by Clara Lou
You never want your cat getting into trouble or lost if he escapes your house. Leaving a safe haven to adventure and explore can also be life-threatening for felines. If your cat has started door dashing or often sneaks out of the house, you need to act immediately to correct this behavior and provide them the best enrichment you can. We will discuss the reasons why cats escape the house and what you can do about it.
Pet cats should be strictly indoors. In fact, cats have already contributed to the extinction of 63 species of birds, reptiles, and mammals in the US so far. Imagine what harm cats can cause to the ecosystem if all indoor cats are allowed to stay outdoors.
Why Cats Try To Escape The House
Cats used to be wild creatures before humans started domesticating them. They descended from African Wildcats. Well, that being said, we can understand our cats have a tendency to leave the house to adventure, explore the outside world, and live the life they are wired to.
An urge for mating with other adult cats is on the peak in their breeding season. If your cat has not been altered, you give your cat a reason to roam outside. However, spaying or neutering your feline buddy won’t eliminate the roaming completely because they have some other reasons to do so too.
However, when your cat is young and a kitten, you can spay or neuter them and can save them from having several uterine diseases or testicular diseases. It has also been proven that altered cats are less likely to develop Feline Leukemia and FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) disease. All in all, altering your cat can reduce your cat’s urge to escape the house and roam.
Cats in the wild used to hunt their prey and thrive on them. While our cats get enough food in our homes, they still can feel the urge to hunt and arrange the food by themselves. This behavior should be addressed upon noticing. If your cat doesn’t find prey around your house on her escapade, she might consider going farther the next time.
Let’s not forget that the territorial behavior of your cats is not just limited to your house. Cats want to own all things. If your cat sits at the window and stares out for long, he might want to mark that area. Escaping from the house to mark territories outside is especially likely to happen when there are neighborhood pet cats or feral cats visiting. They would love to go outside, spray there, and return.
Also, if you have recently moved to a new place, it will be a big deal for your feline. You might also face litter problems and behavioral issues due to this big change in his territory. More importantly, your cat might escape to get back his old territory. To prevent this kind of escapes, keep things as familiar as possible for your cats in the new home.
Some Tips to Stop Your Cats from Escaping
You have to compromise a few things in order to keep your cat happy. Well, consider this as a price you need to pay for the beautiful relation between you and your cat. When you want them to stop something they want to, you have to meet them in the midway and provide something that works both for you.
In this case, your cats want to explore the outside world and they totally deserve to do so. Okay, so what’s the midway? What can you do?
I’ll give you some more tips on how to correct their escaping behavior in the later section but first, you should know what you would provide your cat when you will not allow her to escape. Walk your cat! Yes, you can walk your cat like your dog on a harness. However, both are not the same.
Taking out your cat on a leash is not suitable for all cats as not all cats want to go outdoors and explore. But the escaping cat or a door dashing cat is the perfect candidate that can walk on a leash. This way your cat will be able to feel more confident, enjoy her exploration of the outside world, and marking territories.
There is no alpha cat concept here, attach a leash on your cat’s harness, and just follow your cat where she wants you to take. This way your cat gets to go out, is safe from other predators, cars, and is not a threat to birds and other species they want to hunt.
Use Different Ways to Stop Your Cat Escaping
If you have multiple pet households and have dogs, you need to ensure that your cat doesn’t use dog doors to go out. Use cat deterrents to keep cats away from the door. You can also use ‘Sticky Paws’, double-sided tapes on the door, and around it. Cats don’t like tacky paws and will turn around. You can also use aluminum foil on the doormat. Cats don’t like the cracking sound it produces when they step on it.
But again, remember that this tip would only stop your cat from going outside. Further, you need to take them out on a walk and work on different environmental enrichment ideas like providing them cat TV, cat furniture, cat enclosures and catio, etc. for their happiness and well-being.
Cat GPS Collar and Micro-chipping
A cat GPS collar would help you to keep an eye on your cat’s location. In the case when your cat escapes and doesn’t get back to your place, you can track his live location on the device and can find him out. Also, make sure that this collar is breakaway. If at all a cat’s collar gets stuck on a tree branch or in the bush, the collar should break immediately to avoid strangling and choking.
You don’t have to worry about the GPS collar lost because it’s breakaway. It saves your cat’s life anyway. The next thing you can rely on to find your cat is his microchip. If your cat ends up to a shelter or a vet, they can get your information very easily using scanners. So make sure your cat wears a GPS collar and is microchipped.
Cats need to go out because they have a gene to live and thrive in the wild. I hope you have understood your cat’s need for escaping. You can definitely stop your cat from escaping but in turn, you need to do provide them what they want like meeting them in the midway. Going out and exploring help cats to gain confidence, improve problem-solving ability, and give your cat a chance to be themselves! When you walk them on a leash or carry them in a cat stroller, you are protecting them and the ecosystem as well!