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If you have a purely indoor cat you have probably wanted to take him/her outside many times. A life inside 4 walls can get pretty boring, especially for temperamental and intelligent pets like cats are.
Of course you can buy all the new toys but eventually, a cat will outgrow them all and it is really not a natural thing to keep a cat inside a home all the time.
Maybe you have wondered how to take an indoor cat outside? I mean cats are not dogs, they are so slippery and so elastic, and there is a real danger of the cat escaping and never returning back. Not to be negative but an indoor cat lost on the city streets is something out of every cat owner’s nightmare.
It can also be a huge stress for the cat, depending on the personality of the cat.
For example, I have a cat that is female and she is very cautious and very untrusting of everything unknown. It took her a week just to get used to a simple cat tree let alone taking her out in this big, scary world (just think how tiny out kitties are compared to the objects around us).
But it was absolutely necessary to change her environment once or twice a month.
After some trial and error here is what I have found the be the safest way to take an indoor cat outside.
If you like my way of walking an indoor cat outside here is the same cat playpen as mine (and this one has a carry-on bag which I wish I had):
A Foldable Lightweight Cat Enclosure For Outdoors
I truly wish I had gotten one earlier. Trust me it will make this activity way stressless.
If a cat is scared it will instinctively try to find a place to hide. She will probably head to the nearest bush or even worse – a nearest covered place like under somebody’s car.
But if you provide your cat a familiar enclosure this will automatically reduce the stress and your cat will feel as “protected” on an unknown territory.
After taking forever to finally decide and get this wonderful pet enclosure, what I did first was introduce her to the enclosure inside her safe place – at home:
To speed up the process I threw in a few of her toys. She kinda liked the new thing so she went “researching”:
It also helps to spread some cat nip or a cat spray to get your cat familiar with new objects. Luckily my cat was curious enough so the toys were sufficient.
So that is the first layer of security. I have two more 🙂 – my cat is so precious to me that I want to eliminate any risk of losing her!
A Lightweight Cat Carrier With Soft Sides
As you can see my Puffy has a more secluded hiding place inside the see-through mesh – so that she can really hide if she feels like it:
And it turns out she uses it very often – especially in the first few minutes of our setting outside.
She doesn’t have a very happy face here, but she always calms down after these walks and I think she appreciates more having a warm, safe home to live in. Oh and she doesn’t jump on my chair as much after I take her outside – which is SO annoying to me.
I like that my cat carrier has soft sides as this prevents my cat from bumping too hard on it and possibly hurting herself when she tries to hide. It is also foldable so I can collapse it when I get inside my small apartment – which actually I don’t out of laziness :).
So that is my second layer of security for taking my shy cat outside. It serves a double purpose: as a deeper hiding place and also as its main purpose as a cat carrier.
A Non-Escapable Cat Harness/Leash
So I also put a chest-around leash on my cat. Now leashes and cats – not a match made in Heaven that’s for sure. I try to make the leash fit as closely as possible to her body without being too tight. I also keep a very short distance when I walk her on the leash and I’m always watching her.
She once got so scared that she managed to get out of the harness – luckily it was inside my building on the stairs, and it was prior to this “creative” method I have found. It was truly scary.
So now that I have my safe method for getting my cat outside we do go out more often. I take a book or my headphones with me so we stay a bit longer than we used to.
She still meows though and hisses at unknown people and effectively kills every chance for meeting new neighbors but you can’t have it all!
Overall I am very satisfied with my safety measures here 🙂 and not so scared every time I need to take my cat out in “nature.