How to keep your cat from getting outside

How to keep your cat from sneaking outside 

  1. Spay or neuter your cat! There are not only health benefits, but their desire to roam will also decrease, because their hormones will not be telling them it’s time to find a mate.
  2. One of the best things you can do to prevent your cat from wanting to sneak outside is to never allow them outside. Once they get a taste of being outside, they tend to want to get out more.
  3. If you want to allow your cat outside in a catio, it’s great if you can connect the catio to your house, so you don’t have to worry about getting them to it. If it’s not, using a carrier to get them to it is one of the safest ways you can get them there.
  4. Always use a carrier or harness when bringing them to the vet or anywhere else.
  5. If you harness train your cat, make sure you are using a secure harness. When going for walks, CARRY them past the threshold. That way they don’t learn that it is okay to walk out the door. 
  6. Distract your cat when you are about to leave. Turn on an interactive toy or toss some treats in an area away from the door.
  7. Put a sign on your door warning people not to let the cat out. 
  8. Use a deterrent at the door. You can purchase a motion-activated air sprayer and position it by the door. It emits a puff of air that is intended to scare the cat away from the door. 
  9. While I don’t typically encourage a spray bottle or intentionally scaring your cat, if they are really determined to get out spraying them with water when they approach the door or shaking a bottle with pennies in it can help.  

Some things to do in case your cat does get outside:

  • Make sure they are up-to-date on all their vaccinations.
  • Keep your cat up-to-date with flea, tick, and heartworm preventative.
  • Get your cat microchipped, so if they do get out, it’s easier for their owner to be found even if their collar is lost.
  • Put a breakaway collar on your cat with tags. The collar being able to break if they get stuck is essential. Cats are good at getting themselves into predicaments, and it is much better for the collar to break and be lost than for it to hurt your furry friend. This is why microchipping is so important, so they still have a way to identify them.
  • Keep an up-to-date photo of your cat. If they get out, it’s great to have a photo to put on posters and show people. 


Author: Rebecca Brink, CCHS Assistant Manager and ABC Certified Cat Trainer