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My Cat Calls Me to Go out with Him at Night — 11 Comments

  1. My beautiful Norwegian forest cat Grizzli used to come with me every time I went for a walk. I didn’t have to call him, he would just come, and behave rather like a dog… And I remember many family after diner walks with all of our cats (4 or 5 at any given time) following (and/or preceding) us… And there is nearly always at least 1 of my cats waiting for me on the parking place when I come back from work (I live in a small mountain village in Crete, the cats are safe from cars).
    If a cat is born indoors, has never been outside and doesn’t know anything else, then I’m sure he/she will be happy staying inside at all times. But the idea of a cat on leash… Sorry but cats are hunters, it’s in their blood, genes, DNA, so for me it’s either 100% indoors or 100% free when outside.
    I suppose many will call me insensitive, but I would say this to you, Michael: trust your cat, relax, and you will both enjoy wonderful walks together!
    (I use to live in Richmond by the way…)

  2. I have very few cats that I would consider docile enough to walk with me on a leash. Even with that, I can’t be certain. My indoor cats were feral or semi-feral when I got them, and some remained or transitioned to the semi-feral status that they are today. In any case, no matter how domesticated a feral can appear to be, I’ve found that they still retain a certain amount of that “wild streak” that will show itself when faced with something intolerable to them. A leash or restraint of any type would be considered intolerable.
    My indoor/outdoor cats wouldn’t tolerate a leash either. Most follow me on my short ventures outside in my yard. I look like the Pied Piper.
    Like a lot of people, it’s all important to me that each cat in my world (ferals included) learns their name and responds to me in some fashion when I say it, even if it’s just a glance.

    • I agree. Gabriel is not that bad on a leash. When I first took him outside it was on a leash. Now he sticks to me so well, it surprises me. He likes to run into the undergrowth and ambush me as I walk. He then walks after me. He clearly loves it. I like to walk with him because it truly does enrich his life I feel.

  3. I would not assume that a public area/park is completely safe, even with a cat that comes when called. I see this as having a degree of risk that I’m not willing to take. I’ve always used a Velcro fabric halter and “red” leash for easy visibility. I do allow her to walk freely in the green belt area behind my mobile home, but I’m always very close. If I see her notice a cat or bird that she’s preparing to run after, I say “Stop!” and step on her leash to halt the behavior. Then I pick her up and re-direct her to another area, while saying “Over here!).

    Many people walk their dogs on leashes (by law) but those dogs can pull away and go after a cat. My neighbor’s cat was attacked and killed by two dogs right in front of her. A visual nightmare she can never forget.

    If you’re willing to forgo the risks, and take the chance of unknown dangers, that’s a personal decision. You might consider putting on a collar with a “key finder” attached, which will help you find your cat in case he suddenly disappears and doesn’t return to you when called.

    Although cats have “9 Lives”, I think they’re actually more vulnerable than dogs in many ways, because of their various sensitivities and inclinations to explore. Cat haters will always be a danger, and they live everywhere on the planet.

    • In order to walk my cats on a leash safely here I would need to carry a gun to dispatch the free roaming and untrained dogs. While I can claim with absolute legality it is my right to walk my cat and protect it I am not only endangering my pet I am risking a turf war with neighbors who are sub par when it comes to controlling their dogs.
      I had the neighbors dogs rip a semi feral I was taming in half when it was laying less than six feet from me on my own porch. They came around the corner of the house in attack mode. The visual will never leave me. The sound was even worse. And not a thing I could do. It was over in a flash. AC of course was worthless.

  4. My husband tells me that I am unaware that my cats sit and watch me all the time.
    At the beginning of the cat experiment I forbade the use of the words kitty-kitty. Kitten learned to come to her name as have Mook and now Mercy.
    you may be able to employ clicker training into the idea of walking and bonding. Cats are social. My ability to observe a true group of feral cats shows they rely on each other and have special friendships.

    • I have used a modified version of clicker training when he was younger so that he more or less comes when I call him. Of course it does depend on his mood whether the comes or not but he understands my call and I use it to make sure that he follows me. I think it’s because I raised him from about seven weeks of age. He even calls me from outside my bedroom window to let him in the front door to the apartment rather than going through the cat flap. It’s a bad habit but I accept it. He gets me out of bed to open the front door even if it’s four in the morning! I’m like a mother because I am very sensitive to his call which is more squeak than a meow. He’s never learnt to meow.

      • I have been told by several animal experts that the bond between a human and a hand raised cat is one of the most intimate bonds there is between human and animal. Consider that most are S/N and have a ready supply of food and shelter they never really have to mature. We are forever mommies.

  5. I had a cat who did exactly that. She would come with us when we walked to the corner store, wait outside for us and then accompany us home when our shopping was done. She walked with us when we played in the woods too. When we would go swimming in the river she rode with the family in the car like a dog, hopped out of the car and went to play in the wooded area near where we swam. We called her when it was time to leave and she would jump in the car. I don’t remember ever worrying that she would run away or not come when we called. She was a very doglike cat, I suppose, but I was young so I did not know how unusual she was. I wanted Monty to be more like that and attempted some short car trips with him but he just did not like it so I gave up. There is a pet friendly area on the beach at Lake Michigan. Tippy would have loved it, but I can’t bring Monty. He would hate the whole experience. I’ve seen people take their cats along when they go canoeing. If Monty were more like Tippy I would buy a little life vest for him and bring him along with us. But I know he would hate it so there is no point. Tippy would have liked it. So long as she was with us she was happy. She didn’t care where we went so long as she was with us.

  6. I don’t know how much time you’ve spent nurturing your relationship with your cat, but I’ve found cats to have the same basic wants, and exhibit those behaviors we often only attribute to dogs. Dogs are just more animated. Cats will like our company and ask for it, but we have to give it to them. We simply need to be more observant of their subtle cues. They’ll turn and give us a “wanting” look when we open the door for them, or meow from some place that you’re not after they’ve looked but didn’t find you… so go find them! If you often play with them a bit in the morning or evening, they’ll remember that time as special “together” time. They are superbly observant and remember everything. My cats follow me routinely for little walks, but I never go farther than is comfortable for them to run back home if need be, if chased by a dog or something. Appreciate that they walk slower than you and let them catch up if they fall behind, or they’ll think you don’t want them to follow. Praise them when they do. Praise them when they come to you after you call them, stuff like that and they’ll “act like a dog” as I hate to hear people say.

    • Oops, I thought I was talking to a reader, not you Michael! I’m so sorry. It didn’t sound like you though.

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