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making an outdoor cat an indoor cat

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
My beautiful siamese didn't come home a few weeks ago when a big thunderstorm was approaching. He was never outside all night and never missed dinner. He didn't like thunderstorms and I figured he would come home after the storm. He didn't...for 3 weeks! I had almost given up that he would come home when he appeared in the driveway when I came home from work. He was dehydrated and very hungry but overall in pretty good shape. I took him to the vet to be checked and they said he looked okay. He really wants to go out again but I am very nervous about doing that as I don't want to lose him again. He looks purebred but he is not. Some have thought that someone took him and he escaped. Personally I think he looked for cover during the storm and got locked in someplace. I'd love it if he wanted to stay in but he really wants to go out. Any thoughts/advice?
post #2 of 6
Before we knew better, we let our cats outside.
One died being run over. Another was locked in a garage at a neighbor's for over a week (vaca) and died b/c there was no food/water.

When our last family outdoor/indoor cat got bitten by the bully cat of the neighborhood and got a bad infection as a result, that was it. That and when my kitty saw the "bad" cat she would tremble in fear and run to us.

She was around 10 at the time. It was a rough adjustment, but she got used to it. She loved scratching the tree trunk so we made sure she had more scratching posts. WE kept her litter v. clean, since she used it more. We did more playtime. We also set up a great window perch for her.My father let her out in the morning with him - all she did was go and eat a bit of grass, then he snatched her back up and went back inside.

I think she would have enjoyed being outside but it wasnt worth the risk. She lived to be 22, so it was worth.

If I had another cat now who wanted to go out, I would start the harness training asap. My friend has a high fenced in yard her cats can jump over - so she lets them out just there.

Most of all: Be FIRM in your new rule of keeping him in. Eventually he will accept it.
post #3 of 6
I have heard people that have been successful with the harness training and being out there with them for a set time every day on the harness and that satisfied the cat's outside yearning.

I am like CDubbie in that one of my beloved cats came up missing and never came back so I decided to keep the cats I have inside.

My cat Easy I found as a stray, she would cry to go out, but I would always distract her with play. I was very consistent with this and also provided her with scratching posts and places high up that she loved to go.

It took patience on my part, but here it is 4 years later and she doesnt even ask to go outside at all now.

Good Luck!
post #4 of 6
Oliver was a street kitty when I found him and took him in... at first he was very greatful to be brought inside and pampered and actually feared being taken outside - so it's a little different situation... but I gradually got him used to a leash and harness and would take him in the back yard for little bits at a time... now he loves to go out on his harness and will actually ask to go out - so with this method, the kitty gets to still enjoy the outside, but is always safe and will always be home and inside at night with you... give it a shot, but make sure he gets the idea that he is NOT to be outside without his harness (no sneaking out or anything)
post #5 of 6
I just recently went thru this with a stray cat (actually I believe abandoned) I have cared for about 7 years. About a month before I knew I was moving I decided to transition Midnight to indoors. i noticed some grey fur and the vet thinks she is almost, if not already, about 10 years old. The transition has been alot easier than I thought but she did want to try and escape at first. I just made sure she was safe inside. many times I picked her up then put her down inside and made sure I was able to keep her from escaping!

Long and shot of it is she doesn't try and escape anymore and she seems very content to be inside. You just have to be firm and eventually yours will get used to it and prefer it! Good luck!
post #6 of 6
I agree with what others have said. Sadly IF you allow your cats outside, then their chances of living too a ripe old age is lessened dramatically. I read that the average age for an inside cat is 15, the average for an outside cat is 3-5. I also used to think...well they are cats, they deserve too be free as well, and my 2 older boys always have been fine....7 and 10 years old. Alas I found out the hard way, I lost My Special One too a nasty car on this nasty road a while back, only 7 months old, and I regret it tremendously I could have prevented losing her, alas I was ignorant...busy road + cat = probable death, russian roulet, if you will... that is if dogs and other strays and poisens don't get them first. They DO adjust in time, they are very adaptable, just persevere and be patient This is just my humble opinion and my thoughts on the subject, hope it helped a little. All you can do is your best. It will work out fine
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