Cats Are Houdini Escapologists

If you want to keep your cat inside the home full-time you have to consider him/her as a Houdini escapologist. The skill and desire to escape must vary between cats but in general cats are amazingly good at escaping confinement. They find a way. They move very quickly. They are supremely athletic. They are smart. This all adds up to great danger if your objective is to keep your cat inside the home and away from danger.

I’m sure that there are many American cat owners with well-honed skills at keeping their cats inside the home. They must have methods and systems in place to make it easier to achieve the objective. I myself am just embarking on the process.

I am in the process of commissioning a company to build an enclosure around my back garden (backyard) to turn it into an outside enclosure. While I’m waiting for the enclosure to be built I have to keep my cat inside because I used to let him out but he wandered. I lost him. I eventually found him at my previous address even though I had moved three months earlier. The mental anguish (mine!) was horrible.

On one occasion my cat sneaked through a tiny opening in a small window in the bathroom on the second floor of my home – he must have had great difficulty in getting through the window – and down onto the roof. But manage it he did. He eventually became very adept at coming in through the bathroom window on the first floor after climbing numerous difficult objects. At one time I found him on the apex of the roof at 1 am.

I am in the process of looking for a mesh to put over the windows so that I can leave them open while preventing him going through them. I think this sort of product is quite common in America. It also allows air to flow through the building without the worry of your cat escaping through a window.

Eventually, full-time indoor cats tend to reject going outside because they have been trained to live their life within the confines of their owner’s home. However, it must depend upon the personality of the cat. Some cats are content to live their lives inside – one cat breed comes to mind: the Ragdoll. Apparently, the American Shorthair is also a good indoor cat.

One cat which I would consider to be very difficult to keep inside would be an F1 or F2 Savannah cat. I can remember well the death of an F2 Savannah cat labelled the world’s largest domestic. His name was ‘Trouble’. He escaped his home. I believe that he was run over on the road. It was an utterly tragic event. He had recently beaten another internationally well-known female F1 Savannah cat, Magic, who was the previous holder of the title ‘the world’s biggest domestic cat’ (actually the tallest). I presume that she regained the title although Guinness World Records have discontinued these sorts of records. The more wild there is in a domestic cat (and mine was born feral) the more tricky it is in keeping him inside the home and content.

I would love to hear from people, particularly Americans, who have successfully managed to beat their cat’s Houdini escapology skills.




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Cats Are Houdini Escapologists — 4 Comments

  1. I have pet safe screen in my windows and because of wildlife and extra security for the cats I have hardware cloth frames on the outside. Sometimes called hardware mesh.
    the pet safe screen can take quite a beating but must be securely installed in the frames.
    I had a large ring neck dove hit one like a bowling ball a few weeks ago without dislodging it.

  2. Michael, I am very fortunate in that I have never had any of mine try to get out. Most of mine were rescues off the street, and I think that they now feel quite safe. Mine don’t even like going out to go for their check-ups at the vet! Granted, I live in a second floor apartment in which there is only one exit. I have them occasionally peek at the dorr, and if we are unloading groceries in the house from the car, we will have an occasional one come out to the ledge of the door frame, but they never seem to want to go any further. I live right on a main highway, and the noise scares them. Plus, I talk with them all the time, letting them know that they are all safe inside with Mommy and hoomin brofur Tyler. I still keep a watchful eye on them because I know a cat’s instincts for the outdoors, but I have had no major issues — even with the feral rescues I’ve had. ♥♥♥

  3. I have security screen doors, so the furkids can sit and look out at the wildlife and feel the breezes. The “screen” is metal and they can’t get through. The windows have heavy duty sunscreen that is securely fastened to the frame. I have screen doors for the inside of the house, as the furkids have special diets. I made those with 1 x2 and hardware cloth or mesh, as the little dickens tear up any other type of screening.

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