Wean your cat off outdoor access – here’s what you have to watch out for

Who must move into a new dwelling and has there no more garden, must deliver however by no means its cat, which was before perhaps a Freigänger. Because even if it will be a change for the velvet paw at the beginning, it is actually possible to wean the cat off the outdoor access or to rearrange it.

To wean the cat from free access is difficult and should only be done in exceptional cases. Cats are creatures of habit and love constant daily routines. It is important to create enough incentives for occupation, to offer toys and scratching posts and to spend a lot of time with the cat. A fenced balcony or terrace can help as compensation to offer the cat enough variety.

In the following guide, we explain how weaning can work and also answer all relevant questions on this topic.

Why is outdoor access good for cats?

Cats love to chase and experience new things. Therefore, outdoor access is very valuable for most of them. Especially when the owner is working during the day, the cat does not have to wait alone in the apartment. Instead, it can occupy itself outside. But this is unfortunately not always possible and if you move, you have to think about how to keep the cat happy.

If you know already many weeks before the move that the velvet paw at the new domicile very probably cannot go outside, you should already get used to it in the apron and let it now and then a little shorter outside. So the change is not quite so complicated.

Velvet paws, which have free access, can show their whole behavior repertoire. The changeover will be a challenge for your cat.

Ideally, re-acclimation does not have to take place, as many owners have experienced that a cat that was once a free-roamer wants to continue to live out and show this behavior. Therefore, preparation and proper re-homing is very important.

Prepare the new apartment

The fact that the outdoor life is over does not mean that the cat’s life has to be boring now. Because you can do a few things to make life pleasant for your darling.

So you should transform your apartment or your house into a real cat paradise. Outdoor cats need occupation in their own four walls.

Variety is the decisive factor. Offer your cat again and again new toys and other employment possibilities, so that it is always very well entertained also without free passage and is never bored.

In addition, you need to give her more attention, not only in the early days, but always. Pet her and play with her, preferably as often as she wants. Apartment cats often adjust their daily routine with that of their humans, they want to participate in your activities – this also the more you take care of your cat.

Also, place a high scratching post so that the velvet paw can easily look out the window. Many cats like this very much and observe everything that happens outside.

Especially in the transition phase, you can help your cat get used to the new situation by providing lots of direct contact and activity.

Some ambitious cat owners build their cats a small, second floor underneath the ceiling with paths, tunnels and resting places, so that the house cat can really let off steam and keep moving. Would this be an idea for you?

There are many skill and learning games available in stores that can keep a cat busy for hours. Especially indoor cats need this offer to live out their innate hunting instinct.

If you take all this to heart, it may even happen that your pet feels more comfortable in its new home than in the old one.

Set up several retreats

Especially when it comes to a new apartment, you should always give your cat as much time as it needs to settle in. It is best to create several retreats where she can rest alone from all the stress of the move and the new environment.

By the way, it is perfectly acceptable to give her a treat every now and then to show her that she is doing very well.

Alternatives to outdoor access

Even if the outdoor access is no longer possible, this does not mean that the cat is not allowed to go out into the fresh air. Because if you have a balcony or a fenced terrace, you can also set up a great place for her to smell, relax and also move.

If it is a balcony, but you equip this best with a cat net. This will prevent the cat from trying to escape or getting scared and falling down several meters.

However, you should always secure the net correctly so that it can really fulfill its purpose as desired. For this you have to drill partially into the masonry. If you are renting, you should discuss this with your landlord to be on the safe side. In this way, many problems can be avoided in advance.

Can I also walk the cat?

Yes, some cats even enjoy walking on a harness like a dog. However, not all cats like this. If your new apartment is on a higher floor and you don’t have a balcony, you can try it.

But if you notice that your cat is very scared and can’t enjoy the walk at all, you should stop it immediately.

Because at the end of the day, your cat has to be happy – with or without free running.

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Summary – Wean cat off outdoor access

Variety is the key. Your outdoor cat is used to walking many miles, roaming around, and following his natural urges to move, hunt, and play. If outdoor access is no longer possible, you should offer sufficient activity within your own four walls as a substitute.

If your cat can no longer go outdoors, you should always furnish the apartment more attractively, occupy yourself a lot with your cat and thus create incentives for it to be able to experience enough variety in the apartment as well.

A balcony secured with cat netting or a fenced terrace offers an acceptable substitute. Also in your apartment placed scratching trees or levels for your cat under the ceiling or on the walls offer a welcome change.