Five tips for letting a cat outside for the first time

Posted by Maggie the Moggie. June 1st 2018.

Letting a cat outside for the first time can be nerve wracking for pet owners. Cats are naturally curious animals and they will want to explore as much of the outdoors as possible. To relieve you of any worries, we have some tips on what to think about when letting your cat outside for the first time.

 

Identification

Before letting your cat outside, make sure they have the correct identification.

Make sure your cat is wearing a collar with an identification tag; this will make it much easier for them to be returned if they stray too far. Remember, cats are extremely active creatures and a collar can get caught. Make sure you select a collar with a quick release to keep your cat safe. If your cat loses their collar, there are other ways they can be identified.

While it is not a legal requirement to microchip your cat, it is highly recommended. If someone finds your cat, believing that they are stray, it is likely that they will check for a microchip with a vet.

If you want to know your cat’s whereabouts at all times, we would suggest trying out a collar with a GPS tracker.

 

Make sure they’re ready

With a kitten, you should wait until they are around six months old before allowing them outside for the first time. They are small, and vulnerable to getting lost, catching an infection or having a run in with larger animals. Also, make sure they have completed a full vaccination course before they venture outside.

With an adult cat, you should wait two to six weeks before allowing them outside. You should also make sure their vaccinations are up to date.

Before letting a cat beyond the garden, make sure they are neutered. Read our blog on the reasons why neutering your cat is an important part of being a responsible owner.

 

Teach them recall signals

To ensure your cat returns on command, teach them signals. Tapping a tin before feeding time will teach them when food is ready and they will learn to associate the sound. Using this sound when calling them indoors should bring them back in a hurry!

 

Plan ahead

Before letting a cat outside, there are a few things to consider.

You should decide the level of outdoor access your cat will be allowed. If you want them to come and go as they please, you should consider installing a cat flap. This way, they can access the house at night and when you are not home.

If your cat is microchipped, you can get them a microchip cat flap. This will ensure that only your cat can get into the house – you don’t want any unwanted guests in your home!

You should also consider the dangers surrounding your home, such as traffic, other animals and your garden, including fencing and whether you need to take extra precautions if you have a pond.

 

Be patient

Every cat is different. Make sure you introduce them to the outdoors over time. Some cats may be confident straight away and others may have no interest in going outside.

Supervise the first few visits outside and make sure your cat knows how to get back inside when they want to. Try to make it a positive experience, with minimal unfamiliar noises and good weather.

 

If your cat has a mishap while exploring the outdoors, make sure they’re covered by pet insurance. Visit www.argospetinsurance.co.uk to find out more information about our policies.

Argos Limited is an Appointed Representative of Home Retail Group Insurance Services Limited which is authorised and regulated as an insurance intermediary by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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