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View Full Version : Cat Escape, advice sought


December 4th 05, 10:54 AM
My cat escaped (indoors only, I live in a big city filled with strays).

Now gone three days. I'm hoping she's nearby. The last time she escaped

(a year ago) she was gone for 3 days, then i found her in a tree in our

small backyard. After that last incident, i rang a bell every time i
gave her tuna or something else she really liked. Always came running
in the house when she heard the bell. Now, is walking the neighborhood
ringing the bell going to help, or just make me look foolish? Have done

so a few times already, with no luck.


Best
Dan

December 4th 05, 12:01 PM
Well -- less than 15 minutes after i posted this, cat showed up on the
back stairs (i live in a third floor apartment, with concrete outdoor
stairs out the kitchen door -- proper stairs, not a fire escape). She'd
escaped out the front door and down the main stairs initially, i guess
found her way into the yard and back up when she got hungry.

This cat started as a feral kitten (at least 4 months when i took her)
and is very affectionate, but also bolshy. She jumps in my lap when I'm
sitting, and comes up to be petted, but doesn't abide being picked up
(squirming escalates to clawing in about 10 seconds). Was very spooky
when i came outside just now, showed no sign of recognizing me, and
fled to the roof and stared (I had tuna). I went and got the bell --
she heard that, and it put her at ease, and she came down, and ate a
little bit. Then i moved the dish to the kitchen, rang the bell, and
she came right in.

This is a cat that very much wants to be outside however. I know
statistically she won't live as long if this is allowed, but what are
people's thoughts on caving in and letting the cat have some of what it
wants? It seems as if those early months outdoors hardwired a desire
for some of that.
Best
Dan

cybercat
December 4th 05, 12:03 PM
> wrote in message
oups.com...
> My cat escaped (indoors only, I live in a big city filled with strays).
>
> Now gone three days. I'm hoping she's nearby. The last time she escaped
>
> (a year ago) she was gone for 3 days, then i found her in a tree in our
>
> small backyard. After that last incident, i rang a bell every time i
> gave her tuna or something else she really liked. Always came running
> in the house when she heard the bell. Now, is walking the neighborhood
> ringing the bell going to help, or just make me look foolish? Have done
>
> so a few times already, with no luck.
>
>

I think it is a good idea. I'm so sorry your girl got out. I know you are
sick
with worry. Hope you find her soon.

December 4th 05, 12:04 PM
Thanks for the kind thoughts. They must have worked (see above).
Best
Dan

cybercat
December 4th 05, 12:16 PM
> wrote in message
oups.com...
> Well -- less than 15 minutes after i posted this, cat showed up on the
> back stairs (i live in a third floor apartment, with concrete outdoor
> stairs out the kitchen door -- proper stairs, not a fire escape). She'd
> escaped out the front door and down the main stairs initially, i guess
> found her way into the yard and back up when she got hungry.

Dan, that is great news! I had a pit in my stomach just thinking about
an indoor cat out in a big city full of strays and cars etc.


>
> This cat started as a feral kitten (at least 4 months when i took her)
> and is very affectionate, but also bolshy. She jumps in my lap when I'm
> sitting, and comes up to be petted, but doesn't abide being picked up
> (squirming escalates to clawing in about 10 seconds). Was very spooky
> when i came outside just now, showed no sign of recognizing me, and
> fled to the roof and stared (I had tuna).

<G> The secret weapon! I got my kitty out from under the house with
a can of tuna once. (She had actually wiggled out through a jerry-rigged
cardboard-and-tape covering over the hole in the utility room wall where
the washer hose goes out. She was happy as she could be down there on
the packed dirt floor chasing bugs!)

>I went and got the bell --
> she heard that, and it put her at ease, and she came down, and ate a
> little bit. Then i moved the dish to the kitchen, rang the bell, and
> she came right in.

Your instincts are great! You've got Pavlov's cat there! The bell is
really a great idea--behavioral training by paired stimuli, the one
being all cats' favorite--FOOD.

