When a cat arrives in a new house, it should not be allowed to go outside too early. First, he must be perfectly used to his new environment before letting him out. Cats must be identified, vaccinated and treated for parasites. Sterilization is also highly recommended.
How long should you wait before letting a cat out?
When a cat arrives in a new environment (after its adoption or after a move), it is necessary to wait Several weeks before letting him out, even if he claims to go outside! Your cat must took its cues in the new house before letting him discover the outdoors.
You will find all our advice on how to facilitate the adaptation of your cat to its new home in our “Welcoming a kitten at home” and “The cat and moving” sheets.
Indeed, if you let your cat out of the house too early, there is a risk that he will get lost running after a bird for example or that he will try to return to his old house (in the case of a move).
As mentioned above, you must wait several weeks or even months before letting your cat out. First you have to let him go out with you, under surveillance. Only when he gets his bearings in the garden can you let him out alone. It is always necessary welcome your cat well as soon as he comes home (treats, food distribution, games …) so that he associates his return with something positive.
If you are installing a cat flap, you may need to teach them how it works. Indeed, cats can be wary of passing through the swing door of the cat flap. At first, the door can be left open for your cat to have more confidence. You can lure it to the other side with food or treats, or by wiggling a toy (predatory instinct). Once it passes through the open door, you can try to pull it to the other side when the door is closed.
It is quite possible to let cats out on a leash when the gardens are near a busy road for example. It is also possible to take out cats on a leash in quiet and secure places. A prior habituation to the leash and harness is necessary. For this, it is advisable to put the harness on your cat for only a few seconds then to congratulate him well and reward him if he has remained calm. You can gradually increase the wearing time of the harness. Likewise for the leash, you will first attach it for only a few seconds and then gradually increase the time during which it is attached.
What care is needed for cats that go out?
If your cat is going out, it is very important to make sure it is identified. Identification is compulsory for cats over 7 months old. It is also very useful if your cat gets lost to find you quickly.
It is also strongly recommended that your cat be sterilisé if he goes out. This reduces the risk of running away, fights, disease transmission, etc. It also helps to avoid unwanted staves.
The vaccination is also very important. It helps protect your cat from coryza, typhus and feline leukosis. The vaccination protocol depends on your cat's lifestyle. We invite you to read our fact sheet “Is it necessary to have your cat vaccinated every year?” ” for more details.
Finally, you have to think about protect your cat throughout the year from external parasites. Even if it is treated against ticks, inspect your cat daily and remove the ticks if necessary using a tick hook. The deworming is also important and generally carried out every three months with a dewormer sold in a veterinary clinic.