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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Community > Message Boards > Cats > Care > Relatively New Cat Ownerneed Help
Joined: 12/31/1969
User offline. Last seen 42 years 37 weeks ago.

I have an 8month old cat. I'm planning on getting him neutered very soon but he's decided to take off for a few days. It has been over two days in fact. My neighbor called today to say that he saw him in his back yard. So I know he's alive.

Will he come back? He's been raised outside but I have brought him in every now and again for freezing temps. He likes being inside. Overall, is it better to have him in for the night and out for the day?

Maybe I'm overly worried.

Help?

Joined: 12/31/1969
User offline. Last seen 42 years 37 weeks ago.

Hey, I agree with the other comment. First, thank you for taking in a baby. I rescue animals in the country and I just have to say, please, I beg you to please keep your baby inside. If you insist on letting him roam, then you can have him fixed and ask the vet to clip the very tip of the ear. This lets people like me know that he is already fixed and has his shots. I have over 40 rescues of people just putting these babies out in places I can't bring myself to say but as a person who is an individual rescuer and spends my own personal money to help cover what other people won't, I ask you to please have him fixed. They also have less health problems and can live longer (if indoors). I walk all of my cats on harnesses and they do just as good as my doggy babies. Also, if you decide to let him roam, we microchip ALL of our babies. It's saved many who were taken to the pound and on their day to be put down, the pounds will check to see if they are chipped prior and can contact the owners to save them. Microchipping is inexpensive, does not hurt the babies (as I personally inject them) and can help save them. Just think of this baby as your human baby as think of how you would handle situations. Sorry for the book, but I rescue so many and cry at some of the situations that could have been avoided so easily. Also you can check with your local shelters and/or Humane Society or other animal advocates of your choice as they will sometimes offer spay and neuter specials every 6 months!!! Good luck and I hope your baby brings you half as much joy that all of mine do!!! Thanks for loving them!!!!

Joined: 12/31/1969
User offline. Last seen 42 years 37 weeks ago.

Hi, I hope by now your kitty has come home, and is safely purring on your lap.

Here are a few things you should be aware of as a new cat owner, and perhaps this will help others as well. First, if he has not yet been neutered, that needs to be done as soon as possible. An intact male cat will wander all over the place, sometimes for miles, to hook up with his lady love, and spend quite a bit of time with her when she is in heat. This is not good, and even dangerous, for many reasons. Going outdoors unsupervised, cats can come in contact with wild animals, even in the city, such as possums, rats, raccoons, etc. Wild animals can carry rabies, fleas, ticks, and worms, and cats can get into fights with wild animals and be injured. Also, there is the danger of being accidentally hit by a car, or being deliberately run over, shot, hit, or otherwise attacked. There are really nasty people out there who think torturing animals, especially cats, is fun. Also, an un-neutered male will get into fights with other males over a female in heat, and can be severely wounded, or possibly become infected with feline leukemia, which is preventable like rabies, but not curable. Your cat can get feline leukemia from his lady love, too, or from any cat that has it. It is spread by grooming each other, or coming in contact with the urine or feces of an infected cat.

If your buddy has come from outside, been raised outdoors from kittenhood, it may be hard to convince him to stay indoors, and he will probably try to sneak out. I adopted a feral female, and she wouldn't stay inside to save her life. So, we made a compromise. Now, I live on a farm, not a busy city street. But, I taught Minou to come when she was called, and to stay out of the woods, and away from the road. She knew that when it was getting dark she had to come in, and would come when I called her, although reluctantly. Cats are in the most danger outside after dark, because that's when predators come out, both the four and two-legged varieties. It's also when kitty would be most likely to be hit by a car, just because they're harder to see and dash out in the street so quickly. My best advice to you would be to keep your buddy in the house all the time if you can, and play with him to give him enough exercise and keep his interest in being with you in the house rather that out on the street getting in trouble. Cats can be trained to wear a halter (NOT a collar, for walking) and walk on a leash. Some are more cooperative than others about the halter. I have several cats for whom it is no problem, and one who finds the 3 ounce weight just more than her little legs can bear, and keels over on her side, and won't get up till the halter comes off. Needless to say, she doesn't go for walks outside at all.

I hope this helps you, and that you and your cat have great fun together for many years to come.