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I grew up with family cats and come from a family of cat lovers so have been around cats for a long time. However, recently my grandmother died and I offered to adopt her 10 year old tomcat, Ned.

My cousin also offered to adopt the cat, and as adopting him would have required me to ask permission from my landlady and possibly pay extra rent, I let her take him. However a week later, she asked if I could have him instead as she found she was severely allergic. I said yes, after getting permission from our landlady.

I know you're supposed to keep cats in for two weeks, but I really can't overstate how well he has adapted to living with us in such a short amount of time. From his first few hours with us on Sunday evening, he was curiously exploring the house, getting his belly rubbed, getting comfortable. We woke up to find he'd used the litter tray with no problems and is eating healthily. He's slept on our bed with us and sits on our laps most evenings while we watch TV. He's a fussy, affectionate old thing and he often follows you round the house while you're doing chores.

During his brief tenure at my cousin's house, she said he was 'hiding' from her 6 year old son a lot, and it sounds like he was a lot more timid there than he is here, which is a good sign for us I suppose.

Like most cats he loves looking out of the window, and sometimes he cries to go out of the house by the back door, but whenever we slip out of the back door to go outside, he doesn't make a break for it. He clearly wants to explore our small, fairly enclosed back garden but doesn't seem like he wants to escape!

How much leeway is there with this 2 week incubation date? Does anyone have any stories of letting a cat out earlier - accidentally or not - and is there anything I should know if I decide to let him out early? Or despite all the good signs is this a straight up bad idea?

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Cats should be kept indoors or have an outdoor cat pen to keep him and the wildlife safe.

Cats are making many species of birds, lizards and some turtles go extinct. You will also have the risk of him getting lost (a microchip will help if he is found by someone else) or killed by bigger predators (foxes, eagles, coyotes etc.) and vehicles.

If you decide to leash your cat, be sure he is supervised at all times. If a predator is around, he won't be able to escape. We've had a few cats get swooped up by hawks in the area.

I will also add that if you decide to let him out, please have him fully vaccinated for FVRCP, Leukemia and Rabies as well as giving him a monthly flea + dewormer that will cover tapeworms (as well as others, but not all anti-parasitics treat tapes).

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  • Thanks for your response but I live in rural England and nothing there is really an issue. He's 10 years old and has had all vaccinations and is neutered. We have always let our cats go outdoors as they please (we have a cat flap) and have never had any incidents with wildlife. The only other wildlife around are birds and other cats. – TCassa Feb 16 '17 at 12:44
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Two years ago I got a feral cat. He was at least ten years old. I kept him indoors for one month, but the day I let him out he escaped, and it took nine days before I got him back. He went back to the place where I got him from. This was 5 km away from where I live. I had him indoors for two more weeks and then he understood where his home was. There were no problems thereafter. Most cats in north Europe are outdoors for at least part of the day, and yes they do hunt, but mostly mice and rats, not very often birds. (this last part is a comment to the other answer).

Some cats gets used to a new home fast. Others need more time. The one I had was feral, old and wild and had never had a home in his life. I had him for a little over a year before he became ill and had to be put down.

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  • Thank you for your response. We let him out on Sunday, after two weeks in the house. He investigated our small garden and found the cat flap to our utility outhouse (shed on the side of the house with washing machine and small workshop in there but no access to main house from it). He seemed fine, was quite vocal and interested. He tried to hop over a fence (he is quite overweight and not agile) so we brought him back inside. Since then he has been scratching the door to get out. I let him out briefly this morning too but brought him back inside before I left for work. – TCassa Feb 27 '17 at 8:54
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    this sounds good, that shed provde shelter for your cat when it is raining,if your cat have been out in the garden and returned to your house of its free will i do belive this will work out very well for you. – trond hansen Feb 28 '17 at 10:02

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