Tips for preventing your indoor cat from running out the door

CAT-astrophe: Those darn cats! Every time you try to go out the front door, here they come running at full speed. Now, you’ve dropped the bag with the eggs in it trying to catch Fluffy before he heads out into traffic. So, what do you do?

Despite a cat’s intense curiousity, they will only put up with so much. A few unsuccessful escapes and the cat will become bored. Here are some tips for preventing your cat from barreling out the door like a wild animal.

1. Keep a broom, umbrella or old magazine/newspaper by the door. Anything that can be used to block their path as the door opens is an absolute must.

2. When you are coming in from outside, keep a hand free to grab that broom or whatever. Set those grocery bags down before you open the door.

3. Keep a squirt bottle filled with water handy. Not only can you squirt ole’ Fluffy as he/she tries to escape out the front door but it’s useful when the cat claws furniture as well.

4. Don’t set your cat’s food bowl near the door. It’s just too risky and tempting.

5. Feed the cat right before you leave, for instance, on your way to work. Cats usually take a good long catnap after a meal. It will also help maintain a feeding schedule.

6. Use positive reinforcement. Give kitty a treat when they do NOT dart for the door. They will soon figure out that the catnip is greener on the inside.

7. Use bribery and a soft voice when trying to trick your cat into thinking that you’re not actually leaving. Keep that box of kitty treats handy at all times. If you have a super persistent cat, keep the treats on you at all times. Seriously, if you have to, throw some treats in through door as you enter.

8. If all else fails, maybe you could put the cat in a large room when you need to leave the house. Maybe you have a basement you could put the cat in while you’re gone to the store and back. Only use this method if you plan to be gone less than 2 hours and put food and water in the room with the cat.

9. Clap your hands or shake a jar of coins. Cats hate loud noises. This is also effective for other behavioral problems.

10. If you do allow your cat outside sometimes, you can actually train them to come back home at regular times of the day, such as around feeding time. Just have a “catch phrase”, such as “Piggy” Piggy!” to yell at dusk. Say it joyously and when Fluffy hears you, he’ll come running after his meal ticket. This only works with cats that have been spayed or neutered.

Again, cats are clever but they bore quite easily. If at first they don’t succeed, they will indeed try again, and again. After that, it just becomes degrading for the cat to become doused in water every time they get near the threshold. Soon, it will no longer be worth the effort.

Never let your cat outdoors if they have been declawed. Don’t let your cat out if you live on a crowded street, or live near a highway,intersection, factory, restaurant or school. Please support animal population control and never hit or abuse or your feline friend.

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