If you’re wanting to give your cat some time in the great outdoors, you should first make sure that it is a safe environment. If you live in a high traffic area or a place with other predatory animals it might be a good idea to keep your cat inside. However, if you’re in a cat-safe environment, there are ways you can transition your pet into an indoor/outdoor lifestyle. This transition should go slowly so your cat can adjust. But once your furry friend is comfortable, we’re sure they’ll love spending time outside, basking in the sun, and chasing critters around your yard. Here’s some helpful hacks to get you started!
Feed your cat inside regularly
Even though you’re beginning to give your cat some freedom to leave the house, you will want to continue to feed him or her inside the house. This is both for safety and routine. If you start feeding your cat outside you are likely to attract unwanted wildlife and potentially other cats.
Losing your cat is obviously a major concern when you’re allowing them outside. So, feeding your cat indoors will give them an incentive to come back home. Stick to their normal routine and feed them at the same time everyday so you will know when to expect them back. Also, it’s good to maintain some of their routines anyway because cats are creatures of habit. We don’t blame them!
Slow and steady wins the race
As tempting as it is to release the beast and watch your kitty explore the great outdoors, this is not a good way to acclimate them. Start with very small increments of time and slowly build up. Start with as little as 10 minutes of outdoor time and increase this number everyday.
This allows them some time to get used to new smells, sounds, and sights in this great new world. In the beginning you definitely want to keep an eye on them as well so they don’t get into trouble while they’re adjusting. Give your cat a treat when they come back inside to reward them for coming back. This will also train them to always return after their adventures.
Don’t forget the vet
Being outside will naturally expose them to more so you want to make sure that you’re not missing those vet visits to confirm that everything is in order.
Bring them in overnight
Generally, it is not a good idea to leave your cat outside overnight to fend for themselves. Limit their outside time to during the day where it’s easier to see them and there are less predators.
As a general rule, you should consider bringing your cat in after dinner time and keeping him or her inside until the morning. There will still be tons for them to explore tomorrow!