Kitten safety

Yesterday, the kittens slipped out through the backdoor somehow when I let the dog in. I came down stairs and saw the open door and my heart stopped.  

When I rushed over and called them, there they were, frolicking in the sunshine. Rafe was pretending to be a VERY BIG LION, his hair all fluffed up, skittering sideways on his tiptoes, chasing his baby sister, who was leading him on a merry chase. They were so happy to be in the yard.  

I can’t decide if I need an electric fence, or if I should train them to be just in the yard with me, and always come in at night.  There are foxes in the neighborhood.  Comments? 

8 thoughts on “Kitten safety

  1. We are full time travelers/campers. All pets must be on a leash in most all parks. We have KT leash trained and has been since he was a kitten. For naptime, he sleeps in his beloved hammock I made for him in a dog crate. Sounds a little extreme …..but there are all sorts of wild critters here in NM. He can still go for walks with us, play, climb a free if he so desires and he even has a backpack that he goes in while we are on a hike! You can see his stories on our website. We love having him safe! He is on our journey.

  2. I’ve always had indoor/outdoor cats, because to me they’re the last of the not-completely-domesticated domesticated animals. But we’ve also had coyotes move into our Seattle neighborhoods. So in the winter, when the danger is highest, my cats come in at night. An alternate solution is to harness train as KT mentioned. We have a couple of tabbies in the neighborhood, Cricket and Scout, who are let out on that basis, and they seem to enjoy it. The only downside is that the leads to the harnesses sometimes get tangled up in whatever foliage you’ve got going in your yard. Well, that and the fact they’re sitting ducks if you have a predator unafraid to breach your yard. I don’t know if foxes are nocturnal or daytime critters.

    It’s a balancing act, keeping pets safe while also allowing them to be what their nature decrees.

  3. Always in at night. Bring them in for dinner and make them stay. My Pooh kitty is too big to get over our fence so unless he slips out the front door, he’s confined to the backyard. He had a big patch of catnip that makes him happy (and does attract the neighborhood cats) and lots of warm sunny spots to lay in.

    If you do plant catnip for your kitties, the way the DH does it is to get it started under a milk carton crate (the old plastic kind) and keep it covered until it’s so big it overwhelms the kitty instead of the other way around.

    BTW–I planted potatoes in a potato bag. It’s my garden project this year.

  4. Mel

    I used to let my old two out as they never roamed very far (Jessie rarely left the backyard) and Tabasco confined himself to a a house or two away if he did or in latter days a path from my backyard to the front porch and back) but when Jessie died and was contemplating the new girl, I knew I wasn’t happy to trust that a young and enthusiastic cat who loves to pounce and chase things wouldn’t roam much further if chasing a bird or something (and I’m really only about half a km away from a big busy road). I put in a cat enclosure which she seems perfectly happy with, having not known anything else really. Means she can have time in the fresh air and sunshine, she can watch the birds, she can climb but can’t roam. I put a pot of grass in there for them to nibble too.

    Tabasco wasn’t overly fond of it in his last few months as he was used to going where he wanted but he did adjust and go out to sit in the sunshine. There’s a cat door out to it, so even if I go away over night, she can go in and out as she wants instead of being shut in the house. Definitely adds to my peace of mind, if they have such things over there. Wasn’t cheap but I figure I’ll save the cost of it in vet bills (no fights, no falling off things, no possibility of a car), particularly when I have two again. She’s never shown much interest in trying to go out the front door, though she likes watching out the screen door and I do watch her, so it works.

    We don’t generally do those electric fences in Australia as fenced backyards are more the norm.

  5. Barbara Samuel

    Love the enclosures, Mel. I’ve been brainstorming something along those lines, especially as we have an upper story they could leave through a window and go up and down.

    We have fences, too, and the electric fence goes along it. They’re low voltage, but the collars are pretty big and I don’t know… just not comfortable with them.

    This is causing me a lot of anxiety as I contemplate the summer. They are my darlings and I want them safe and happy.

  6. Mel

    My problem with collars for cats is they seem to ditch them with ease. Tabasco used to come home without his with alarming regularity (I swear he thought it was funny). They have to be stretchy so they can’t get caught on things and stretchy equals easy to lose.

  7. Gotta love kittys, you got to see the youtube movie link I left, it is SO freaking CUTE!

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