If you want to let your cat run free outside, you should consider which time of day is ideal for it. This question can not be answered in a general way. Because different things play a role. In the following article, we explain what you should pay attention to when letting your cat outdoors or at what time of day.
Do you prefer to let cats outdoors during the day or at night? At night there are fewer dangers to master and especially in heavily populated areas outdoor cats are safer at night. Your cat’s preferences also play a significant role, some cats prefer to sleep during the day and others prefer to be active at night. Only in the countryside is daytime free-roaming an option you should consider, as there are fewer dangers lurking for your cat.
Differences between daytime and nighttime free-roaming
Logically, there is more activity during the day. However, this is not necessarily an advantage. For example, there are more cars and buses. Both can potentially pose a danger to your velvet paw.
So if you live in a busy street, you should think carefully anyway, whether you really want to let the cat outside. If yes, then better at night. In an urban environment, some of the dangers for the velvet paws can be eliminated at night: less traffic, no cars or many dogs.
On the other hand, if you live in a small village and maybe even near a forest, you can let your cat out during the day. This way your cat has a great activity while you are at work.
But it is important that your cat can get back into the house or apartment by itself during this time. For this you install a cat flap in the terrace door. If you do not have the possibility to install a cat flap, there are a few alternatives that you can look at here: Outdoor access for cats without a cat flap (insider tip: there are even options for apartments on the second floor).
How to make your cat return on its own, at a time that suits you best, you can read below.
Preferences of cats on the subject of free access
As with us humans, every cat has different preferences. There are those who prefer to be out and about during the day and those who prefer to be active and hunt at night. It is best to try both on a day off and see what your velvet paw likes better. After all, that is the most important thing.
Many cat owners leave it to their animal also completely free, when it comes home. For this purpose, a cat flap is recommended, which gives your cat the opportunity to independently visit the safe home. However, this is only recommended if you live in a quiet neighborhood.
How can I get my cat to come home in the evening?
If your cat likes to be outside during the day, there is no reason not to bring him inside in the evening. But how do you do that? Many velvet paws stay near the apartment or the house at certain times. If you call her as soon as it gets dark, she will most likely come.
Before this approach works, your cat should understand your home as her home. This may take a few weeks, but will allow the needed bond to form so that your outdoor cat will come back to you. The regular feeding times play an important role, you can also use these for the upcoming free walk.
It’s best to entice her with a delicious dinner several days in a row. At some point she will remember this and will love to come home again. Afterwards you close the cat flap and open it again only the next morning. You will get used to this routine quite quickly. At the same time you get your cat used to when it has free access and when it prefers to stay within its own four walls.
Cats are creatures of habit and love routines, also cats have an excellent sense of time and can therefore remember recurring feeding times well and quickly. If it does not work so fast, you can also use a bell or something similar to help, this signal reinforces at the beginning the feeding time repeating at the same time.
By the way, there are also cat flaps that open and close automatically at certain times of the day and night. These are controlled by a timer. If you choose one of the alternatives for the cat flap, you don’t have to be overly punctual at home, because cats can cope wonderfully even with a slightly longer time window.
When meeting other cats, there are even time windows where overlapping territories are used: one cat uses this part in the morning and the other again in the afternoon. Therefore, you can ask your cat to behave in a certain way towards you. You can find more information about territories and free-range in this article.
If your cat prefers to be outside in the evening, you should do everything possible to ensure safety. A luminous collar makes them visible to motorists, so that many accidents can be avoided. However, make sure that the collar does not pose a danger to your cat, in which it can get caught. Many cats quickly understand how to get rid of an annoying collar.
If you live on a busy street and have a garden, you can secure it with a high fence or net. This way your velvet paw can get some fresh air, but there is no risk of an accident. When placing the fence, make sure that there are no gaps through which your cat can escape.
For outdoor access, especially if you have a young cat or a young male cat, you should wait for the right age. Cats that are too young should not be given free access, as they would be exposed to many dangers and also have problems with orientation. You can find more information here: From when to let cat out?
Besides the age, the right vaccination and neutering play an important role before letting the cat out. In addition, in many areas it is already obligatory to chip your cat before letting it outdoors. If you pay attention to the mentioned points, your cat will always be safe on the road, during the day as well as at night!
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