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Sniff, observe, play: there is nothing better for cats than being outdoors. Here are some tips on how to get your cat used to the garden.Cat with missus in the garden
Have you just moved and now have a garden? Or have you just recently bought a cat? Then you should keep in mind that cats sometimes need to run freely to let off steam. What could be nicer than a garden with so much to discover?
But before you can send your cat on your own, you first have to get used to the open space and the new surroundings. Because not every cat dares to go outdoors straight away. Especially young kittens and cats, who were previously only kept in the apartment, have a hard time with it. But with a little practice and patience, you can soon let your cat run alone through the garden.
A lot of patience is required
The characters of cats are very different. Just like with us humans. You have to take this individual character into account and therefore may have to be patient. You won't achieve anything with your animal with pressure. So it may take a few weeks for your cat to explore the garden alone. Many animals are initially afraid of freedom and the unusual noises outside.
But before it can even go outside, it is important that you make your garden cat-proof. This is the only way to prevent your cat from running or running off the road. You can find important tips on this in our article Making the garden safe for cats - 6 important tips.
Proceed step by step
➤ Step 1 - go to the garden with cat dishes:
Like humans, fearful cats need safety above all. After all, the garden is something completely new for them, something unknown, so it is clear that they are unsure. You can support your animal by first taking it into the garden with a cat harness. This way, many cats feel safer and cannot escape if they are startled.
For 14 days, you should take your cat for a walk in the garden and let it explore everything very slowly. You should always speak to your animal in a calm, low voice, because it feels safe and secure. Your cat should be able to sniff everything and take as much time as she likes.
The door to the house should always be open so that your cat can go inside if necessary.
➤ Step 2 - first exits without cat harness:
After about two weeks of exploring the dishes, your cat should actually feel safe. Now you can let them into the garden without dishes and leashes. But go outside with your pet. Even then, you should leave the front door or patio door open so that your animal has its retreat.
In between, you should call your cat from the house every now and then, because it will help you find your way back home faster and gives you more security.
➤ Step 3 - send the cat alone:
If you feel that your cat has gotten used to everything and can find the way to the front door without calling, you can send her to the garden on her own. Always place a bowl of food wherever you let your cat outside so that they can fortify themselves in between. It also makes it easier for cats to remember where their home is.
If your cat disappears from the garden, stand exactly where you always let it out in the garden and call for your animal. This way she memorizes the way home better.