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The cat is a curious, stubborn animal, certainly domesticated, but which strongly retains its ancestral habits and its instincts.
Training a cat is more difficult and when Micio has indiscriminate access to the open air, its long disappearances can be a source of concern for the owner, who lives with the thought that he may have run away from home.
This happens punctually at night, when resources are limited and darkness doesn’t help (we’re not cats!).
So here are some tips to call back the cat at night in the house.
Why does the cat go away at night?
Cats are not actually nocturnal animals, but crepuscular: that is, they concentrate most of the physical activities and hunting at sunset and just before dawn. This ancestral behavior is inherited from the African ancestor from which the domestic feline descends.
After all, many predators behave like this. This is because the low light it is the best compromise for felines: it allows the cat to see clearly (since their sight is much more efficient than ours) and at the same time not to be detected by the prey.
With domestication this behavior has been partly subsided, but it emerges especially when the cat is accustomed to outdoor lifeand can freely enter and leave the house, as he will be more inclined to follow his natural instinct.
Why call your cat home at night?
However, it is the owners who pay the price for this nocturnal freedom of Micio, as worried as parents awaiting the return of their teenage son.
But these anxieties aren’t all that baseless, in fact there are some dangers for which the feline would be safer in the house:
- If the cat has access to the road, there is a greater risk of accidents, as cars run more at night and visibility is reduced.
- At night they are more likely to encounter stray or neighborhood cats that they may have a fight with or get injured
- At night we may not hear its call in case it gets stuck or locked somewhere.
10 tips for bringing your cat home at night
Since cats are not as obedient as dogs, it is more difficult teach him human habits. But these animals also know how to take care of themselves, with their claws, agility and “super vision”, they are well equipped.
Also, if they know their way home, they will most likely come back, as long as they are neutered and know the surrounding area.
Cats usually stay within a 150m radius when they leave home.
Therefore if you just brought Micio home, let him become familiar with the boundaries of the house and garden gradually. In the meantime, here are some tips for calling your cat back indoors at night.
1. Keep him busy during the day
Play with him, provide him with nice diversions so as not to laze all day and conserve all the energy for the night. If you are not at home much during the day, an idea could be those automatic games that move the feather or that in any case simulate the movement of a small prey and stimulate the cat to move.
2. Recreate an outdoor space where he feels comfortable
Create a comfortable and comfortable bed in the outdoor space, sheltered from the rain to invite him to rest: at least you will know that he is safe (even if outside!).
If you own a gardenenrich it with essences he likes, such as valerian, sunflower or catnip!
3. Always associate home with positive emotions
Home should be a place for your cat wants return. Make sure it has always water and a sheltered place to sleep even outside. Make sure there is a relaxing environment, with no reasons for stress or anxiety (such as an animal that they don’t get along with).
Furthermore, reward your cat with a treat and a cuddle every time he comes home.
4. Leave the food bowl inside
This way Micio will know that if he wants to eat he will have to come back enter a certain time. Also, leaving food unattended at night in the garden could attract unwanted visitors, such as birds or rats, or even wild animals.
5. Practice training him
Yes, cats can be trained too! It just takes a little more patience and determination than a dog. Use a booster sound that has low frequencies, such as snap of tongue: he is still able to hear it from a distance, then always reward him with a treat when he obeys the call.
6. Leave the cat flap in “access only” mode at night
Modern cat flaps are equipped with very comfortable settings, those who have a garden and a cat cannot do without them.
The interesting thing is that we can regulate inputs and outputsso if the cat has not yet returned, we can set the cat flap in the evening to “access only”, so that the cat flap prevents him from going out until we open the next morning.
7. Plan meal times for sunset
It’s a good idea schedule cat feeding times. With a meal in the morning and a meal in the evening, they’ll be hungry at sunset, and they could go home of their own free will, no need to call them!
8. Shake the box of goodies
This old and “ancient” technique also works in desperate cases. Grab your cat’s treats box, step outside and shake it so she can associate the sound with the oncoming meal. Even the bag of treats should be enough!
9. Appeal to their sense of smell
Cats have an incredible sense of smell and you can take advantage of that when you try to persuade them to go home.
If they haven’t answered your call, try knocking out one of your sweaters or to open a can of tuna or his favorite food.
These attractive smells can entice the cat at night in the house quicker than your voice will!
10. Call them quietly, not out loud
Cats can be quite skittish and are usually afraid of loud noises and quick movements. They have a great sense of hearing, so there is no reason to shout their name.
The cat will hear you, even if you call it with the you calm down you usually do with: in fact, it is more likely to respond to that. So be nice when you try to attract him to you!
Should I worry if the cat doesn’t come home in the evening?
Most cats do that they spend their nights outdoorsthey are not very far away, so they won’t get lost easily and will be back home with a very good chance the next morning, or when they are tired and / or hungry from the long night.
In these cases, try to be patient without panicking. However, if Micio doesn’t come home for two nights in a row, it may be time to start actively looking for him.
Also when a cat is about to die hidingeven when moving away from home if you have the opportunity.
So a healthy cat can easily get through a night out, but the same is not true for an elderly or sick cat.