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Little One becoming an indoor/outdoor cat...any suggestions?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I know some people aren't going to like this, but let me tell the story. Little One is the only one of our six kitties that remembers the outdoors. All the other ones were found abandoned and were bottle fed. Harley and Monster didn't even have their eyes opened yet. Little One was a barn cat and was "catnapped" from the barn when she was around 4 months old. She was fine when she was a kitten, but now she doesn't interact with the other cats at all...unless you count growling and hissing. I honestly think she hates being inside...especially during warm weather. So, we've started letting her outside a little bit each day. Our house is at the end of a dirt road, so the only real traffic is us. She is spayed and still has her claws so if any of the barn cats mess with her she can defend herself. So far, she has mainly stayed on the front pourch, with a few little explorations to the back of the house, but she is a much happier cat! My problem is, I worry about her constantly while she is outside. I will NOT let her out at night, because she is mainly black and impossible to find but during the day she is free to roam. I want to hear from some other indoor/outdoor kitty parents and find out when do I stop worrying about her?
post #2 of 10
I actually used 2 be an indoor/outdoor kitty owner long time ago and I learned that u r terribly risking ur kitkats life wen u let him/her out
post #3 of 10
If you absolutely have to let her outside, then make sure she has no access to food while outside, just water.

So at 5pm (or whatever), call her and tap her food so she'll know she has to come inside at night time to get her dinner and do not let her out until she's been fed in the morning.

Sounds as though you know the risks, so I won't harp about them, and I don't think you'll ever stop worrying about her. Anytime you can't find her will be scary... How old is she now?
post #4 of 10
Can you build her an outdoor enclosure? That way you know she's safe and can't run off.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
She is now almost 3. She has always wanted to go outside (like I said, she was a barn kitten, so she was used to it) but when we lived in town obviously I wouldn't. And, I don't just open the door and let her roam free. We only let her out while we are outside and can keep an eye on her. Plus, her sister is one of the outdoor cats we feed on our porch, and they seem to like each other and sunbath on the porch together. I don't know if she recognizes her as her sister or not...who knows?

But honestly, since we've been letting her out she is a different cat. She was actually playing with Harley tonight! Chasing and wrestling, but in a playing way, not the normal hissing, howling "get out of my space" type of thing she usually does. Once we get the deck built, we are going to screen in part of it so the cats can get some fresh air so I think that will help. Hopefully, then she will be content with going out there only.

I do know the risks, which is why I try to make sure she is in my sight when she is out. And, only food is inside. One time we turned our backs, and all I had to do was open a can of cat food (wet food is a rare treat!) and she came running!

I am worried about being a bad kitty mom, but I want my sweetie to be happy, and if 45 minutes outside makes her happy then I'll do it.
post #6 of 10
Do you have a cat escape proof area she can use to play outside... In my case it is the back yard and some training
post #7 of 10
It sounds like you're on top of her outings. I think she should be OK for 45 min with you watching. Happy cats are much nicer. Good luck. I'm really glad she's playing with the others.
post #8 of 10
Please... before you decide whether you really want to let her out at all, please go to Cats S.O.S. and read the thread titled "I think Lily is dead." If that's not enough to scare you out of this, then... I'll shut up.

If you haven't tried Feliway, Rescue Remedy, and the various other options out there, I surely recommend that you do. They might help calm this kitty down without putting her life at risk.
post #9 of 10
I think an outdoor enclosure would be a great idea. I have 6 cats, only one wants to go outside. I will let him on the deck, but only while we're there, like tonight we grilled steaks for dinner and let him wander around the deck. But I put a baby gate up so he can't get down the steps, and if I go inside, even if its to grab a drink, he goes too. I lost every one of my cats growing up to something that could not have happened if they were indoor cats. One was horribly run over by a car, then dragged himself up our 1/2 mile driveway with his front legs and we had to have him PTS, one was killed by a raccoon, and 3 others disappeared and never came home, including my heart cat, who was going to go with me when I moved away from home for college. She disappeared just a year before I planned to get my own place. These are just things that I don't think are worth the danger. If you could harness her and put her on a loooog lead, that would be great. She would get used to the harness. Or an outdoor enclosure, with grass and tree branches and thinsg to climb on. I would build one of those myself if I had the yard for it, but that will have to wait til i win the lottery and build my house in the country
post #10 of 10
Eventually you'll get to the point where you know where she will go and that she won't stray far.At that point, you can rest.
Here's a pic of Blaze and her FAVORITE spot to lay.She does not leave the yard, and at night I put her in the garage.
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