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Cats/introducing a kitten to outside


Hi Kate,
We've had a kitten since Christmas now, so about 4 and a half months. I bought him a harness and leash so i could start introducing him to outside. He LOVES it! But can i let him off the leash and expect him to know where home is? He has only been in the yard (back and front) but not around the block or anything. He has been outside about 15-20 times for about 10 min each time. So my question is: How do I know when i can let him off the leash and he wont run away or get lost??
Thanks a bunch!

well the simple answer is, you can't. A cat will automatically want to go off and explore that's natural. But what i would say is that because he is happy at home and has had experience of being outside with you. it is unlikely that he will not be able to find his own way back.

Make sure there is always something outside that smells of him, like his bedding etc at first this will help him find his way back. Also the first few times you let him of f the lease spend sometime outside with him. This will help to give him confidence.

I have always had outdoor cats and I have never lost one. Even my sister who only had a cat for two days in a new home lost him but after 9 days he found his way home. Cats have amazing sense of direction and as the saying goes "know which side their bread is buttered on", So a happy cat will always try to find his way back home.

best wishes Kate


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Kate Tilmouth


I can answer most day to day cat problems encountered by owners. I have a good understanding of cat behaviour and problems which may arise from changes to their daily routine. I can advise on cat training including litter training and general day to day cat care issues. I am not a vet and therefore cannot answer medical questions.


I run my own cat website at and have been a dedicated cat owner for over 20 years. I have encountered many different cat problems and situations and feel that i have a good understanding of cats and cat ownership.

I am a platinum member of Ezinearticles where i write mainly cat related articles.

Educated to High School level and have since worked for many years in a customer support based environment, gaining vocational qualifications.

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