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Old 05-28-2009, 02:24 PM
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skittledoo skittledoo is offline
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Default I'm at ropes end... this door busting HAS to stop

I don't know what to do about Goober and his door busting... I'm seriously contemplating calling up a taxidermist so that I know for sure he wont run out the door every time it opens... ok... I'm not being serious about the taxidermist part but he is really honestly driving me crazy. There are 5 people that live in my house. People go in and out of the house all the time and unfortunately some people aren't as aware of the cat running out as I am since I'm paranoid about it.There are loose dogs to worry about, coyotes, foxes, etc... and the occasional car... soooo many dangers could pop up. Some of my friends responses are, "well he clearly wants out so just let him be an outdoor cat." No way JOSE! Too many dangers, he's my cat and he's strictly indoors because I say so... ack... that's not directed at anyone here of course... just me venting on the side...

But back to the issue at hand... door busting... he runs out the door any chance he gets. He used to just run out onto the porch and duck low and stay there till you went outside and grabbed him... but now he's getting smart and venturing further. Last night my friend Mike opened the door and tried to leave my house while blocking the door so the cat didn't get out... but Goober still managed. It was really dark out and I live on a farm so there isn't street lights or anything. Try finding my ginger cat in the dark... it was like searching through a black hole. We finally found him under one of my roommate's trucks.

I'm really concerned about this situation. I've tried training him to stay away from the door. I've tried in a soft voice, stern voice. I've used treats, clicker methods, etc. I've tried the squirt bottle with water... I've tried anything I can think of... it just gets worse. He sits at the door and waits until someone comes home and runs out the door before they have a chance to even block it. Problem is also that my roommates aren't as quick to run and get him. They'll still come inside, close the door and set down their stuff before trying to find him... in those few minutes, who knows how far he could get.

Someone help me before I wind up killing him out of frustration. I'm afraid that one of these days he's going to get out and we're not going to be able to find him or he's going to wind up hurt or worse, dead. I'm so paranoid about it now that I feel like I have to know where he is in the house at ALL times. If I don't see him in my sight for a while I run all over the house searching for him and freaking out thinking he may be outside somewhere. I'm going to absolutely LOSE my sanity over this situation.
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  #2  
Old 05-28-2009, 02:32 PM
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noludoru noludoru is offline
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Well, you know my suggestion, but I won't repeat it since it won't exactly be a popular one. (Still better than having him eaten by something, run over, or being strangled, though.)
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Old 05-28-2009, 02:37 PM
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Would a loud noise or something right outside the door scare him? Maybe something really loud on the outside as soon as the door opens and before he bolts that would scare him and make him want to stay in?

I think it was something like that that the vet tech at our vet office said he used to get his cat to quit bolting.

Mine does it, but we have become accustomed to it and are looking for it. (Of course, you say everyone doesn't pay attention at your house). I was worried when we had a pet sitter, though, but they said they're used to bolters and bring plastic bags to shake at the door as they open it which moves most of the critters back. Once again, if everyone going in isn't interested in doing that, it wouldn't work. Also, these pet sitters obviously are on the lookout for the door busters, too.
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Old 05-28-2009, 03:40 PM
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Is the doorway in an area that he has to walk through? Or is it in an out of the way area that you don't have to walk near in the general movement around the house. If it's an area that can be permanently off limits that's an option.

I mean there are a lot of things you could do but none will work if you are the only one doing it and he has the opportunity to escape because of others. Like I know some people train the cat to go to mat when the door opens but it's not going to work if you are the only one trying to train it.

If you could do set ups with him on leash, opening the door and shutting it before he gets out over and over but having the leash as extra safety just in case that might work. He'd hopefully learn that it just doesn't work to try and bolt. But you also run the risk of him learning that it only doesn't work if he is wearing a harness. You'd also need to make sure that he could not pull a Houdini and remove the harness as he is trying to escape.

My cats don't bolt, Neko used to a little bit but I have him back up before I leave or enter and I don't let him move forward by blocking with my feet. Now when I point a foot at him he moves away from the doorway.

I suppose their are aversive things you could use, although I don't like most of those. An alarm that goes off when the door opens (might be annoying but I'd do it over having the cat killed) could scare him away. You could flip over a floor mat, the ones with pointy things on the bottom and put it in front of the door. But he might learn to jump it or just get over the discomfort because outside is so rewarding.

