Inside cat to outside cat

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Opening the door for an inside cat to outside cat transformation

There are days when your indoor cat sends you a signal that itís time to move outdoors. It might be by sitting on the windowsill looking longingly at the backyard. It could be when a member of your family decides their sneezing is no longer tolerable and their allergy to cats needs to be addressed. It can even be the piles and urine stains that never seem to never quite make it to the litter box, no matter how hard you try to train your cat.

Whatever the sign, you can transition your pet from inside cat to outside cat safely with some patience and planning.

The first and most important step is to put a collar on your cat with a tag listing your name and phone number and your catís name. It can also hold a key for use with an electronic door. In addition, you may want to consider an identification microchip that can be implanted easily and will help get your cat back to you quickly if it becomes lost.

The next step is to get your inside cat introduced to the outside. If it's never been outdoors since you brought it home, this could take some time and patience.

One way to coax your cat out the door is to hold or prop it open and see if it heads out on its own. If the big door is too intimidating or you want to give your cat more independence or flexibility, you can install a pet door.

These can be placed in screen doors, sliding doors, screen doors and even windows. Electronic doors open automatically when your pet wears a key. If your cat still won't go out on its own, try standing outside the door with it open so they can see you. Often that's all it takes to get them to follow you out.

For the more finicky cat - and we know that means most of them - you may want to try taking it out on a leash. I know cats aren't dogs but many will take to a leash and even go for short walks.

Get your pet used to the leash indoors by walking around the house with it on. When it feels comfortable, lead it outside and walk around out there until it's used to it. When your cat looks like it's having fun or at least tolerating being outside, let it off the leash to wander on its own. Some cats will stay close to their owners while others will explore their surroundings. After a few minutes, head back inside. Some cats will follow, some won't. Repeat the training with a follower until it stays out on its own.

Set up a regular outside spot for food and water, make sure no other animals can get at them and pick up leftovers quickly. As you leave your cat out for longer periods leading up to overnight and all the time, visit and play with it occasionally so it doesn't feel abandoned. Donít forget to give it a safe place to go to at night for sleeping and during bad weather.

Thereís no set time for how long it will take to turn an inside cat into an outside cat, but patience and training will change even the most stubborn feline.

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