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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-20-2011, 01:03 AM Thread Starter
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Question Cat is scared of the outdoors?

Hey everyone! I adopted my little Louis from two young women who lived in a basement apartment, so I assume he's rarely seen natural light before moving in with me.

He's currently two years old, and follows me everywhere, right about until I get to the door, after which he'll put on the breaks and kind of just sit there. I've tried picking him up to show him that it's safe outside with me, but every single time I get remotely close to being actually outside, he'll push and claw until he breaks free and runs back up the entrance stairs, where he'll just sit at the top and continue to stare at me.

I was wondering if any of you have any advice on getting a cat used to the outdoors. I have a harness and leash, which he doesn't mind wearing, but he won't go anywhere near the porch! It's really frustrating because I know he loves the smell of fresh air. Every time I open the balcony door, he'll press his little nose against the screen and sit there inhaling and watching everything go by for hours.
Thanks in advance, everyone~
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-20-2011, 12:40 PM
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I wish I had your problem! My cat is infatuated with the outdoors and tries to run out overtime.

Maybe it is because it is all so foreign to your kitty. If you have a cat carrier bring him outside in that with his cat harness on. Open the door if the kitty seems comfortable. It will take a lot of patience but I think eventually kitty will want to explore. It is instinct!
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-20-2011, 01:00 PM
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Anything's possible why kitty is afraid of outdoors, but maybe kitty had a frightening experience with a bully cat outside the window like EverInBlueJean's kitty but had a different reaction. If there are other cats around outside, she can smell their scent. I think Louie's a smart kitty to be afraid, and frankly imo I wouldn't encourge him to go outside. Cats can lead a happy and safe indoor life. If your cat changes and decides it really wants to go outside, I'd only do it in an enclosed back yard on leash and a secure harness (some can be wriggled out of if the cat panics for any reason and sometimes it can be something like a neighbour yelling or dropping something that's noisy). A pet stroller is another alternative to give the cat a change of scene and yet keep it safe. Nothing is more heart-breaking than to lose a cat to a stray dog, run over on the road, or just disappear. There have been some sad stories on this forum of indoor/outdoor cats that have disappeared or been injured.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-20-2011, 02:05 PM
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My Rochelle is also afraid of going outdoors, even though her "sisters", Alice and Samantha, are both leash and harness trained. When we adopted her, we were told she was brought in as a stray before she was even a year old, so I have no idea what might have happened to her out there, but she is more than content to never leave the house again. I don't force her...I like a cat that I don't have to worry about door dashing.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-20-2011, 02:14 PM
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My Rochelle is also afraid of going outdoors, even though her "sisters", Alice and Samantha, are both leash and harness trained. When we adopted her, we were told she was brought in as a stray before she was even a year old, so I have no idea what might have happened to her out there, but she is more than content to never leave the house again. I don't force her...I like a cat that I don't have to worry about door dashing.

I think she's smart, she know that there bad stuff outside, mean people that don't like cats and other animals that think a cat is a tasty snack.
While inside, warmth, food and love, who needs to go outside.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-20-2011, 02:32 PM
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While inside, warmth, food and love, who needs to go outside.
Exactly.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-20-2011, 02:56 PM
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My Samantha spent her entire 16 years inside, the few times she wandered out an open door I'd just look at her and say "Hey you get back in here" and she'd scurry back inside, she did enjoy looking out the kitchen window but I thing she was mainly watching for her Papa to come home, she was always waiting when I pulled into the driveway and it's one of the things I miss most.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-20-2011, 10:16 PM
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I was gonna say why fix it if it ain't broke? If kitty is not wanting to go outside, let it be. I have 4 cats and they are all content to be indoors only except for one. Every time I go out to the foyer, she follows me there and when I get in, she lingers staring longingly at the door. In the spring and summer, we can go outside with her leash and harness, but in the winter it's not happening, but it is always a point of contention with her. I am always afraid what will happen, if we ever let our guard down and she gets out.
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