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In need of advice

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure if I got the right forum, but surely someone will know what to do. I'll start at the beginning:

3 years ago, I got Elliott, my male tabby...I adopted him at the age of 4 months, and he was a barn cat, so being outside is implanted in him, and I'd let him loose outside....tried tying him up, but he'd get out of the harness within minutes, and never when I'd watch him (he's a smart one I tell ya). I got him fo a companion, for my female cat, and both are roughly the same age, maybe 3 or 4 months apart...She doesn't venture outside.

2 years ago, some little old miserable neighbor complained, and I got a visit from the police, so I built an enclosure in my back yard, but to not be able to run free really upset Elliott, and he'd meow when in the enclosure, so at night, after the sun went down, I'd let him loose, and in the morning, he'd come in, and sleep or play with Pixie...Everything was fine and dandy, and miserable old lady moved away last year.

I still do the same, let him loose at night, and now being winter, he doesn't stay out long, or he'll wake me about an hour before my regular wakeup time, and he can enjoy the outside a bit before I wake up. Last sunday, another neighbor from across the street started complaining that her yard smelled like pee, and asked me why I don't put him in his cage, so I replied, "Well....there's 4 feet of snow in it right now", but that I'd try to keep him inside, and sure enough it wasn't too bad, just the 5am wake up, and he'd be outside for a bit...and now yesterday, she came back to complain...this time I couldn't be sarcastic, she was wearing her police uniform. Last night he woke me up, and I couldn't put him outside, she told me that she got a trap installed (I wonder if she'd like me to install a trap for whe her kid comes in my yard??)...Sad part is that there are many cats around my neighborhood...in fact, her direct neighbor has 2 that are always outside, yet mine is the problem!!

Now I'm debating...should I build a bigger better enclosure, but then he'd still meow to go free, and I'd have to find a way to easily add walls to keep the elements out during the winter, or as my mom said, maybe I should find him a new home where there'd be a huge yard/field, and he can go mouse hunting, or should I not put him outside, and hope that he gets used to being inside. If I give him away, how would that affect Pixie losing her "brother"(not direct bro & sis, but that's what I call them). Any ideas would be appreciated on how I might tame him to stay inside, and building an enclosure in wintertime is not a good idea...I'm still at least 2 months away from being able to get something built. I'm sad and angry at the same time as to what I can do...How would the neighbor like being told that she can no longer leave the house...EVER??

I really don't want to get rid of him, but if he'll be unhappy at home, I'd rather see him at least be happy, and be able to run free. Thanks for any advice anyone might have for me.
post #2 of 7
In the long run, the easy and kind way to solve this is to keep him indoors all the time.

It's only a matter of time before someone who isn't as nice as your neighbor will take it upon themselves to rid the neighborhood of a perceived "problem."
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
I know that's the kind and easy way, but how to make it easy for him...
post #4 of 7
I agree, IMO, he should just be kept inside, for his own safety, only to be released in the enclosure.

We do these things for their welfare, he will acclimate to not going outside when he isn't let out after crying for it enough times. (ie- he cries and gets what he wants) It may take a while, but it really is in his best interest.
post #5 of 7
You're just going to have to toughen up and ignore his meowing. I have one that meows for stuff all the time - it doesn't mean he gets what he wants.

If you still want to use the enclosure you built, go shovel the snow out and get some tarps. Tarps can be attached to it to help keep out wind, snow, and rain.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
I thought of shovelling, but 4 feet of snow is tough...layer of ice in there too, and the enclosure is 20 feet long, and 4 feet wide....depending what I decide, I'll build a bigger one, but will need my dad's help....he's old school, and when we built the present enclosure, he said "it's cheaper to shoot the cat...bullet is only $0.25"...how i survived past 20 yrs old I'll never know
post #7 of 7
"Ever?" . Not at all! You need a harness with not only the neck collar (which is dangerous on its own for cats anyhow), but one that attaches across the back to a collar around the tummy (and once that part's fitted right, you never need to undo it). You first fit the tummy part on him (get help) behind his front legs, tight enough to only slip one finger underneath (much safer than too loose), then do up the neck part (same one finger deal) - and that's the part you'd do/undo each time - he''ll just step out of the tummy part each day after his walk. Let him hang out indoors for short times with no leash attached, and having it well fitted will be much more comfortable and less scary for him, BTW. Once he's sort of forgotten about it, whether in two days or a week, then clip on the leash, open the door, and let him take you for a walk - let him lead the way (just not under bushes!). You'll need to gently encourage him to come home, stay out of potential trouble, etc., but you can work that out.
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