How To Let An Indoor Cat Outside For The First Time

Letting your cat go outdoors can be daunting for you as much as the cat!

Follow our steps below to ensure that your cat stays safe and doesn’t run into trouble.

Before You Let Your Cat Out, Do These:

1. Get Them Microchipped

Getting your cat microchipped is essential before you let your cat out. 

If you got your cat from a rescue centre then they should already be microchipped however it is worth taking your cat to the vet and getting the details on the chip updating otherwise they may end up back at the rescue centre if they go missing.

If you got your cat as a kitten then make sure you get a microchip put in.

Lost cats should be taken to the vet for a scan to find out where they are from, if there is no microchip then it will make it much harder to reunite you with your cat.

2. Make Sure They’re Vaccinated & Neutered

The great outdoors is full of adventures and surprises including diseases and potential mates!

If you don’t get your cat vaccinated and neutered then they may catch something, come back pregnant or father a few families in their spare time!

3. Use A Cat Tracker

In addition to a microchip, a cat tracker can be a very useful device, particularly if you are feeling nervous about letting your cat out.

Digital cat trackers allow you to see exactly where your cat is at any given moment via an app on your phone.

Some cat trackers also allow you to monitor activity levels, set virtual fences (so you will be alerted if your cat strays too far) and even talk to your cat through the tracking device.



4. Make Your Garden Cat Safe

Cats are naturally curious so will want to explore every corner of your garden.

Make sure that your garden is safe for your cat: 

  • If you have a pond cover it
  • If you use weed killer make sure it has all been washed away
  • Remove any broken glass

5. Use Litter To Mark Clear Territory Lines

This is a useful trick which will help your cat view your garden as it’s territory.

While it certainly doesn’t guarantee that your cat will not leave your garden it will encourage them to think twice before venturing any further.

Take some of their used cat litter and sprinkle it around the perimeter of your garden, this will create a clear territorial boundary for them.

Now You're Ready To Let Your Cat Out, Follow These Steps:

  • Choose a day and time when there is relatively low activity outside. For example don’t let them outside when there is rush hour traffic noise nearby.
  • Let them out for the first time prior to their first meal of the day. This means that they will be hungry so food will be a strong motivating factor for them to come back.
  • Once they are outside leave the door open so they know they can come back in if they feel nervous. Let them explore for up to 20 minutes.
  • Serve their breakfast and let them know it is ready, they should come running back in.
  • Repeat this processes everyday until they (and you) are comfortable outdoors.

  • Tips For Extremely Flighty Cats

    Cats are very territorial with a strong sense of direction so it is rare that a cat will get lost.

    However if a cat is startled by a dog they may run off into place they are not familiar with and may then struggle to find their bearings.

    If you have a particularly flighty cat then here are a couple of additional things you can do to mitigate the risk of them running off:

    Install A Cat Fence

    Cat fences come in several different forms, they can attach to pre-existing fences or you can get standalone ones.

    Basically they feature an overhanging top section which cats cannot climb over.

    Getting a cat fence fitted essentially will turn your garden into a secure outdoor space which your cat can’t escape from.

    An alternative to cat fences is cat rollers.These sit on top of your fence or wall and when your cat tries to jump up they spin around making it impossible for your cat to get a grip. They fall back down to the ground and remain in your garden.

    Smart pet Devices Cats GPS tracker

    Use A Cat Harness & Lead

    Cats don’t like wearing harnesses at all, however if you take your time familiarising them with one and let them lead the way when they are attached to the lead then this can be a secure alternative which will allow your cat to enjoy the outdoors without the danger of them running off.

    This should be used as a last resort as most cats will not enjoy it restricting their freedom.