point.
I have a door dasher too, so I feel your pain.

If I were you, I would go in empty-handed first, greet Peter briefly, and then shut him in a bedroom or bathroom while you bring items in.

A different option is that it may be worth making multiple trips to avoid having your hands so full, because even though the door is opening more times, it's not opening as wide, you'll be able to see better, and you'll have more control.

It can also help to (as much as possible) have only one human going through the doorway at a time. This too is counterintuitive because it seems like two people make a better barrier, but in reality one person can use their feet more effectively to block without worrying about getting tangled with the other person's feet, and the space between two humans can be perfect for dashing. It can help to have one person go in first, make sure the kitty isn't running, and then the other person follows.

I know those are a pain! But less so than losing your kitty.

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Last edited by Blakeney Green; 02-14-2017 at 11:24 PM.
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