>
> This is a cat that very much wants to be outside however. I know
> statistically she won't live as long if this is allowed, but what are
> people's thoughts on caving in and letting the cat have some of what it
> wants? It seems as if those early months outdoors hardwired a desire
> for some of that.

Dan, you will lose her early if you let her roam in those conditions.
We have had lots of discussion about things like building outdoor
enclosures and even walking the cats on a harness. You don't
want to find this girl with her belly ripped out by a stray pit bull,
or dead in the street, hit by a car. We had indoor/outdoor cats
in a big city when I was growing up--lots of them--because we
did not have them very long. I found several dying, hit by cars
or killed by other animals. Or they just disappear. People rightfully
think, when they find an animal roaming under these conditions,
that whoever has her must not care too much about her, and they
just take her. Then there are the sickos that hurt cats.

Translation: I really don't think it is a good idea to let her out.
My little girls were both found feral, and keeping them in a while
resulted in them not even wanting to get out over time. Best of
luck and I hope you don't lose her again!!

5cats
December 4th 05, 01:21 PM
wrote:

> After that last incident, i rang a bell every time i
> gave her tuna or something else she really liked. Always came running
> in the house when she heard the bell. Now, is walking the neighborhood
> ringing the bell going to help, or just make me look foolish? Have done
>
> so a few times already, with no luck.
>

I'm glad she found her way back. The big city is no place for a little
kitty cat.

If it ever happens again, try the bell ringing, but only in a manner that,
if she follows the sound, will lead her back home. If she's following the
sound cues, don't lead her in a circle around the block, instead, start
away from the house and walk back towards the house while ringing.

December 4th 05, 02:05 PM
Good idea. Thanks to you both for your thoughts.
Dan
Cairo

---MIKE---
December 4th 05, 02:18 PM
Every time I feed my cats, I ring a "dinner" bell. I figure that if one
of them should get out, the bell will bring him/her back.


---MIKE---
>>In the White Mountains of New Hampshire
>> (44 15' N - Elevation 1580')

December 4th 05, 08:08 PM
wrote:
> This cat started as a feral kitten (at least 4 months when i took her)
> and is very affectionate, but also bolshy. She jumps in my lap when I'm
> sitting, and comes up to be petted, but doesn't abide being picked up
> (squirming escalates to clawing in about 10 seconds). Was very spooky
> when i came outside just now, showed no sign of recognizing me, and
> fled to the roof and stared (I had tuna). I went and got the bell --
> she heard that, and it put her at ease, and she came down, and ate a
> little bit. Then i moved the dish to the kitchen, rang the bell, and
> she came right in.

> This is a cat that very much wants to be outside however. I know
> statistically she won't live as long if this is allowed, but what are
> people's thoughts on caving in and letting the cat have some of what it
> wants? It seems as if those early months outdoors hardwired a desire
> for some of that.

She can't cope with the outside now. She goes into paranoid feral mode
which is bad for a cat and that's why she can't even recognize you.
After I took in my feral at 4 months, I let her out and she was scared
and confused. Whereas before, she was almost too relaxed on the street.
But living inside made her soft. And she stayed inside on her own after
that. I think the spaying might have changed her quite a bit in regards
to living in the streets.

Now that I am away from the city, I let her out but the streets and
people are far enough away. She does not roam and I let her out maybe
1/2 hour at a time, often supervising her. I also have a leach. For
you, I think a travel soft bag she could see out of and take her on
walks. A leash is a mess in the city because of the dangers. My cat got
out of her harness in seconds in the city and hid under the house until
I dragged her out after I had taken her in and got her spayed. Those
leashes that are like a coat might be best in the long run. I've tried
about 5 of them so far of the ordinary strap kind. Not all that
reliable.

meee
December 6th 05, 03:56 AM
I know the feeling!! My ex-feral Jasmine constantly bugs me to go outdoors,
and I have to keep a spray bottle next to the door, as the minute I open it
she wants out. Now she knows, and I may a 'csh sch' spray bottle sound at
her and she turns tail, but as she is used to the outdoors we have reached a
compromise. every evening, when i know there's no cars around, we have
supervised playtime on the front lawn where she can sniff the grass, scratch
trees and just unwind a bit. This does her good, as she has her outdoors
time so she doesn't try to bolt as much, and is happier to stay indoors.

