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kitties hearing the call of the wild...is bad.

my bf and i have had 2 kitties for almost a year now.  they are sisters, one is black (his name is bill murray) and the other is white (ghostface killa).  they are strictly indoor cats because i live in an urban-esque neighborhood and whathaveyou.  recently though, they have been trying to escape! 

it started with ghostface.  we were on our way back from out of town on the 5th of july (there was a kittysitter) and she had rippes the screen out of the bedroom window, escaped onto the little roof underneath it, and ran up a tree, about 50 feet up.  it took FOREVER to get her down.  but we did it.  (the fire department apparently does not rescue cats from trees anymore.  lame.)

still, she kept sniffing around at that damn bedroom window.  there are other cats in our neighborhood that run around wild or maybe someone feeds them, i'm not sure, but they'll come up on that roof and i guess taunt my kitties or egg them on, or whatever it is wilder cats do to indoor cats to make them crazy.

well last night i had the window open just a bit, and somehow they shoved it open and BOTH of them ran out!  at 4am.  we spent 2 hours outside looking for cats.  bill took the most time because he's black and therefore impossible to see in the dark.  FINALLY we got them both in again.  then this morning, ghostface was STILL sniffing at the stupid window.

we have a huge sunporch that they lay around on all day and have access to 24/7, and this used to be enough for them, but as they get older they're getting more wiley and nutty, i suppose.  they're both fixed so they're not in heat.  they're just fricking mischeivious!  we even put water with hot pepper in it all over the outside roof to discourage other kitties from coming up, but it didn't work, obviously.

just wondering if anyone has any advice besides keep them on lockdown.  i'm starting to think they don't love us anymore or think we don't love them..  and it's sad.  even though i know it's their nature to want to be out there even if once they get out they become scared shitless and frantic.  it still bums me out that they are trying to escape from us  :'(

I think that if you just be persistant in keeping them inside they will eventually get used to it.  I got Sidra when she was 2 months, she expresses curiosity to go outside, but I don't let her.  Now I have had her for a year, and if I do take her outside she freaks out and I have to hold her to keep her fairly calm.  But whenever I open the door she looks outside but never tries to go out...anymore.  But she has Scooter to play with, and they play together all the time so she doesn't seem to get board.  And sometimes I bring home new toys for her.

Don't worry, they won't stop loving  you.  This is just a phase they are going through, I am sure.  It will pass.  The way I see it is "ignorance is bliss" if they never go outside, then they have no idea what they are missing so they won't miss it.  They have eachother to play with, so they will be okay. 

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allularpunk, I think your cats got a taste of freedom & some night life & now they want more. Cats love to prowl at night. They have wicked eye sight & hunt things we don't even know are there. They are just doing what cats do...be extra careful to shut the windows...cats can open darn near anything.

My cat is now 3 years old & fixed. The only time that he wants outside is when the dogs are outside. If the dogs are in the house, he is quite content to sit in a window & watch the world go by. He eats, he sleeps & normally shows no interest in the dogs, except for an occasional smack across their noses while they sleep. As soon as we put the dogs outside for some exercise or to do what dogs aren't allowed to do inside, the cat goes bonkers. He stands on his back feet & literally pounds at the door. He has even tried to hit the door handle. And the cries he makes are enough to break your heart.
Apparantly, he loves the dogs soooo much that he can't stand to be without them. Could it be separation anxiety? He doesn't do that when one of us bipedals leave the house.

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We let our cat outside for alittle bit in the summer.  He does try to get out more often and we had to put a latch on the screen door to keep him from opening it.  It most likely is a taste of the outside, maybe just the nice weather and them being older too.  I think I heard something about vinager keeping cats away but we have never tried it.  I would just make sure that their escape routes are cut off and hope when the weather gets cool they don't want out still.

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Citrus oil. Cats hate it. Rub the window frame/screen with lemon or orange peels. It will smell wonderful and they will stay far away.

