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Keeping your cats inside at night during winter – SPCA

It’s safest to keep your cats inside at night, but that doesn’t always mean they’re going to be happy about it!

I was devastated when I lost my beloved Po last year, run over by a neighbour in the early hours of the morning as he left for work. I wouldn’t wish that upon anyone, so I’m all for keeping my cats inside at night now.

Often, cats will get upset and scratch at the door or make yowling noises that keep the whole house awake. Even so, it’s safest to keep your cats indoors at night as there’s less chance of them fighting, roaming far distances or getting caught out by traffic on the roads.

Here’s a few tips from SPCA New Zealand that might be able to help:

  1. Try to start this routine while your cat is young, when habit-forming is easier. Older cats can be a bit more stubborn.
  2. Ensure you have an appropriate cat door which can be locked at night, allowing one way traffic (in, not out).
  3. Increase your cats activity pattern and give them a small meal at night to reward them for being inside. Keep them active during the day, and play with them often, so they’re ready to sleep at night.
  4. Most importantly, don’t respond to any scratching at the doors, or yowling noises. It’s attention seeking, just like an annoying child (or girlfriend!). Don’t reward this behaviour by letting them outside.
  5. A timed food feeder that periodically releases biscuits can encourage your cat to stay inside during the night also.

For more info, check out this article on the SPCA website. #SPCAambassador