Please help! My cat won't come back indoors.

After I accidently kicked my cat she will no longer come back into the house at night. She was out all day most days but in on a night in my room sleeping on my bed and wouldn't leave me alone most the time but now she's been staying out all night refuses to come in when I try let her in.

I have no catflap so she used to come to the window so I knew she was wanting to come in. She used to let me play high five with her tail now I can't get her to come inside anymore.

Please help as this has broke my heart. Felt bad enough thinking I had hurt her and now she hates me.

  • Welcome to pets.SE! I have edited your question for be more readable. Please feel free to do so too if you want to add information :) Jun 25, 2022 at 4:29
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    How does she eat? Presumably you put food out for her… is she still taking the food like normal? Jun 25, 2022 at 12:06
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    she will no longer come back into the house at night - neither do mine unless I 'play' the pull tab on a can of food. And then they leave afterwards anyway. Perhaps they got their first taste of fresh meat. 10PM till 4AM is when flesh is on the menu. (are you available at 4:01 AM?) The containment tag kinda tells me everything. You are the domesticated animal. Containing them against their will is a violation of natural order. They don't hate you, they just like outside better. They've got "important cat shit to do". Get a cat door; you too can be awoken with a live rat on your face.
    – Mazura
    Jun 25, 2022 at 21:15
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    She's a cat. She always hates you, even when she loves you. That's why she tries to trip you down the stairs at night.
    – Jason C
    Jun 27, 2022 at 2:22

3 Answers 3


Cats do not hate but they get scared at times when unexpected things happen and might need a bit of time to get over it.

Cats learn from experiences in the same way as you and I do and sometimes it takes a bit of time to find the reason for why things happen and to figure out what if anything can be learned from the experience.

Almost every cat owner has had mishaps like stepping on the tail or paw of ones cat or accidentally kicking/tripping over him/her; it takes time for both the cat and the owner to get over it.

Give your cat the time she need and let her inside when she returns.


I was watching TV and it muttered something about cats and mirrors. I had both within arms reach.

The cat freaked. For the next week it refused to come up stairs.

So I picked it up and scratched its head/whiskers, and took it everywhere up stairs showing no other cat was there.

He was fine after that. Your cat needs reassurance. Play with it outside.


In this time of year (a good summer in the moderate northern hemisphere) my cats would barely enter the house - just to feed and (not always) to sleep in my bed with me.

In winter, they stay at home (mostly around people or other heat sources).

No bad experience (like occasional unintended kick, visits to vets or kids playing less than carefully with them) changed this habit.

Just be diplomatic.

Cats don't really have long-term memories like humans do. What they have is experience. An one-off event is rarely decisive, no matter how bad it is.

What CAN make cat stay out for a while is a longer term pain or the cat otherwise not feeling well. If this is the case, the cat will go where no one bothers it (for a while) and where it feels safest (after a day or two, this may or may not be your house). The cat may or may not come home for food in the meantime.

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