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How would an outdoor cat adjust to indoor?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Our cat Coriander is an outdoor cat. But within a year of her life she had sustained three injuries and a broken canine tooth, and recently has been missing twice for over 24 hours. When we move into our new house (current one is a modular, and the new one will be on the same property but the modular will be moved off) I would like to keep her inside. Obviously the problem is my mother, she's too lazy to keep the cat inside, nor does she agree with indoor cats (or paying for the bills when they hurt themselves...). It might be possible but unlikely to build a fenced in area outside my bedroom window. The house is 1600 sqft and a timberframe. Would she adjust to becoming indoor? Or would it be better to leave her out?
post #2 of 12
I will prepost just for you!


Cats will adjust to being indoors. It's just a matter of making sure they have enough to amuse themselves. And you don't have to worry nearly so much.
post #3 of 12
Not all of them, but good luck. I knew some people once who adopted a stray, roving neighborhood tom, declawed and neutered him and made him exclusively indoor. They had terrible trouble with him crying at doors and windows and jumping at the glass. While they weren't home, he knocked over the potted plants and messed in the dirt, he preferred dirt to litter since he was used to going outside. In the end they had to get rid of him and I always wondered what happened to him. They asked me to take him, but I couldn't,and mine had claws so it wouldn't be fair to him. In this case, I honestly believe he'd have been better off outside, it was the life he chose. Not everyone is happy being a pillow cat.
post #4 of 12
We recently adopted a feral, and Reagan was once a feral, too. Neither of them goes outside now, and in fact, Molly seems a *lot* happier indoors. She doesn't even try to get outside (though Reagan still does).

Both seem to be happy. They eat normally, and they play.
post #5 of 12
I brought Easy inside from being outside. I just distracted her everytime she was crying to go out. I was very consistent with it. It took patience and time, but now she doesnt even ask to go out at all. I had to do it to keep her safe.
post #6 of 12
Oh, Coriander is gorgeous! Thank you for caring enough to want to bring her indoors, where she will be safe from all the dangers there are to cats in the outside world, as well as flea-and-tick-free and healthier.

Is there no way at all that your mom will honor your wishes that Coriander be kept safe inside? If not, you will need to make an area just for her that your mom will not go into/out of. You can buy cat fencing/cat fencing plans (there is a link right here on TCS called Purrfect Fence; I'm sure that if you GoodSearch/Google, you can find many others) and build an enclosure into which you can put a dog Igloo lined with soft warm bedding, or build your own cat house with 1x4's and plywood, making a sleeping chamber into which you put a cat donut berber fleece bed or other warm bedding, and a verandah which can hold her food and water dishes and give her a place to relax that's semi-sheltered. Those are a couple of ideas; maybe others here at TCS will have some input as well. Good luck, and by all means, ALL CATS need safe haven! I personally do not believe ANY cats should be roaming at large -- there are just too many dangers to them in today's society.
post #7 of 12
Declawed cats often have personality problems.

Granted, it's very difficult to change lifelong patterns. But I've always had to pass over declawed cats in my shelter runs; they are often biters, and aggressive, and I knew they wouldn't fit in the way someone else, who might need it more, would. Others might have different experiences.

Declawing a cat is so cruel! I wish it was illegal in this country, as it is in so many others.

And it's true we must try to make each cat happy in their own way. I know a woman who runs a shelter; once the kittens reach a certain age, and haven't gotten homes, she takes them to her farm, where they get food, and their shots, and neutered or spayed. They all life together in a big barn. It's a life, after all, and as she declares, "They aren't going to spend their life in a cage."

It just points up the need for neutering and spaying, so every cat has a home like they deserve.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies. On the matter of the blog post, I do like the idea, but I don't think Coriander would. If you did that, she would probably blink, and then immediately shred up your leg. That is her reaction to 'danger.' Now my dad is in charge of building, and he's even more inflexible. Incredibly so, actually, and I think building the area would be a lost cause for him since I have a feeling he would rather lose the cats than put the effort into building something for them. Sounds harsh but the parents only appreciate the cats for their hunting abilities, which quite frankly, Coriander doesn't have. The problem is my mom's attitude is 'if they like it, why change it?' And the fact that she would NOT take them to the vet unless they were hemorrhaging might be a problem. So I guess I'm basically asking - is there a way to convince two stubborn and frankly uncaring people? We could always take her for walks, she's fine with a harness, but I worry that she would just want to go out more.
post #9 of 12
About your parents: they're really not 'uncaring', they just seem like people (like much of my older family) who were raised in the country to believe animals belong in their 'place' and that's outside. They don't mean to be cruel, it's just that in their mind, they were meant to be outside, and that 'nature' takes care of them, which isn't always true. I know you must be worried they will let her out while you are not home, even accidently, so may I suggest, if possible, leaving her locked in your bedroom when you go out? I had to do this for years with the cat I had growing up, and it was a good compromise with my parents, though I did take flak for it, both from my parents who weren't happy about it and my aunt who told me 'if I loved him I'd give him his freedom', but I kept him in there for 13 years and he lived to a ripe old age. Maybe you can try it. Good luck.
post #10 of 12
Yes, you might have to consult a "Parents Advice Site"

Older people sometimes have a problem changing their mind. I would appeal to their emotions. If you openly fret about the cat, then it's about YOU, and comes out of the "what to do about cats" compartment. They will then approach the problem with the attitude of making YOU happy.

However whacky it might seem to them.
post #11 of 12
I'm pretty sure all three of our cats were outside cats......other than Leya was WAY skinny, smaller than I've ever seen an outside cat, who knows. Enzo is the only one I'm 100% sure was an outside cat. He was a feral cat for the first 4 months of his life. He had never been touched by humans until the day I brought him home. He is a great inside kitty and would be MUCH happier inside the rest of his life than outside. He's actually scared to go out!
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
It's possible but in summer, contrary to common Washington belief it does get quite hot and that equals open windows (though they have screens) and doors. I don't think the cat would like being stuck in my room all day. Perhaps in my parent's room upstairs, as it's bigger, but I can't help but wonder if she'd find it boring. And the parents well... I don't think they'd care much more if it was about me. Then it's usually a matter of 'ehh.... you want too much.'
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