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They say “never say never”. And they’re right. I learned this the fluffy way. Here’s what happened…

Alfie lying in the garden 1

I used to think that I would never let Alfie out. That’s he’s happy being an indoor cat. And while I still believe he IS happy indoors, I have slightly changed my mind about the indoor/outdoor thing since we moved to London. I now think that if you’re living in a relatively safe area (i.e. good neighbourhood, no possibility for the cat to get on the street), it’s nice to let them out to explore a bit.

Alfie lying in the garden

So in the second week in our new place, we decided to take Alfie out for a little walk in the garden. To begin with, he was quite shy and confused:

As you can see we used a lead & harness, to allow him to experience the outdoors in a safe way and to make sure he doesn’t run away. It is really really important to do this for a few weeks when you move houses, otherwise, the cat might try to run away searching for their old home.

I’ll admit that it took Andy months (literally) to convince me to agree to let Alfie out on his own to explore, but I’m glad he did. The area we live in London feels more like a village than a big city and our street is very quiet. And anyway, you cannot get on the street from the garden, since all the gardens in our block are surrounded by houses. Don’t think I would have agreed otherwise.

I really do think Alfie’s life is happier and more complete now that he experienced what it’s like to eat grass, lie in the sun, chase bees, fight dandelions and climb trees.

Alfie versus dandelion

For safety reasons, even though we dropped the lead, I decided to leave the harness on, and put a sticker with my phone number on.

…until THIS happened:

Cat in the tree

Can you spot him?! Took me a few minutes, even though he was mewing like crazy. I just never thought he would climb up so high, given that he’s never been an outdoor cat before (these pigeons… they make you do crazy things!).

So that’s when we decided to drop the harness, just to make sure he doesn’t end up strangled in case it would get stuck in one of the branches.

This post is getting way too long, but join me next time when I’ll share a few tips for making sure your cat is safe outdoors.

outdoors or indoors

Where do you stand? In or out?