Getting my cat a leash has made his behavior worse. What should I do?

My little devil cat, Max, is one of those cats who always tries to make a break for it when he sees an open door, but when he was a wee kitten, he got out and went missing for two weeks, so I am paranoid and don’t want him to go outdoors.

A few days ago, I thought “hm, I wonder if he would like going out on a cat leash.” So I got one at the pet store. As it turns out, he HATES the leash itself, but he LOVES going outside. And now that’s all he wants to do. Since then, he’ll sit by the door for hours, yowling and pawing at the window. He’s kept me awake the last two nights because he was too busy yowling at the window to snuggle with me. He used to be content to just look at the world outside the window. Now he wants to be there. A LOT. And he feels the need to tell me this, LOUDLY.

Basically, I have created a monster. Well, an even worse monster.

I am not sure what I should do. Should I keep taking him outside on his leash? Or should I ignore the yowling and hope he’ll eventually forget about the wide world outside?

What about getting a spray bottle with a good, long stream setting, keep it by your bed, and every time he yowls he gets a squirt of water?

They sell outdoor enclosures for cats. If you have an area where you could set it, you could let him out in one of those.
Or you could try to get him more toys or another cat to play with so he isn’t as bored indoors.
Even if two cats don’t become friends I think that interacting with the other cat at least is more interesting than if it was just one cat by itself.
Another option (though not the best in my opinion) would be to have a spraybottle or a can full of coins or something to shake when coming through the door so that he connects going outside with scary things and might not want to go out again.

He doesn’t react “right” to getting squirted with water. He just gets angrier and angrier.

Unfortunately, neither of those options is feasible at the moment.

ETA: Oh, but I picked up a new toy when I also got the leash. I could get more, I guess.

Is it a leash? How about a harness? That would be more control.

It is a harness. He doesn’t connect it with going outside, so he spends all day yowling at the window, and then when I try to get the harness on him, he bites me. Thanks, cat. :rolleyes:

Actually, right now he’s curled up among the grocery bags in the pantry and is being quiet and good. Yay!

Sota gott the same problem, I tried to leash train the cat who abides me with NO luck. Fortunately the area where we coexist is a neighborhood that is not exposed to heavy vehicular traffic. I have tried the quick release collars Ms Kitty has managed to remove 4 to 5 of them. I do have a harness contraption and tried to get that on her and take her for walks. Whew was that ever a PAIN to put the harness on that is… When I tried to walk her, well just forget it she would plunk her tochas down and not budge or go off any way I was planning on like under a fence or into some bushes. As of today I let her out in the morning about 5:00 am she usually get back before I leave for work, then when Icome home I let her out again. Its not what I like to do, it just seems healthier for her from a mental standpoint, otherwise she mopes around all day.I am not suggesting you do this unless you live in a safe area. Its just the on;y thing I can do (suggestions welcome.)
Best of luck to you Kyla.

Do you have heavy duty screen doors that can’t be gotten through? Max might be happy to be able to see and smell without going out.

Laser pointer? Maybe he’s just bored and needs exercise.

Don’t they have strollers for cats nowadays?

Oh, we play laser pointer allllllllll day. He loves it.

He was being so annoying I locked him in my room for awhile. I let him out and…he’s back by the window, yowling.

I don’t want to reward this behavior with letting him outside, but I don’t know how to make him shut up. He is driving me CRAZY.

Is it one window he sits by and yowls? You can try one of these to distract him, keep him off that window for a bit.

And as for the leash/harness, put it on him (use seriously yummy food as a way to distract him while you do it) and leave it on him. Let him sulk and be pissed, but keep giving him his favorite super special treat from time to time while he wears it. He’ll get used to it eventually, and then you can take him out on it.

The outdoor playpen things work pretty well too, esp if you can set it up so that he can come and go from it as he pleases.

Question – is he fixed? That could also have something to do with it.

Yup. This is brand new behavior that ONLY started after I got the leash. This time last week, he would have been sitting by the window contentedly. Now he’s yowling at it.

Maybe you can put a bird feeder by the window he likes so much as a way of keeping him occupied?

You might ask your vet to check and be sure he is fixed. I have heard of situations where the removals were not complete…or something like that. The way he reacted to going outside made me think maybe he caught a scent of a girl…Just a thought.

Poor thing, it must feel like it’s trapped inside a tiny cell ruled over by a tyranical mistress.
What kind of a person would show him what freedom is then take it away?

No wonder he yowls!

So you physically lock up a creature that doesn’t want to be locked up and then you let it out for a little while just so it can know what it’s missing. And you seem kind of put out that being let out in bondage annoys it, and despite cats (for all that I love them) being rather stubborn and not real bright, you expect it to be understanding about being tied. For your cat, let me say thanks Kyla :rolleyes:

Unfortunately, if you want content indoor cats, you must NEVER let them out. I’m sorry you and your kitty have now learned that the hard way. Young cats really do better in pairs. They roughhouse and bother each other instead of you. They also are then usually more interested in each other than in what’s on the other side of the door/window. If it’s not feasible for you, then it’s not, but young playful cats really do better and are usually much less annoying to their humans if they have a buddy, and are much less lonely during the hours you’re away at work and such.

:frowning: I was just trying to make him happy.