HELP!!

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Daniellef
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HELP!!

Post by Daniellef » Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:53 pm

I have a 6 month old kitten who weighs 2.5kg. Up until now I had every intention of keeping her as an indoor cat but recently she has been dying to go out to the point she tried to jump off my balcony tonight. My balcony has sheets of plastic covering the bars and is higher than waist height and she still attempted. I live in a first floor flat. Although there are a few roads around there is also a lot of trees and areas which are off the road.

When I first got her she was only 4 weeks old as I was told my the "breeder" she was 8. I took her straight to the vet as she was tiny and had a lot of puss surrounding her eye. She had clamydophila and was very badly underweight (110g) and full of worms. She recovered absolute fine and has had no problems since.

I would love to let her outside as it is clear she would rather be out there but I have no way of allowing her access in and out unless she is waiting for me at the door. I have tried a LOT of stimulation for her. She has more toys than I have clothes, she has plenty of places to look outside, I move her food around and play with her every day for at least half an hour. She has always been very hyper to the point of almost boisterous but recently it has got worse. Anyone able to suggest any solutions?!

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lilynmitz
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Re: HELP!!

Post by lilynmitz » Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:30 am

Some cats adapt well to being indoor cats, but for others it's much harder; my Mo would have been a nightmare as a house cat, as he was so active, but Lily is perfectly content not to go out.

I think firstly you need to make your balcony cat proof, since if she gets out this way, there is a great risk of injury, and even if she survives the drop, she can't get back in. This risks her getting lost, and worse, makes her vulnerable to all sorts of dangers (dogs, kids, bigger cats), cars etc, with nowhere to run to for safety. I would suggest netting from top to bottom. A few people have catproofed their entire garden this way, and it's not too obtrusive. She'll be more than capable of jumping onto the balcony rail very soon.

But after that, it's a tough one. You're doing all the right things keeping her stimulated, but you might want to try taking her out on a harness in the grounds. This might be enough for her, but it might also whet her appetite so she wants to be out more.

There are a quite few people on this site who have house cats and live in flats, so hopefully some of them will be along soon to share their experiences.

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Jacks
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Re: HELP!!

Post by Jacks » Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:34 am

Hi and welcome to Cat Chat. You do have a dilemma and I don't think there is any way you can reasonably let your cat out if you're on the first floor UNLESS you can build a cat ramp for her - or a series of platforms for safe ascent and descent - but then you'd have to incorporate something to stop other unwanted creatures entering your home - like a cat flap in the window??

Another suggestion is to thoroughly cat-proof your balcony but with a strong chicken wire so she can see through and feel the air, and erect a cat tree on it - a nice tall one. This is a DIY job again, and I don't know how feasible this is.

Finally, get another kitten - about the same age, maybe a little younger (say 4 months) from rescue or foster, one who has been in with other cats/kittens and evidently likes to play with other cats, is not shy or scared but gregarious and playful. Doesn't matter if male or female. Use the bonding advice on this forum to introduce kitten and then once you've thrown in a cat tunnel, cube, etc sit back and watch the play... This was what I did with a 6 month kitten who was obviously desperate for activity and play - and (choosing a companion carefully as above) within 3 days they were thoroughly enjoying each other's company.

I'm sure there are other suggestions - like building platforms around your walls so she can leap around and have a little world of her own - but the companionship might be just what she needs at her age - otherwise you're looking at a lot on interactive play and houdini-proofing your balcony...

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Baggypants
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Re: HELP!!

Post by Baggypants » Thu Apr 17, 2014 12:58 pm

Has the kitten been spayed? If not this is probably the reason why she's desperate to get out...

Daniellef
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Re: HELP!!

Post by Daniellef » Thu Apr 17, 2014 5:41 pm

Thanks for the replies! Yes she's been speyed and had her jags. My balcony is as cat proof as can be. She tried to jump over the railings. There is no way I can build a contraption for her to get up to the balcony unfortunately. I considered buying another kitten for her but when I spoke to my vet she advised against it and cats tend to be solitary animals. I feel so bad that I can't let her outside!

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Lyn from Australia
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Re: HELP!!

Post by Lyn from Australia » Fri Apr 18, 2014 7:48 am

This is quite a hard one. It may not help at the moment to be told that the majority of cats adjust well to an indoor life - although in my experience they never stop wanting to go outside. My cats have the run of the house and an enclosed courtyard, but I still need to be watchful when I'm going in and out the front door, as Lily and Jagger both want to go out to total freedom, which they just can't have in my current living situation. :( I think your cat will adjust, but perhaps you can give her supervised time outdoors? In a harness and lead perhaps? This could help, but it could also make her more feisty for a while too. In my opinion cats, especially young ones, enjoy company for play etc, and can both easily go off and be on their own if they want. Another cat could very well help, but you could also have two cats who want the outdoors :roll: - but at least they'll be together!! Let us know how your girl is getting on.

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Willowgill
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Re: HELP!!

Post by Willowgill » Fri Apr 18, 2014 3:10 pm

Hi - we have a similar problem having an apartment on the 2nd floor overlooking the canal which my husband insists our 3 cats would be ok to go out onto the balcony - I am adamant they won't and will not allow them access. As we're only here on a weekend mine are ok - Alfie is an outdoor cat at home but doesn't seem to like looking down on the world and actually runs off and hides when he sees people, dogs and bikes down on the towpath. Your dilemma is harder as you live there permanently and and your kitten will obviously want to explore everywhere - there are so many stories of cats falling off balconies I just wouldn't risk letting her out there unless you can find someone to build you a little run she can access through a window catflap. I do know someone who lived in Australia in a condo where animals were not allowed outside and she used to take her cat out for a walk each morning and evening on a harness and lead. As he had been an outdoor cat he adapted very well and was quite a conversation starter. Perhaps you could train her with the harness inside for a while and make a game out of it? I know you said she has loads of toys - does she have a climbing frame? A high one with shelves you can put by the window so she can climb on to see over the balcony would give her the stimulus of seeing what's going on but keep her safe inside as well as giving her another play item. Just a couple of ideas.

Pinkglitter1
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Re: HELP!!

Post by Pinkglitter1 » Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:41 pm

Hi,

Good advice to get her spayed and possibly a friend! Being unneutered might be why she is desperate to get out. Cats Protection can help out with costs if you need be xx

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Lyn from Australia
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Re: HELP!!

Post by Lyn from Australia » Fri Apr 18, 2014 6:31 pm

The kitten HAS been spayed Pinky!

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PeanutsFriend
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Re: HELP!!

Post by PeanutsFriend » Fri Apr 18, 2014 9:48 pm

My Mittens wants outside all the time too. He is neutered and seven years old. His desire is great and its a test of the ol' reflexes keeping him in.
Two of my cats, I could leave the door open and they never set foot across the thresh hold.
Some are more despirate to be free.
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Hunnybunny
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Re: HELP!!

Post by Hunnybunny » Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:11 am

Poor old Mittens...... must be a horrible life to want out but never be allowed, a bit like been in prison one would suspect........!!!!!!!

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Simons Cats
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Re: HELP!!

Post by Simons Cats » Sat Apr 19, 2014 1:26 pm

When we first got Ella and Effie our intention was for them to be indoor cats, we lived in London and although we didn't live ON the main road my previous cat was run over and it took me many years to consider getting another cat. Both cats were desperate to get out and when we came home from work, they would dart out the door. In the end we didn't have any choice but to concede. It was probably different as we lived on the ground floor.

Pinkglitter1
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Re: HELP!!

Post by Pinkglitter1 » Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:21 am

Whoops, I read that she hadn't. Sorry, my advice was rubbish! Xx

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