Why Is My Cat Afraid to Go Outside? (Solved and Explained)

Do you have a cat that always seems to be reluctant to leave the house?

Sometimes, cats are just scared of open spaces, especially when they first start exploring on their own.

So if your cat won’t leave no matter what you do or how much cuddling you offer, this information will hopefully be of help to you.

What Makes Cat’s Scared of Open Spaces?

Fear of open spaces is normal in cats. If your cat is afraid to go outside, this is not a sign that something’s wrong.

It just means that your cat hasn’t yet mastered the basics that are required to feel safe outside.

So don’t worry about it! Your cat will get used to being outside in time.

Cats are often scared in new places because they have less to rely on in these areas than in their familiar territory or homesite.

Because cats are territorial animals, they like having everything around them be familiar (and comfortable). So when they’re in an unfamiliar area, they don’t feel safe.

It can also be scary for a cat who has just left its family and home to go to a new place and be surrounded by new and unknown people.

Even though you’ve adopted your cat, it’s natural for them to feel anxious until they get used to you and the situation.

And it’s normal for them not to become comfortable in their new environment right away.

But if your kitty is still scared of everything months after adoption, there may be something else going on or something that you can do about it.

The most important thing you can do is to provide a safe and secure home environment for your cat.

Once your cat is comfortable spending time inside, they’ll start to feel more comfortable going out.

In order for cats to feel secure in their environment, they must have a safe place they can retreat from danger and a food source that never runs out.

So if you want to help your kitty become less scared of outside, or just don’t want them to be scared at all, then provide them with these two things.

And make sure they feel completely comfortable in their safe space before you try taking them outside again.

How to Keep Your Cat Inside and Unscared

If your cat won’t leave your house, the first thing you should do is to make sure they’re comfortable inside.

Here’s how:

Provide a safe and secure indoor space.

Set up a separate space for your cat — something simple like a small bathroom or spare room will do — and make it as comfortable and safe as possible.

Line the floor with newspaper (optional), put in some nice bedding, give them some toys, and create a few places where they can hide from loud sounds or scary things that might be going on outside.

And test to see if they like their safe space before you take your kitty outside.

Calm them down with some snuggles, kisses, and head rubs before you take them out of the house to see how they react.

If they remain calm, then it’s okay for you to try outdoor outings again.

But if they freak out, this means that your cat is not yet comfortable and secure and needs more time inside.

You can then try taking small steps towards making the safe space even more secure for your cat by adding a few more things that will help your kitty feel safe.

Make sure your cat has a safe food source.

Cats need a way to eat that is always available and never-ending.

So make sure you provide your cat with a bowl of dry food and water at all times.

But if your cat is very nervous about the outside, you should make sure they have enough food and water in their safe space before taking them outside.

How to Help Your Cat Get Comfortable Outside

Here’s how:

Get a carrier and take your cat for car rides while you’re driving around your neighborhood.

If your kitty is comfortable while sitting in the car, then they’re likely to feel safe when they get out.

Put a leash on your cat and take them outside on a walk.

They might be a little afraid at first, but if they’re with you, they’ll soon realize that they’re safe and can relax.

Have people come over to visit your cat in their safe space so your kitty can get used to being around new people.

And give them treats so they associate good things with new visitors.

This will help your kitty feel less scared of anyone who comes to visit you, including neighbors and children.

But if your kitty doesn’t want strangers to visit them in their safe space, then just respect their wishes and keep everyone out until they’re comfortable with the situation.

If your cat is scared of the outdoors, they can still come outside if you have an enclosed porch or deck.

Because cats are notorious for being sensitive to heat, even though you might want them to go outside more often if it’s getting warmer out, take them out only when the temperature is still cool enough for them to be comfortable there.

In Brief – 6 Steps to Help Your Cat Get Comfortable Outdoors

Now that you know how to help your cat out of its fear of the outdoors, let’s talk about how to do that.

If you want your cat to be comfortable outside all the time, there’s nothing more important than these 6 steps:

1. Provide a safe and secure indoor space for them. This will make your kitty feel safe and secure enough for them to be comfortable outside again.

2. Calm them down with some snuggles, kisses, and head rubs before you take them outside. Test to see if they’re still afraid of going outside.

3. If they’re not, then take the cat outside.

4. Once you’re outdoors, walk around a bit and do a few things that can help them become comfortable being outside again.

5. Once they start to feel more comfortable being out in the open spaces again, take them on a walk around your neighborhood.

6. Keep doing this until your cat is completely comfortable being outside all the time and doing their business outdoors as well as indoors.

Final Thoughts

​As you can see, helping your cat overcome their fear of outside can be easy once you put yourself in their paws.

If you follow these 6 steps to help your cat get comfortable outdoors, your kitty will hopefully, never be afraid or shy again.







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