I started walking my cat and now he is crying to go out – what can I do?

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Our question this week was:

Dr. Debra - I just started using a walking jacket to walk my 3-year-old male cat. He loves it, but when I bring him inside after the walk he cries for hours. I ignore his crying but is there anything else I can do? Will this behavior stop after awhile? It has been 3 days of walking.

Answer

Hi – thanks for your email. You wrote that you have been walking your cat and he loves it but now cries after he is in. This is very common. I've had this happen to me too. Sometimes, it seems like you give an inch and they take a mile. The behavior will stop.

I'd do a couple things – first – never let him WALK out the door. It seems if you start letting them walk out – they can get very bad around doors - trying to run out anytime someone comes in our goes out. It is better if they associate something good (such as going out) with being picked up and carried out.

Second, I'd never take him out when he is crying. Reward his good behavior (not crying) with going out. Once he gets his way and goes out because he cries – it will take a long time to unlearn that response.

Lastly – after he comes back in – try to play and distract him. You can offer cat nip toys or something that will wear him out and take his mind off of "going out".

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra



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About The Author

debra-primovic Dr. Debra Primovic

Debra A. Primovic, BSN, DVM, Editor-in-Chief, is a graduate of the Ohio State University School of Nursing and the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. Following her veterinary medical training, Dr. Primovic practiced in general small animal practices as well as veterinary emergency practices. She was staff veterinarian at the Animal Emergency Clinic of St. Louis, Missouri, one of the busiest emergency/critical care practices in the United States as well as MedVet Columbus, winner of the AAHA Hospital of the year in 2014. She also spends time in general practice at the Granville Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Primovic divides her time among veterinary emergency and general practice, editing, writing, and updating articles for PetPlace.com, and editing and indexing for veterinary publications. She loves both dogs and cats but has had extraordinary cats in her life, all of which have died over the past couple years. Special cats in her life were Kali, Sammy, Pepper and Beanie.