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My cats have cabin fever!

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
My cats, who are approximately 11 and 12 years old, are getting cabin fever from staying inside all the time during these cold winter months. In the warmer months, they are indoor/outdoor kitties. They are quite active for their ages. They certainly don't appear to be getting into their teens!

While we are not home, they stay in the unfinished back room of the basement with their food, water, litter box and a wicker bench with cushion to sleep on. They are not allowed free roam of the house at all because
1) Ashten, who has been neutered all 10 years that we've had him (he is the 12 yr old), sprays.

2) We have an 18lb terrier who does not get along with the cats, so for their safety the cats and he are kept separated.

The cats, Ashten especially, have gotten tired of being in the back room all the time. We let them out into the main area of the basement when we are there and pet them all that we can, but we can't be there 24/7! I even take Ashten into my room so that he can get pets by himself (because Siam is rather an attention hog and will push him away ). Ashten is quite contented in my room receiving my attention.

Even though he's been fed and petted, Ashten will meow for long periods of time. I'm sorry Ashten, I am not putting you outside when its only 25 degrees F! Siam is more contended to be an indoor kitty. I guess my question is, how can we keep an older cat entertained who doesn't play with toys?

*Oh, also Ashten has hyperthyroidism and he is on medication and is doing well. I thought I should add that bit of information, as it could have an impact on the advice that I receive.
post #2 of 7
I think you need to find the right toy. I have 7 cats and they all have different tastes when it comes to toys, however they all agree on the 'cat dancer'.
post #3 of 7
Give them lots of little things to bat around and play hockey with when you're not there - just block off (if you can) narrow under-furniture spaces so their toys don't all end up lost the first time they play. Drag knotted cords under paper for them to pounce on, get them a cat tree to run up and down (and scratch on) and try one of those laser light things for them to chase around when you're there.
post #4 of 7
Of my 4 cats-even though its pretty cold outside Bobber insists on going "out". She of course doesn't make it out of the garage at times or just runs around the house to jump on the family room window ledge. Ox doesn't use a litter box so he goes in the garage-maybe venturing 5-10 ft past the door!! Bakker was outside at least 45 minutes on Sunday-finding a non snowy spot to squirrel watch from!! Or he has been chasing poor Grizzly around the house. They just need more people play time!!
post #5 of 7

My cats arent bothered much even when it is minus degrees F they go out for a few minutes and then come in content for several hours. When its about15F or more they go out several hours at a time. They find some place sheltered i assume. You just have to keep an eye out for them and be ready to let them in when they have had enough.

If i dont let them out (even if they are out just long enough to turn around and come back through the still open door) they begin their "payback sequence" aka.. peeing on the bed, etc. Just that one second out the door though and they are happy and content.

post #6 of 7
Our cat we had growing up went outside all throughout winter (we lived in Michigan). He just didn't stay out very long. My mother's sister-in-law was over one time and she asked my mom "is that all you do all day?" (let the cat out, let the cat in, let the cat out, let the cat in). So, if you are sure the will come back -- why not let them out once a day?

Secondly, isn't there a way you could lock up the dog and let the cats have the run of the house for a while? It doesn't sound very fair that they are the ones to be shut in the basement -- I personally feel that dogs have an easier time being contained in a room of the house then cats do. Basements are not very interesting places for cats -- they can't even look out the window.
post #7 of 7
Cats can be very picky where toys are concerned So I think it might be trial and error.

All my cats are indoor/outdoor and when its rainy they hate going out. The only one who gets cabin fever is Miss Moofs of course Shes not interested in toys but loves to play chase with ME !
She also like a bit of hide and seek, we can play for hours, she loves hiding behind my long curtains.
I pretend I cant see her and she stand there waiting for me to approach with a big ' ooohhh youre there !! ' she then scampers off to the next curtain.
I have just discovered that she also like to do my morning walk-about in the garden, she will follow me around, wait if I am picking up leaves or whatever then follow on. She always comes back into the house, cos well, she knows she gonna get some biscuit treats maybe you could have a go trying that !

Good luck and keep us posted
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