Sneaky indoor kitten gets outside

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ManicWolf
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Sneaky indoor kitten gets outside

Post by ManicWolf » Sun May 05, 2019 11:59 pm

So this is an awkward problem that I'm not really sure there is a solution to.

We have five adult outdoor cats, and recently got three ragdoll kittens. Ragdolls are strictly indoor cats, which we didn't think would be a problem because we have a SureFlap cat flap which only opens for cats with registered microchips. However, the oldest ragdoll has learnt to follow on the heels of an exiting cat, and that way he poke his head through the flap just as the other cat is leaving and keep it open to get out himself.

The only current solution we have come up with for this is to lock the cat flap in the daytime, and open the door manually for the cats when we're around, and then open the flap at night and lock the kittens in the living room so the adult cats can come and go freely at night.

I'm loathed to think of our adult cats being stuck outside if there's no-one around to open the door for them in the daytime, but I'm at a loss to think of any other solution.

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Re: Sneaky indoor kitten gets outside

Post by Mollycat » Mon May 06, 2019 7:04 am

My Raggy would love to get out and explore the world, it's so sad to have to keep them in and I have no other option in a 2nd floor flat.

Does your cat flap go out into your garden? If so, I would enclose an area and put a second cat flap to the outside world from that but in a position where one cat cannot follow another - high up with a small ledge or something. Then the Raggies could get some fresh air without the hazards of roaming bit the others could keep their freedom. I guess that's not possible?

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Ruth B
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Re: Sneaky indoor kitten gets outside

Post by Ruth B » Mon May 06, 2019 8:53 am

I will start with something of a controversial statement. Ragdolls can be fine with access to outside and don't need to be kept as purely indoor pets.

Now I will explain that a bit.

We had a Ragdoll cat for 13 years, we got him from a rescue where my Mother helped out after one of our other cats died. it was perfect I was desperately looking for a new cat just after New Year when most shelters were still closed, and they had just had him signed over and were wondering how to rehome him without him going to someone who just wanted a cheap pedigree. Blue was three years old and had lived in a flat with another cat so seemed perfect, I never thought that there would be a problem to introducing him to outside, and no one had told me they shouldn't be let outside at that point. While the promised paperwork was never handed to the rescue I do believe he was a full Ragdoll.

Things went brilliantly, Blue soon became firm friends with our resident cat, Patch, she was about 8 years old and a tortie, with typical tortitude, but who hated to be alone hence the urgent need to find a companion cat. He was of course kept in for several weeks as I would do with any cat but then I started letting him out into the back garden. The first few visits were short and I would call him back in and give him some food so he learnt to associate being called in with getting fed. He soon learnt to love the garden, he did try exploring a bit at first but after a couple of trips and a couple of none aggressive run ins with other local cats he decided that he was happy staying in our garden. I used to watch from an upstairs window when he did go exploring just to make sure he was alright. He knew he could get back inside when ever he wanted and Patch was willing to see any other cats off. I do believe that Patch taught him a lot.

His encounters with other cats were interesting to watch. People say that Ragdolls don't have a defence instinct and that is given as one reason not to let them out. Blue believed that everyone would be his friend and approached every cat with that attitude to start with. He was however a big cat and very fluffy and other cats were wary of him. In addition we noticed that he had 'human' body language, he would look directly at any cat as he approached them which in cat language is a sign of a very confident, and possibly aggressive cat, they backed down to him. There was one who had been ruling the roost in the area before and he was the only one that didn't instantly back away, that is when we saw that Blue's instincts were still intact. Can you imagine how big a Ragdoll looks with all their fur puffed up and a tiny dark face surrounded by a while ruff, rather like a lion in negative. The other cat slowly gave ground and Blue was set as top cat and everyone was his friend.

Of course like any cat there were things he didn't like, fireworks were one of his big fears, but we made sure he never had to go out if he didn't want to, there were litter trays inside as well as food and water and he was never forced to go out, he could have spent his life inside if he had wanted to.

We are lucky enough to live in a quiet cul de sac where people know each other and most know which cat belongs to whom, we all watch out for each others. A friend of ours who lives up the road also got a Ragdoll, the was never a question about paperwork so we can never be sure whether she is full Ragdoll, but she also is let out and has never had a problem. He had her from a few months old and she was let out as soon as she was old enough to go out, she has been treated like a normal moggy and has learnt to behave like a normal moggy.

However every cat is different and even some moggies are better as indoor cats. What I would say is that if your Ragdoll insists on going out then slowly and properly introducing him to outside is the better option than having him try and escape all the time. If the area you live in is safe for your other cats to go outside then it is safe for him as well. It also means that when he does escape he won't be so panicked by everything and will know more where home is and how to get there. Building a cat enclosure or cat proofing your garden is also another option which would mean you could let them all out without worrying about them.

