Spring is just around the corner! Your cat, too, is probably eager to get a taste of this new season. Fresh air and freedom of movement are healthy for your cat, but how do you ensure that your cat can safely enjoy the spring sun?

Can your cat go outside? Most outdoor cats like to decide for themselves when they go outside and when they come back inside. A cat flap offers a solution. There are cat flaps for sale that react to your cat's chip, so that only your own cat can enter and leave. If you want your cat to stay inside, you can lock the flap. That way he can't go on an adventure at night or in bad weather, for example.

In the garden

Many cats - especially if they’re not used to the outdoors - do not like to switch from their safe indoor environment to a garden where they cannot hide. A modern tiled garden with no hiding places or lookouts can make inexperienced outdoor cats feel less comfortable. A substantial planter next to the cat flap will already give the cat some shelter when he’s outside. A table in the garden or a climbing tree that your cat can sit on, makes a high vantage point. This will make your cat feel a lot more comfortable! In addition, make sure that your cat can seek a cool shady spot in the garden and take shelter somewhere in case of bad weather.

Checking his steps 

Do you find it exciting when your cat goes outside and would you like to keep control? Try the tips below!

- Cat harness. For a cat harness you can go to the pet store. They will give you advice on the different types of harnesses, so you can be sure to buy a harness that fits your cat. Of course, you also want to make sure your cat doesn't escape from its harness! Therefore, it’s important to teach your cat to wear the harness. Practice this at home before you take him outside for the first time. There are also cat lovers who let their cat walk through the garden on a leash. Always stay with them to supervise!

- Cat Garden Safe. You can make your garden cat-safe by using sturdy but fine mesh netting that you place on the fence. If you make sure the mesh slopes inward, it will be difficult for the cat to climb over it. However, if you want to make sure he doesn't escape, you may want to consider spanning the yard with netting or mesh. Don't put trash containers, tables or tall plants too close to the fence and watch out for overhanging branches. Your cat may use these to climb over the fence after all!

- Outdoor Cage. An outdoor cage allows your cat to safely enjoy the spring sunshine. Many people buy or make a cage connected to the door with the cat flap, so that the cat can walk in and out on its own. In the cage, make sure there’s enough room to play and climb, but also - and just as important - provide shelter and shade.

Help! My cat escaped!

You’ve lost sight of your cat after all. What to do? First of all, it’s a good idea to have your cat chipped before it can go outside. This chip is placed under the skin of your cat and this way your cat can always be identified. So chipping your cat is definitely a must. Just chipping isn't enough, because you also have to register it in a database. When you do that your cat can always be returned to you if it has escaped, or if it goes for a walk and can't find its way home again. Definitely a must! But what if your cat has escaped? How do you find him back as soon as possible? We'll give you a few handy tips.

- Register your runaway cat at Amivedi.nl. Amivedi is a foundation that registers lost and found pets and tries to bring them back to their owners. Amivedi cooperates with organizations such as animal shelters, veterinarians and animal ambulances.

- On the website of Amivedi you can - under the button "I lost my animal" - make a poster or flyer to hang up or hand out in the neighborhood. Don’t forget to remove the posters when your cat is found!

- If you use social media to report that you’ve lost your cat, chances are that it’ll be shared a lot and your cat will eventually come back to you. Give a clear description of your cat and place one or more photos with your appeal. You can post these in various Facebook groups for missing cats, also in a particular region. This way you will quickly find your buddy again!

- If you really want to become a professional, there are GPS trackers for sale especially for cats. You can attach them to their collar or harness and always know where your cat is. And admit it, you've always been curious about that, haven't you! Do you want to know more about your cat's behavior and how to improve its well-being?

Maybe the "Cat Training Basics" workshop at EduPet is something that suits you! Check out www.edupet.nl for more information.  

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Annerike from the CareTeam

Questions about your pet's behaviour? The CareTeam loves to help you with free advice!