Another kitty question.
will shortly have been with me for two weeks, and I plan to start letting her go outside. At first it will be supervised sessions only, but I want to eventually put in a cat flap and let her outdoors during the day time whenever she wants. What can I do to keep her as safe as possible?
We have neighbours over the back fence with big scary dogs that bark a lot. They seem to be chained almost always. Over the other side we have neighbours with chickens and ducks. Over the third fence there is a neighbour with an enormous Burmese cat that looks like it would eat my kitten for breakfast and then come looking for seconds.
Are there things I can do to minimise danger to her from the dogs and the other cat, and minimise HER danger to the chickens and ducks? Right now she is about a tenth the size of a chicken, so no problem, but I don't want her eventually causing trouble. I am thinking about visiting the neighbour with the Burmese and asking if she would be willing to introduce the two cats with us both present to reassure and intervene if there are problems. Would this be a good idea?
Will the kitten be naturally wary of the dogs, or should I make an effort to teach her to stay away from that garden? (Squirt her with a bottle of water if she tries to climb that fence?)
I'm actually less worried about the road, since it is quite a quiet street and the kitten would have to climb a high fence and then walk down a long driveway before getting there. I know she will do this at some point, though, so any thoughts on giving cats a healthy fear of cars would also be helpful. I do worry that she might decide to nap underneath my car or my neighbour's car (we share a driveway) and get squished, though.
Please don't turn this into an indoor/outdoor cat happiness debate. There is another thread
for that. Let's assume for now that this kitty is going outside, and try to figure out how to make it safer for her.
(Other relevant information: she is microchipped, tattooed, vaccinated, spayed and has a collar with an early-bird-warning-system (bell) and our address and phone number on it.)