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How I finally got my cats to stay Indoors, and LOVE it!

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
When I bought a house for my formerly ferals, one of the "neutered" males turned out to be only half-neutered. Long story much shorter, before I finally got them to take out the 2nd testicle, he did all he could to get outside to find unspayed females. Also, I was letting everyone out on the deck. Since it was 12' above ground and no stairs, I thought it was safe, but I discovered my littlest female was jumping off, catching mice or birds, then scaling the posts to get back up on the deck and bring her gifts to me in the house!

Eventually I gave in. Then a senior citizen in the neighborhood started killing the cats. I found out when I caught him at it, and moved the following week, before even selling the house.

Not everyone got out. I tried everything to keep them in, but they'd always find a way. They'd lie in wait to catch me, or someone else, offguard at an entrance. I also tried putting double bells on the collar of my little huntress, but she still caught things, which upset the neighbors greatly.

Now I live in the country. I got acreage so the cats wouldn't bother anyone, but soon the reality of coyotes, stray dogs, foxes, and owls inspired me to fully screen in the back porch with a heavy duty screen. It already had lattice on the bottom half, so it was easy and cheap.
We've been here two years now. They LOVE that porch and don't even TRY to go out.

Sadly, one unneutered male cat wandered up about three months ago. He wasn't feral but a little scared at first. Then he finally warmed up to me and starting insisting that I carry him when I walked the dogs around the yard at night. I started bringing him inside at night and put him in the garage with the dogs until I could get him neutered. He was dense like a linebacker on 'roids and I could tell his urine was skunky and potent. there was no way I could bring him inside with all the others, and him not being neutered.

One night I got home late and he wasn't in his front porch chair. He didn't show up for three days, then one evening he was sitting in the chair. I brought him in and saw scratches on his head. THe next morning, the side of his face was swelling, and smelled of abcess. I couldn't get him in a carrier, so I just put him in the car and drove to the vet. When I arrived and opened the door to get him out, he bolted. I walked around calling him for hours, then spent the night at the clinic with my boyfriend in my car with the windows open, so he could jump in. I came back the next day to look, and the next. I never found him. I do so wish I had gone ahead and gotten him neutered and brought him inside.

Anyway, just wanted to pass on the screened porch idea. It has saved the lives of my cats.
post #2 of 4
You're my second Hero(ine) of the Day! THANK YOU for caring so much about your cats and making them top priority (as all cats should be!). Thank you for rescuing ferals, for moving and building special accomodations for them, and for doing all you can for them.
You're a star in my book!
post #3 of 4
Kudos to you for coming up with the solution, and sharing it.

I put a chain link "room" on the side of my former house and the cats loved it.
post #4 of 4
Great idea. You know, it wouldn't be too difficult to screen off the narrow end of our deck and let them have access via a window. Our deck is huge, at about 600 square feet, so it's not like one end of it would even be missed!
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