--
There are many intelligent species in the Universe. They are all owned by
cats.

Anonymous

One cat just leads to another. -Ernest Hemingway


> wrote in message
oups.com...
> Well -- less than 15 minutes after i posted this, cat showed up on the
> back stairs (i live in a third floor apartment, with concrete outdoor
> stairs out the kitchen door -- proper stairs, not a fire escape). She'd
> escaped out the front door and down the main stairs initially, i guess
> found her way into the yard and back up when she got hungry.
>
> This cat started as a feral kitten (at least 4 months when i took her)
> and is very affectionate, but also bolshy. She jumps in my lap when I'm
> sitting, and comes up to be petted, but doesn't abide being picked up
> (squirming escalates to clawing in about 10 seconds). Was very spooky
> when i came outside just now, showed no sign of recognizing me, and
> fled to the roof and stared (I had tuna). I went and got the bell --
> she heard that, and it put her at ease, and she came down, and ate a
> little bit. Then i moved the dish to the kitchen, rang the bell, and
> she came right in.
>
> This is a cat that very much wants to be outside however. I know
> statistically she won't live as long if this is allowed, but what are
> people's thoughts on caving in and letting the cat have some of what it
> wants? It seems as if those early months outdoors hardwired a desire
> for some of that.
> Best
> Dan
>

Larry R Harrison Jr
December 6th 05, 05:03 AM
I am glad you found it. All I can offer is just do whatever you have to to
keep it away from the door. Once they've been outside cats--so I've been
told--have a raving mad obsession with it, it's as bad as their desire for a
mate when they're in heat.

So don't let them near the door when you're leaving. If they come within a
MILE of the door, watergun spray-them or something every single time they go
near it. Just deliver the message loud & clear that even just being near the
door much less going outside is just totally out of the question.

That is what I do to my cat who seems obsessed. Someone will open the door
and he'll stubbornly insist on wanting to go to the open door--but I stand
there with a broom and make sure that any attempts earn him a swift sweep
across the room very quickly. His stubborness in no way matches my
determination, and I can tell you--he hasn't made it outside yet. He keeps
trying, but he always loses--and he always will.

You will have to be that way in SPADES since your cat has experienced the
outdoors and now is quadruply determined (compared to mine) to make it
outdoors.

LRH

NMR
December 6th 05, 05:07 AM
Does some one smell BS

"Larry R Harrison Jr" > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
>I am glad you found it. All I can offer is just do whatever you have to to
>keep it away from the door. Once they've been outside cats--so I've been
>told--have a raving mad obsession with it, it's as bad as their desire for
>a mate when they're in heat.
>
> So don't let them near the door when you're leaving. If they come within a
> MILE of the door, watergun spray-them or something every single time they
> go near it. Just deliver the message loud & clear that even just being
> near the door much less going outside is just totally out of the question.
>
> That is what I do to my cat who seems obsessed. Someone will open the door
> and he'll stubbornly insist on wanting to go to the open door--but I stand
> there with a broom and make sure that any attempts earn him a swift sweep
> across the room very quickly. His stubborness in no way matches my
> determination, and I can tell you--he hasn't made it outside yet. He keeps
> trying, but he always loses--and he always will.
>
> You will have to be that way in SPADES since your cat has experienced the
> outdoors and now is quadruply determined (compared to mine) to make it
> outdoors.
>
> LRH
>

5cats
December 6th 05, 05:53 AM
NMR wrote:

> Does some one smell BS
>

I thought there was suddenly a wiff of eau-de-troll in the air.