When we brought little Bacardi home, the hubs made the doggie door go all the way to the floor so it was easier for her to learn how to use it. That change also provided Luna the opportunity to start using the exit as well now that she didn’t have to jump over a glass panel at the bottom. This new-found freedom turned her into quite the explorer, much to my concern.
I’ve always had indoor/outdoor cats and hoped to eventually get Luna to that status one day as well (mostly so we can eliminate the litter box!), but I was nervous since she’d always been an indoor cat and had only been outside with supervision before this. She had just recently started going out without her harness and leash, so she was probably feeling quite liberated. Granted she does have her claws and is pretty good at defending herself with the dogs, but Alaskan wildlife might be a different story. Also the cats I’d had in the past began life outside and migrated to becoming part-time indoor felines, so I never worried that they had the skills to find their way home safely.
At first she stayed pretty close to the house, scouting along the walls, but she soon grew bolder and started wandering out into the trees. Then she would disappear for several hours at a time. This included a couple overnight explorations on very chilly nights, which was worrisome for me.
But she kept coming back home to her food bowl and belly rubs while snuggling on the bed with Mom & Dad. So my fears have subsided, although I still worry when I haven’t seen her for a while. It’s just a Mommy thing. But I’m also proud to see her be independent.
Unfortunately, she also still seems pretty tied to her litter box. In fact, we watched her come inside, eat a few kibbles, go potty and then go back outside. I’d get rid of the box and force her to go outside, but I feel think that might be a cue to go a little too independent. Plus I’m fairly certain that her outdoor adventures will subside come winter since she’s not a fan of the snow. So I guess scooping the box remains on my to-do list for the time being.