Letting your kitten out into the big wide world can be a scary thought, but once you’ve gotten over the initial first steps, you’ll be happy your cat has the chance to explore day in, day out.
But, kittens cannot go outside as soon as they’re born - so how do you know when your kitten is ready to be let outside? Here are some pointers to get you started.
Ensure your kitten is checked over and vaccinated
Around 12 to 14 weeks old, you’ll need to get your kitten vaccinated against certain diseases in order to let them outside. Book an appointment at your vets, who will be able to advise as to the best options for your kitten. Around this time you'll be able to find out for certain if your kitten is male or female. With some kittens you can tell earlier on, but others it can be tricky to come to a final answer until they are at this slightly older age.
It’s all in the weight of your cat
You’ll find your vet won’t vaccinate your kitten until they are a certain weight. So it can be a waiting game to finding out when they are heavy enough to get the injections before they can even be let outside.
Get your kitten neutered
Around 4 months old, you’ll be needing to consider getting your kitten neutered. For male kittens this is slightly easier and less expensive than that of a female kitten. After the operation which should take a couple of hours of the pet being in the vets, your kitten should be able to go back outside within a couple of days, dependent on how the healing goes.
Start letting them out over short, accompanied periods
Simply start by opening the door and going outside with your kitten. It’s one heck of an interesting world out there, but you’ll find they usually won’t go too far away within the first couple of weeks whilst they get familiar with their new surroundings. Put a small bowl of food outside so it can easily find its way back by smell.
Lastly, consider if your cat will be allowed outside on demand or whenever it pleases?
Decisions, decisions… to get a cat flap or not?
Well one easy way to decide is simply if you are at work and worried about the cat being inside a lot or perhaps even left outside whilst you’re out, then you’ll be more inclined to opt for a cat flap. You’ll need to buy a suitable cat flap and get it fitted into your door. However, if you’re at home you may prefer to let them out on demand, through your door when you are there to open it.
One thing to consider if you live near busy roads, is to keep your cat in during peak traffic hours such as the school rush or commute, as to keep it as safe as possible. Similarly, where possible many cat owners decide to keep their cats in as it’s going dark.
Should you have any further questions regarding the health and care of your kitten, it's always advised to consult a vet to get the best solution for you.