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How to Keep a Cat From Running Out the Door

Cat front door pet feline animal

Indoor cats are typically habitual to staying indoors and do not go out often. However, sometimes your cat might like the outside and start going out more than usual. While it is not uncommon for cats to be attracted to the outside environment, letting your indoor cat out for a long time can be harmful to them.

If your cat has started running out of the door more frequently, you can try the following to keep them at home.

Install a Pet Door

Having a pet door installed in your main door can be the primary yet one of the most effective ways of keeping your cat inside. Though it is easier for cats to escape the house through their little gate, smart pet doors do not let them do so. Install an automatic pet door that you can lock or open to keep the cat from running out of the house every time they want.

Create Barriers to keep them Inside

Besides pet doors, there are a few other barriers that might help you keep your cat indoors for a longer period. These barriers keep your cat away from the door and, thus, more inside the house. The most common barriers used to restrict cats from darting the door are:

Deterrent Spray

Physical barriers are the least harmful options for keeping your cat inside the house, and deterrent sprays are one of them. Your cat may feel some irritation initially, but they will eventually stop going towards the door. You can find deterrent sprays in varying scents that cats usually do not like. Spray them near the gate to stop your fur baby from stepping out.


Alarms are another physical barrier that uses the sense of hearing to restrict cats inside of the house. These alarms are installed next to the door and worm by motion sensors. When they feel your cat near the doors, these alarms start to beep. This beeping noise does not seem pleasant to your cat, and they run inside instead of trying to go out.

Aluminum Foil

Most people install a pet gate or use deterrent sprays, yet aluminum foils are also a widely known, easy method of keeping your cat from going outside. Place some aluminum foil around the door your cat goes out from. Cats don’t find it pleasant to walk on the aluminum foil and avoid it.

Women with white Cat

Distract Your Cat

When your cat wishes to go out or steps towards the door, use a distraction to keep them in. It could be a treat or their favorite game that interests them inside the house. You may also get a cat condo that allows your cat to have more activity inside the house and stops them from going out.

If you feel that your cat enjoys the outside atmosphere, you can also create a sitting space for them near the window. Install a window with a net for your cat to enjoy the wind and the view from inside without running around.

Be Careful When Opening Doors

Are you worried that despite all these measures, your cat still manages to run away? It is definitely stressful when you do everything to keep your cat inside, but still don’t hear them respond when you call them. You should be highly vigilant when you go out, or if anyone comes into your house. Always make sure to keep an eye on your cat and catch them when they try to step out.

Why Does My Cat want to Go Out?

Some cats are more interested in staying inside, while some want to be outside more. If your cat is showing interest in staying out of the house more than usual, there could be several reasons behind it. The most common reasons are:

Environmental Change

Though cats are easily adaptable to their environment, they might also want a change after staying within the house for a long time, especially if your cat keeps inside the house and does not get to be out. They look for a change in the environment, and mostly being on the streets is one of the easiest ways.


Apart from the need for environmental change, few cats are curious about nature and love to explore their surroundings. Cats that stay in and observe the outside environment get interested in what is happening outside. A curious cat is more likely to run away to observe and experience the outside world. Yet, they may return if they are habitual in a cozy, homely environment.


If your cat is not neutered or spayed, you may see them looking out of the house and longing to go out. Cats capable of reproduction who do not have a mating partner at home often look for opportunities to find partners outside the home. Don’t be surprised if your cat on heat runs away and stays away for as long as a week or more.


Is it okay for cats to stay out all day?

If your cat is not habitual of going out much, it is not suitable for them to stay out all day. They may harm themselves or get lost in the streets. It is best to train your cats to go outside for a small chunk of the day and be back before it gets dark.

How cold is too cold for your cat?

It has been observed that cats can survive cold up to 32F; however, it is unsafe for them. Cats can live outside in cold temperatures up to 45F (freezing temperature). Though it’s best not to let your cat stay outside for a long time in cold weather.

The Bottom Line

Cats sometimes get tired of being inside or want to go out to find a partner for mating. Yet, if your cat is not familiar with the outside environment, they might be lost or harm themselves. It is essential to take measures to keep your cat indoors in the home by installing a pet door, using deterrents, or giving a more appealing surrounding within your walls.

Try these methods and see what works the best for your cat!

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