Dear Miss Behavin’:
The weather has been warm lately and my cat has been excited to go outside. How can I safely let her explore without worrying about her getting lost or injured?
With the warmer summer weather approaching it’s definitely nice to let your cat have some fun in the sun.
There are quite a few options for safely allowing your cat outside, including training your cat to wear a cat harness and taking them outside on a leash similar to walking a dog. First help your cat become comfortable with getting used to and wearing the harness in your home, with plenty of treats and praise. Once your cat is comfortable with the harness, then try walking it around on leash whether in your home or in your backyard. If your cat ends up loving the concept, then it might be time to take the exploration further outside your home. Just be on the lookout for any dogs or other animals that may not take too kindly to seeing a cat walking down the street.
If you have a backyard, you could consider installing a type of fence that will help keep your cat within the safety of your yard, as well as, keep any unwanted wildlife outside of the yard. Most of these fences have different options in height, material, and features at the top of the fence to keep the cat in and wildlife out.
Alternatively, there are quite a few companies that design and install cat patios, otherwise known as catios, of your preference within your backyard or as an attachment to the side of your home. Some catios can be one level or multilevel, with ramps or shelves for the cat to perch on, and they may or may not include a kitty door that gives the cat access to the catio at any given time.