And just to finish, evidence of one happy outdoor going Ragdoll.
blue_opt.jpg
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ThorpeDave
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Re: Sneaky indoor kitten gets outside

Post by ThorpeDave » Mon May 06, 2019 10:50 am

I am not 100% clear why rag dolls are considered to be indoor cats only ??

Having had problems with my cats using sureflap cat doors I would recommend having a chat with their customer services department. They are absolutely brilliant and have even made a specific cat door for me.

If there is a concern that the cats will get out of your garden please consider cat proofing it - it brings tremendous peace of mind to know that they can't get out and other cats can't get in!

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Dave

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Re: Sneaky indoor kitten gets outside

Post by Mollycat » Mon May 06, 2019 2:44 pm

ThorpeDave wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 10:50 am
I am not 100% clear why rag dolls are considered to be indoor cats only ??
Mine is a retired stud and came, as do many kittens, with a contract that they must not be allowed to roam. They are allowed an outdoor enclosure, indeed that's where many breeders keep their cats - especially entire toms!

The not allowed to roam thing is firstly because like other pedigrees they have a monetary value which some consider to make it unsafe for them to roam in case they are stolen. But specific to Raggies is that they are supposedly by nature so dopey and easy-going ... Mine didn't get the memo.

I don't agree with the whole indoor cat thing - I love cats because I hate keeping animals in cages, and to me keeping a cat indoors is just a bigger cage. I have an upstairs flat and could only offer an indoor home, so I set out to get a cat that was already indoor only - either due to FelV, old age, injury, or simply preference. Boo came up for rehoming and I took him, and then my moggy girl came up indoor for different reasons and I took her. 6 years on I'm still in 2 minds about whether I would take on another when these go. Moving is not an option.

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Re: Sneaky indoor kitten gets outside

Post by Ruth B » Mon May 06, 2019 3:32 pm

Mollycat wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 2:44 pm
6 years on I'm still in 2 minds about whether I would take on another when these go. Moving is not an option.
Personally I don't agree that a cat should have to be kept indoors just because of it's breed. However there are cats out there that do have to be kept in for various reasons, often medical ones. I know there is someone that supports the same rescue charity that i do that has given a home to three cats, with one eye between them. Those cats shouldn't be allowed out, it wouldn't be safe for them, the same would be true for a deaf cat or one that carries FeLV of FIV. So while living as an indoor only cat isn't ideal it is better than the other options, being left in a pen in a shelter or put to sleep.

As for not letting them out due to their monetary value, if you chose to spend the money on a cat you should understand that you are taking a risk. Like anything else of value you do all you can to make sure that they aren't stolen or hurt, but they are still a living animal and not an ornament to take out and show off when friends come to visit.

The contract issue is possibly why i will never have another Ragdoll, much as I would like one. If i could find a breeder that would be willing to discuss the matter and understand that I would want them to have access to outside, i would happily pay the premium, but I would never go to the type of breeder that doesn't care about their cats and what happens to them. At the moment it is a moot point, 3 is the maximum i can really have (I made an exception for my Mother's cat when she had to go into a nursing home), but when one does go then i will have to see what i can find.

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Re: Sneaky indoor kitten gets outside

Post by ThorpeDave » Mon May 06, 2019 4:28 pm

Ahh right

I personally don't believe in locking a cat indoors as it is their nature to roam around.

simple solution - cat proofing. Mine can roam around our garden - it is not that big but we are trying to make it interesting. They have shelters and platforms on which to sit. Shaded areas and sunny areas together with some cat friendly plants.

since we completed the job, no other cats have been able to get it which is a major bonus. The cat proofing is backed up with CCTV. We still have an 11:30 curfew though which I was going to lift as Mia becomes restless at about 6am. With a new kitten arriving shortly it will be several months before I give them all total freedom.

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Dave

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Re: Sneaky indoor kitten gets outside

Post by Mollycat » Mon May 06, 2019 4:58 pm

I broadly agree with you Ruth but sadly we are in strange times and too many people have strange ideas. Personally there are lot of reasons I would never go pedigree again and as you say there are so many who need indoor homes for medical or trauma reasons (like my moggy girl) if I have more after these that's what I will do, but not the pedigree. I wasn't agreeing with the breed thing, only answering the question why some think a Raggie should be caged indoors. I don't agree with it. Boo would love it. I've even considered a rabbit hutch run to take him just to feel grass under his feet ...

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