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citrus oil!  awesome, i will try that out.

also, i do think partly it's the nice weather.  we got them in september and they only started showing interest in the outdoors once it got nice out again.  silly kitties.

yesterday they were all apologetic and lovey dovey.  like 'we are sorry, please still love us' haha...

thanks for all your advice  :)

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i have 4 cats and one of them has always wanted to run out.  He just has a little more wild in him than the others...  he is a very sociable loving cat...  he has snuck out a couple times and always would get upset and come back wanting back in...  sometimes i think it is just getting beyond the forbidden door that is the challenge...  he snuck out one day when it was snowing really hard (the door didn't latch tight)  I was outside shoveling snow....  and heard him crying and pawing at the door all wet from snow.. yet later on he was trying to run out again (dummy!)...  I think some of them just like to explore more than others...  i don't think its that they don't love you...  i just make sure that Saturn (the one that runs out) always wears his collar with name tag in case he ever escapes and gets lost.  There was only one time i had a hard time finding him when he got out (and it was because he was scared of barking neighbor dog and hiding).  Of course we now moved to an apartment and now if he runs out he is in the hallway  HAHA! jokes on him!  ;D 

Good luck by the way...  ;)

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aw! good luck with your cats, allularpunk... i'm of no help unfortunately bc i've always lived with people who are allergic to cats.
i do have a possibly dumb question though--- i think you were kidding but i'm curious-- did you actually call the fire dept. to ask if they'd get the cat down from the tree? if so, what'd they say? i'd imagine if they weren't busy they could send a couple people over with a ladder, or do they just not do that?

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Apparantly, he loves the dogs soooo much that he can't stand to be without them. Could it be separation anxiety? He doesn't do that when one of us bipedals leave the house.

Maybe he is jealous that the dogs get to go outside and he doesn't? 

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Phlutter, you make a good point on "forbidden territory." Anyone who has a cat knows that to make it crazy, all you have to do is close a door to a room. They are immediately convinced that you closed it because there is something FASCINATING on the other side that you don't want them to see/eat/play with! ;D

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Two ideas:
1. Get a harness.  My Houdini (RIP) loved to go for walks.  None of the other cats will do it, though.  :(

2.  Double screen your window(s) by getting an insertable screen at Lowe's or wherever - the kind that you pull apart and lock into place - preferably one with reinforcement bars.

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MDvegan reminded me that we got some screen from Lowes or home depot that is animal proof.  We took the screen out and used a very simple tool to push the new screen in. We've had the screen in for at least nine yrs and it is just starting to show the wear of him trying to pull it open at the bottom.

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aw! good luck with your cats, allularpunk... i'm of no help unfortunately bc i've always lived with people who are allergic to cats.
i do have a possibly dumb question though--- i think you were kidding but i'm curious-- did you actually call the fire dept. to ask if they'd get the cat down from the tree? if so, what'd they say? i'd imagine if they weren't busy they could send a couple people over with a ladder, or do they just not do that?

no no no haha..  no joke!  i really did call!  they wouldn't do it.  the operator put me on hold, then came back and said, "umm, they said they wouldn't come get your cat."  jerks!  my dad says i should write a letter to the newspaper, haha..but i'm not that motivated. 

thank you guys all so much for your suggestions!  i really need to get a screen for the window, as it's like a million degrees and hard to sleep in there these days (no ac in bedroom).  but i am kind of afraid they'll just claw it out and get out anyway, and haven't had money since this happened to do so, as it is. 

they are definitely fans of forbidden territory.  hence the saying about curiosity...  if we leave the bedroom door shut at night, bill cries in an almost painful voice until we let him in.  just to look around and finally leave.  (that's her in my avatar)

ohhh kitties!  :cat:

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1. Get a harness.  My Houdini (RIP) loved to go for walks.  None of the other cats will do it, though.  :(

I was also going to suggest this.  Joe also loves walks (the girls want nothing to do with it).  We even took him to the park the other day and went "running".  We have this one: http://www.amazon.com/Gentle-Leader-Kitty-Harness-Bungee/dp/B000NWVZO0

The harness has a little sincher so if they back up, they don't slip out.  Not all cat harnesses are like that and my cats would always find a way to wriggle out of them, but this new one we got is cat proof  ;)b

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I read yesterday that more cats are killed by cars every year than in shelters... so you are doing the right thing keeping them on lockdown.  Also, the damage they do to wildlife cannot be overestimated.  Be tough!  They are cats-- they'll always want what they can't have (or what YOU have or what THAT CAT has) but it won't ruin their lives to stay in.  It will extend them and make them healthier.

Yay for harnesses!  Pepe's first walk out was unfortunately ruined by a lawnmower starting very near her and she never got over it (she hated "outside"), but I love the idea of taking them out for fresh air and adventure together.  I've seen it work , too-- my grandma's cat Spooky used to walk on a harness.

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