If you are able to have the entire doorway off limits getting motion sensitive alarms or compressed air shooters might work. I do think you'd need to do some training with them, setting him up by opening the door and watching him to make sure he can't get out. If he gets sprayed with the air or the alarm goes off and he is able to get out, especially the first time, he may learn that it's worth it if he can still get out. The benefit to things like this is that they are automatic so you don't have to depend on someone to keep up this sort of thing, it does it itself.
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Old 05-28-2009, 03:56 PM
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You could try just letting him outside on leash or supervised..

I saw a runner for cats at the petstore as well.
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Old 05-28-2009, 04:49 PM
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Would he jump over a doggie/baby gate ??? Even at my age I can step over one .
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Old 05-29-2009, 12:29 AM
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my roommates would flip if I put up a baby gate at the entrance because of how many people are coming and going in this house. Unfortunately the front door isn't easy to block off without blocking Goober from most of the house. He occasionally can go outside but only with his harness and leash on, but I can't leave him tied out without me right there because that's just easy access for the loose dogs, coyotes and foxes in the area. I definitely want to try the flipping the mat over idea and I'm curious to find out more information about this alarm you can get. I freaked out twice when I couldn't find him earlier today. Ran around the house calling for him and went frantic thinking he may have gotten out... both times I found him curled up somewhere in the house hiding and taking a nap... guess he didn't feel like responding to me calling his name over and over HAHA...
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Old 06-17-2009, 07:24 AM
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maxfox426 maxfox426 is offline
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Hmmmm... somehow I totally missed this. Sorry for being slow!

I actually taught my kitty-boys a "stay" command. If I see them going towards the door, I can tell them "stay" and they will stop just inside the doorway and pout.

Honestly, though, teaching cats to "stay" is like the #1 thing I suggest to people. Ticheli got out once through a door that did not latch properly and he pushed it open. He was halfway through the neighbor's yard by the time I realized what had happened, but I just yelled "STAY!" and he stopped in his tracks and waited for me to collect him. *whew*

I see few people have suggested supervised time on a leash and harness. I will also say that is a good idea, BUT I'm going to add a twist. When the Kitty-Boy Brothers (namely Ticheli) start to get a bit on the stir-crazy side, I will leash them up, load them in the car, and take them to the pet store to walk them around. That seems to stimulate them enough to keep them quiet for a week or so.

In the end, though, it probably doesn't matter where you take him, as long as you make sure to use the harness EVERY time he leaves that door (pet store, vet, walkabout outside, etc.) It will help Goob learn that harness=outside=fun times, and maybe he will stop running out the door and start waiting for his harness.

I hope that helps!
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Last edited by maxfox426; 06-17-2009 at 07:26 AM. Reason: typos, typos, typos...
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Old 06-17-2009, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skittledoo View Post
I freaked out twice when I couldn't find him earlier today. Ran around the house calling for him and went frantic thinking he may have gotten out... both times I found him curled up somewhere in the house hiding and taking a nap... guess he didn't feel like responding to me calling his name over and over HAHA...
I freaked out over Thanksgiving two years ago thinking Ticheli had gotten out the door while guests were coming in... He was missing for two hours! So I went into full panic mode, with the whole family at my house and everything.

We ended up finding him in the linen closet, after he had dumped everything off the shelves and onto the floor. How the heck he got himself stuck in there... I just don't know. My cat is talented.
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Old 06-17-2009, 03:01 PM
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ya Goober got out a few days ago. I wasn't home, but apparently he ran out when one of the guys opened the door. They looked everywhere for him and eventually found him over at my friend Mike's house next door. From the time he got out to the time they found him he had managed to get his collar off as well. (oh dear)... they did find his collar in the grass. Thing is... if Mike's dogs had been in their fenced in front yard I KNOW Goober would have gone straight to them. He has no fear whatsoever of dogs... but the problem is that one of Mike's dogs is extremely cat aggressive and that would have ended really badly.

I've tried teaching him stay to no avail... once he figured out it was my way of keeping him from bolting he stopped doing a stay. He really is an annoying cat sometimes. But while we're on the subject of weird places we've found our cats... Goober managed to get the lid off the fish tank once and I found him swimming in the tank... I also opened the fridge once and he bolted out of it. Dunno how long he had been in there and who accidentally shut the door on him. He got his head stuck in a flower vase once too...
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