Why Won't My Cats Come Inside When I Call Them?

by Maxine
(Cape Town, South Africa)

Bubble and Squeak

Bubble and Squeak

I have a cat behavior problem with Bubble and Squeak, brother and sister of 6 months old. They have only recently started going outside as the dogs are a bit too boisterous. But now that they are going outside, I can't get them to come in again, they will stay outside all day and I think all night as well if I don't go and fetch them!


When I do fetch them, they want to bite and scratch me as I get to the door, but once inside are sitting happily on the couch purring.

This is the first time I have ever had 2 cats that I brought home at the same time or are siblings and I have noticed some different behavior from any others I have had, they do seem to make their own laws more often.

It's very strange for me that my cats don't come running into the house when I call.


Reply from Liz (Editor): This cat behavior can be really frustrating and you have my sympathy! Hopefully I can help.

It sounds like they're quite confident, and as you say trying to set their own rules!

The easiest way to get them in is to use food. By this, I don't mean bribe them in with treats, but make sure at the time you want them to come in, they're hungry enough to see "dinner" as an incentive!

I'd suggest giving them a meal in the morning before they go out, but depending on what time you want them to come in, either don't leave any food outside for them at all - or just leave enough to sustain them but not fill them if you're out all day.

Before you feed them in the house, get into the habit of either hitting the fork on the tin (if you feed them tinned food) and / or shaking the bag of dry food. If the have both dry and tinned food, do both.

When you're trying to get them inside, stand at the door and tap the tin and / or rattle the dry food. They'll know it's meal time because this is what you do before they get fed inside, and they'll hopefully be hungry enough to come inside pretty quickly.

Best of luck and thank you for the photo - they are gorgeous!

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They are much better now
by: Maxine

Thank you for the reply, they have just decided that they want to come in now, I think that the fact that the female was almost on heat (earlier than expected) wasn't helping the situation. Now that that episode is over, they are much better.
They were already booked to be spayed and neutered this Friday so I found it a bit stressful, thankfully it was only a few days.
The male wants to be outside more than the female so when he comes in during the evening I just close the window and keep them in, they don't mind very much, any other cats I have had have adapted very well to sleeping at night.

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