In Germany, cats are still the undisputed number one among pets. With more than 14.8 million velvet paws, there are of course many questions about letting the four-legged friends outdoors, which we would like to answer here. In particular, the right age for the first free walk is a recurring topic, which we are happy to address here. If you have a cat and would like to send it outdoors, you can find out here what to look out for!
At the earliest from the seventh month your cat should be sent on free passage, the at least four-week acclimatization to her home provided. Before this time she is exposed to various dangers and does not yet have the necessary sense of direction to find her way.
Cat on outdoor access – the acclimatization must start slowly!
In most cases it is the case that cats are taken from outside. Rarely it is the case that the own cat lady gets little kittens. That is why it is important, if you have acquired a cat from the shelter, from friends or elsewhere, that you prepare it gently for the forthcoming free walk.
This is because cats are creatures of habit and always need some time to get comfortable when moving to a new home.
So if you have just got your cat, wait at least four weeks before you send it outdoors.
Sometimes it takes a little longer, because the place-bound four-legged friend must first “mark” his territory in your home.
The free passage for cats under 7 months holds huge dangers
Unfortunately, very few cat owners know when the right age is reached for the cat to go on its first outdoor walk.
That’s why there are so many kittens in circulation as small prey, which are not infrequently attacked by larger animals, do not find their way or do not return.
Of course you should be spared this and therefore it is good that you want to know when the right age is given. Be sure, under seven months experts, many veterinarians and experienced animal shelters do not recommend a free passage of the quadrupeds.
The reason is that cats orientate themselves by their territories. In young cats, however, the sense of direction is still in the learning and testing phase, since they under seven months usually learn all this from mom at home. Since often mom and the rest of the cat family is not present, the danger is much too great than you will not see your cat again.
So if you let a tomcat or a cat outside under the seventh month, you have to reckon with the fact that bigger animals will see your beloved animal as prey or the little velvet paw will not find its way home.
That’s why going outside under this age, especially if the cat family can’t take care of the learning effect at home, is not a recommendation!
Your cat will only return if it knows where it is!
Unfortunately, it is a misguided belief that cats would always find their home immediately. This is not the case if the cat simply does not know its place of retreat long enough.
For this reason, we explained at the beginning that cats first need to get used to their new home for more than four weeks.
If your cat has been with you for a longer period of time and accepts its new home, you can start to let it out at the earliest from the sixth week (or even a little later). Possibly you try it in the garden at home?
The good eyesight even in the dark, the ingenious sense of orientation and the knowledge, where the cat will surely find a place of retreat as well as its territory, is the reason, why your cat knows after a long acclimatization, where it has to return to.
But only then, so that every too early moment could have dramatic consequences for you and the animal. It is better to send your cat out too late than too late, should be the motto.
These are the precautions you should take for the first free walk
Just open the balcony or terrace door and the cat is free, that would be so easy. First, you should take some precautions so that you always know where your cat is in any case, even in an emergency.
The following points can help you to make the outdoor experience a successful one for you and your cat.
- Neuter/sterilize your cat
- Have your cat chipped
- Don’t forget luminous collars for when it gets dark
- Do not forget a small address tag on the collar
- At best a food sign ( bell, bell & Co ), so that the animal returns before nightfall
These are important requirements, so that your cat hopefully always returns to you.
Of course, you can not influence accidents, so certain precautions are simply necessary so that you can be notified in case of emergency.
It is also advisable that you use a bell in the run-up to feeding, so that the cat always knows when it rings, there is something to eat. Because this sign leads as a rule at the always same time to the fact that the cat comes by its internal clock fast again home and otherwise the bell sign helps of course gladly.
The free access of your cat must be planned neatly
Location-bound, territory-oriented and in nature a small predator with a high hunting instinct – that is the cat.
Allowing your cat to roam free is always met with many controversial opinions. The dangers of cars, animal abusers and larger predators do not remain untouched, but with the right habituation to all these, your cat will find its way back.
It is important, however, that you calmly go through the bound place orientation before you think about the free walk for your velvet paw. Maybe you have a small front garden, which you can secure well, in order to practice the free access slowly?
If a free passage is planned on a long-term basis, the orientation and place-boundness is considered, you have found however at the latest starting from the 7th month the best age to let the quadruped out. With previous acclimation of four weeks in the new home, there is enough bonding to find back. Regular feeding times, announced with a little bell as a signal, can help with the return at the beginning.
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