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Letting Your Kitten Outside For The First Time

Letting Your Kitten Outside For The First Time
by Dr Grant Hampson

Read time: 2 min

The day has arrived! Your kitten has been microchipped, vaccinated, and neutered (this is non-negotiable if you're letting them outside), and is itching to go check out that strange mass of green sitting on the other side of the window.

Here are our tips on how to let your kitten outside for the first time - follow these are you'll haven an intrepid explorer in no time.

  1. Wait until your kitten is 5 months old before letting them take their steps into the big wide world.

  2. Start training in-doors first and start nice and young, well before you intend on letting them out.

  3. Recall training can really help with getting your kitten back indoors when you need to. Call your kitten’s name and reward them every time they come over to you and remember to get everyone in the house to do this!

  4. When you are first letting them out, start before you feed them their regular meal, so you can use this as an incentive to get them back inside.

  5. Start in an enclosed space, like a fenced garden. Open the door and allow them to go outside in their own time. It is important not to force them out too fast, If they don’t want to go outside that time, try again the next day.

  6. When they eventually go outside, allow them to explore for a short period of time and then call them back with their next meal.

  7. You can then repeat this process for the next few days, slowly increasing the time spent outside until you and they are happy with them being outside on their own.

  8. For the first few weeks, reward them for coming back indoors.

You may decide to get a cat flap, and you might need to train your kitten how to use this:

  • Spend time with your kitten around the cat flap, holding it open, demonstrating how it is not scary.

  • Holding the cat flap open, have a treat or toy on the other side. When your kitten steps through, reward them.

  • Once they understand how to go through the cat flap you the need to show them how to push it open. Holding the flap slightly open will encourage your cat to push it open fully. You may need to do this a few times, but eventually they will get the hang of it.

There is no rush, the key is taking your time and making sure you can both enjoy this new part of your kitten’s journey.

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