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Discussion Starter #1
We're a long way off this yet, but I was wondering, at what age do you generally let cats free range outside by themselves and hope they come back? We'll buy some cat harnesses and let them explore the back garden before when they're older before letting them totally loose.
 

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A couple months old is when i let mine explore in the backyard which is fully fenced so they cant get out, but they did find away when they got older the sneaky kitties :eek:
 

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I do not let mine out. If they start out in the house, that is where they stay. If I tame/socialize a feral on my property, they can be an indoor/outdoor barn cat because they have already survived the dangers of the outdoors for quite some time before they came to me, though I do try to keep them in as much as possible.
As for allowing them out unsupervised? No. We live too close to a 55mph road, neighbors have cat-killing dogs and the woods around us are filled with predators. Too many dangers for me to risk my pets.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Where we live is fine for cats, lots of wooded areas (well, not really woods, has houses / open paths etc and here in Bracknell the most fearsome creature is a grey squirrel and the odd wood pigeon lol) we live nearish a 30mph hour road but the house is quite a way off that and there is a actually a bottleneck in the road to slow the traffic, so cars go by reaaaally slow. There are a few owned cats around who look content in roaming the area. So earliest ours will be let out is after they are neutered and fully vaccinated.
 

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It sounds like you live in a fine place for kitties. I like your idea of taking them out on supervised and controlled visits outdoors so they can get familiar with *their home turf* before you let them completely loose. Even with my housecats, we occasionally do a "kitty-cat-round-up" when the neighbor's kids come over. I just open the back door and let them out. We (about 3-5 of us) will stand in a large, rough semi-circle and keep them 'herded' into that area. Certain people are assigned to certain 'runner-cats' to keep an eye on and retrieve if they run, but after a few minutes, we just begin clapping our hands and slowly walking in to close the half-circle smaller and smaller, herding the kitties back inside.
Part of my theory of doing this is to get them accustomed to the area around our home, so in case they *do* escape, they can recognize where home and the door is.
 
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