I've a male cat, just 5 month old, and I work for a software company so I leave him with my dad (parkinson's patient) everyday morning.

When my cat senses that I'm going to work, he shows very high affection to me and my dad, and shows sadness and excessive purring (even comes to bathroom while I wash).

He and his parents (now dead) were domestic, and born and brought up at our own house. Since last month, my cat has been showing different mannerisms. After I leave for work he runs away from home after having food, and returns only when needed. Usually he might be waiting for me when comes back. And shows similar behaviours as shown at morning.

He does not seem to like eating from anywhere else, our house is large and equipped with enough things, there are few bushes and sufficient land area around the house, he have 3 litter boxes, he can have food at any time he wants it, and Dad is very caring toward him. Still he goes.

Any help appreciated, I'm very worried where he runs to, there are many stray dogs and traffic in those streets. I'm also concerned about his health.

P. S : He is very less tempered and brought up along two adult cats

  • Is the cat neutered or intact? Apr 13, 2014 at 3:54
  • @MonicaCellio : intact Apr 13, 2014 at 14:22

6 Answers 6


Cats like to roam and explore. It is normal cat behavior and it does not mean he does not like you or your home.

Yes, there are dangers that go with letting your cat run around outside. If you are worried keep your cat inside. Since he is already accustomed to being outside he may try sneak outside or cry or scratch at the door.

  • 1
    Hi Beo, He knows numerous ways to sneak out from here. Our window panes are easy to open from inside and he knows exactly how it can be opened. Nowadays I keep those windows fully locked still there are few ways to escape. Once I completely locked a section of my house and kept him inside, he started to cry very sadly (I don't want to do that again) so I had to let him go. Apr 11, 2014 at 19:45
  • 1
    "cry very sadly" is your interpretation. Of course he wanted more freedom, and he told you so. That doesn't mean he's sad, just frustrated. Sometimes the child has to be told "you can't have that" and just get over it. (And if my cats are any indication, a lot of meowing may not mean what you assume it does. Mine have sometimes been known to deliver long monologues for no obvious reason at all.)
    – keshlam
    Apr 13, 2014 at 4:26

Neutered cats may, or may not, consider it less important to go outside and examine/defend their territory. That depends in part on how old they were before being neutered.

One thing to watch out for is that trying to get out the door can become a game. You need to make very clear to the cat that it isn't one -- not by being especially nasty, but by responding exactly as you would if the cat jumped up onto a food surface or did something else you've forbidden it to do -- a firm "no", grab the cat and toss it back inside, maybe a growl or hiss if you want to make yourself perfectly clear.

(My cats don't try to sneak outside, but they do sometimes try to play the door game and sneak out onto the porch. They know they're supposed to wait for permission, and they usually do so ... but apparently they want to check every so often whether the rules have changed. I chastize them, they say "oh, I got caught, sorry about that", and we're fine for another month.)

Definitely agree re keeping cats indoors if at all possible. It may require that you made some minor modifications to your windows, just as you would if you had a toddler who couldn't be trusted. In fact, childproofing products are often useful for keeping pets out of places they shouldn't be.

  • (Note that the key point is that the cat isn't running away -- it's running out, to try to assert a larger territory, investigate what else exists in that territory and who might argue about the bounds thereof, and to play and explore. Some of those need to be done frequently if they're going to be done at all -- many scent marks evaporate fairly quickly, for example.
    – keshlam
    Apr 12, 2014 at 17:01

This is one of those things that depends on lots of factors. Only one of which is how much the cat likes or dislikes your home.

If you're treating the cat nicely (and it sounds like you are, plus you are writing here which means you care- which implies you do take care of the cat), and there aren't horrible annoyances in the house (constant vacuuming or other strong noises, another creature that harrasses the cat) then I think we can conclude the cat likes the house (and you and your family).

Other factors include the innate temperment of the cat, how the cat was brought up...

I've owned four cats and one of them has had a STRONG desire to go outside (at least in the past, it is less these days). All my other cats have little or no desire to go outside. One of my cats is curious of the outside world but somewhat scared of it too.

It's perfectly normal to have a cat that is hell bent on going outside even if it is being treated nicely, and has no real annoyances to deal with.

I like the idea of cats going outside to hunt or explore, but discourage the practice of it. A cats lifespan is negatively impacted by the amount of time it spends outdoors. It could pick up diseases, get run over by a car, get lost, get injured. The number of cats that get hit by cars is truly frightening...

  • Hi Dan, I found nothing annoying to my cat here. All previous generations were liked to stay home. Me too like the idea of cats going outside, but here situations are really hostile for a cat. Apr 11, 2014 at 19:39
  • Cats, like humans, vary in personality. Some are content to stay at home, some like to explore if given the opportunity.
    – keshlam
    Apr 12, 2014 at 17:04

All of the answers seem right.

I suspect the age of your cat, the fact that he/she is not likely fixed yet, and the personality of the cat as factors. It is hard to keep a cat in, especially when they are an escape artist, but it should be done as much as humanly possible. Here is why.

I do want to stress the life expectancy of an outdoor cat: 7 years vs. 17-25 years if kept indoors. This is because of the hazards for cats being outdoors and not being outdoors in general.


There are several possible reasons. All cats are innately curious and some really love to explore. One of my mum's cats can't be trusted to come home after being fed. She lets him out in the morning, he comes back quickly to eat and is not let outside again until the next morning. He asks/demands to be let outside again and tries to sneak out but usually fails. However, his behaviour is better than if he's not allowed outside at all because he is used to it. Another one of my mum's cats can be let out at any time because she always wants back in again quickly.

The reproductive urge is very strong and your cat might be old enough to start wanting to mate. Since your cat is intact he might be attempting to father multiple lots of kittens around the neighbourhood. This is bad because it either increases the number of feral cats or unwanted pregnancies in other people's domestic cats.

Two of my own cats have grown up inside so don't miss going outside. The third one only occasionally escapes as she is used to being outside. However, she never asks to go outside, she just does it opportunistically. Depending on your cat's personality it might be too difficult to keep him inside permanently since he's used to going outside now but I would never keep an unsterilised cat unless I was a breeder.

I would recommend getting him neutered and only letting him outside when he's hungry so he has an incentive to come home apart from warmth and affection which may only occasionally be strong enough to bring him home. Some cats are much more independent than others and yours may be one of those. He's still young so the greater the bond you build with him the more he will want to hang around. Give him as much affection as he can stand. It's possible to give too much, if he's had enough let him wander around the house away from you for a bit. Always be pleased to see him. You always love him even if you don't love all of his behaviour. Reward the behaviour you want (e.g. him coming home, being affectionate, etc.)


He is probably doing this to show his disapproval of you leaving for work everyday. Cats don't like not having their way and will do anything to get what they want (including purring and showing "affection"). They are nature's con artists. He probably only comes back just because he knows there's easy food and shelter there. Dogs are much more loyal and tend not to do this sorts of things.

  • I really don't think that's a likely explanation. Cats may indeed object to their humans leaving them alone, but this wouldn't be how they tend to express it.
    – keshlam
    Apr 12, 2014 at 17:03
  • 1
    What a fitting username to your answer :)
    – Erbureth
    Oct 13, 2014 at 14:44
  • 1
    this is not how cats work :) Nov 9, 2018 at 13:57

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.