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.
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!