Last Updated on: April 20, 2023 by Crystal Uys
Some of us know all too well what it’s like to have a Houdini living in our home. Even though it is hazardous for cats to be outside sometimes, it is an instinct for them. Every time your cat catches wind of somebody going in or coming out, they’re ready to dart as quickly as possible.
And while we really can’t afford them escaping our clutches due to the dangers that await, it doesn’t mean our cats are in the wrong for wanting to explore. Luckily, there are ways to curb the desire to escape. We’re going to discuss a few here, and hopefully, one of the methods works in your situation.
Top 4 Ways to Stop Your Cat From Trying to Escape:
1. Get Your Cat Fixed
One of the main reasons why your cat might be trying to escape is to find a mate. The desire to reproduce is powerful if they are not yet spayed or neutered. They know that if they escape the home, they can easily encounter other felines to do their bidding.
If you get your cat fixed, it will decrease these hormones. Afterward, it will reduce their desire to travel outside for mating purposes. They might have an ongoing curiosity about the great outdoors, but their motivation might ease up.
On top of causing a little less desire to escape, getting your cat spayed or neutered has a whirlwind of other health benefits. Once cats reach sexual maturity, roughly around 6 months, they might start exhibiting behaviors that you’d rather not deal with.
These can include going into heat cycles, spraying to mark territory, and showing increased aggression or neediness. Also, it can increase the likelihood of reproductive-related health problems later in life, like certain cancers.
So, even if your cat isn’t trying to fly out the door every time you open it, you should consider spaying or neutering as soon as your vet recommends it.
2. Walk Them on a Lead and Harness
Some cats simply want to be outdoors. So to appease them and keep them safe at the same time, you can train them to walk on a leash. That might sound like a nightmare to you. After all, your cat barely does what you want them to do on a day-to-day basis.
Is it possible to teach them to walk on a leash like a dog? The answer is yes. Especially if you have a cat that is extremely eager to get outside, they’re simply going to be happy to be a part of nature. It might take a little while to get them used to it, but practice makes perfect.
Cats can easily slip out of or escape from collars. Their limber bodies are quite wiggly, and many dog harnesses aren’t going to work either. That is why we suggest that you purchase a harness designed specifically for cats. You can find cat design harnesses on specific sites like Chewy and Amazon.
You might also find a decent selection at your local pet shops. Be bold and ask around for suggestions from other cat owners as well. With a bit of patience, a few purchases, and an exercise routine, you and your cat can enjoy walks together in no time.
3. Provide an Enclosed Outdoor Experience
You might have seen on sites like Pinterest or other social media sites that people create cat balconies. You can do this on a window or patio area. It is an enclosed space where your cat can be outside without actually being outside.
This could definitely curb the desire to run out the door when they have access to the outdoors in some form. Some people even build intricate tunnels where their cats can explore a backyard space. If you live in a tiny apartment or another city dwelling, it might be more challenging for you to accomplish a complex design. But in the right circumstances, it can be very beneficial.
4. Put Them Elsewhere When It’s Time to Leave
If your cat is relentless and wants to escape anyway, even after you give them plenty of outdoor options, you might need to take other measures. Distract your cat or put them into another room or place in the house when you’re getting ready to leave.
It might seem complicated to navigate at first, but you can outsmart them pretty quickly. Everyone in the home must always stay vigilant about the cat’s whereabouts.
It can work for short trips if you need to restrict access so you can slip out. Put them in a single room, finished basement, or section of the home that doesn’t have direct door access.
If you want to get creative, you definitely have options for stopping your cat from trying to escape. It will depend greatly on your living situation. However, keeping your cat inside is necessary for many people. If they do go out, make sure they are completely safe and supervised at all times.
If you’re lucky enough to live in the country with little concern, you can let your cat roam freely from time to time. Just ensure they are fixed, so no one runs off or gets lost—and always ensure they will come back.
Featured Image Credit: Matthew Troke, Shutterstock
About the author
Cat mom to Ivy – a feisty little rescue kitten that is her one and only child. For now! Throughout her life, she has been introduced to the special love that can be found in the bond with a cat. Having owned multiple felines, she is more than certain that their love is unmatched, unconditional and unlike any other. With a passion to educate the public about everything, there is to know about felines, their behavior, and their unique personalities, Crystal is devoted to making sure that all cats and their owners know the importance of conscious living – and loving!