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Changing Indoor/Oudoor cat into Indoor cat?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
This is my first post to this forum.. I'm so glad I found it!

I use to live in a rural area with my 3 cats. In January, we moved to a suburban area that has a fairly busy road right next to our house. All 3 of my cats were accustomed to being indoor/outdoor cats. My worse nightmare came true when my youngest cat, Harry, was fatally hit by a car 3 nights ago. I had a feeling it was going to happen to one of them one day. It was just so horrible when it happened.

Now, I'm scared of losing another one of my cats in this way. The 2 remaining cats just walk out into the street like it's all theirs. I've decided to turn my cats into exclusively indoor cats. That won't be too much of a problem for Stella..since we've moved, she's been a bit afraid and stays indoors alot. However, my 2 year old male cat, Brando, loves to be outside! He lives for it. Everytime we open the door to leave or come home or take the dog out, he jets outside.

Here's my question..

Is there any way to keep him indoors as an indoor kitty? Any helpful hints?

post #2 of 6
I have adopted several strays and made them only inside cats. I just don't allow them outside. I know it sounds too easy, but we are very careful to not open the door when they are paying attention. We also yell loudly and throw a can with pennies at them when they try. We haven't had an excape yet from when we walk in and out of the house (now one of us not making sure the door is latched - and them escaping this way is another story!) and we've got 6 cats. I have one who begs to go outside and I always tell her <like she is listening / understands> that it is a give and take relationship - I keep her warm in the winter and she stays inside in the summer.

Good luck!

Heather V. Havel
Michigan - USA
post #3 of 6
I had exactly your problem - shifting from a place that was totally safe for cats to a place that was less safe - some traffic on a nearby road and dogs next door that killed a neighbour's cat (the cat got in there, the fence is dog proof). So I tried converting my two cats to indoors at night and outside during the day under supervision - they mostly sleep during the day anyway and only want to run around outside for a brief period. One cat would not accept the confinement at night, she was a 12yo and was a great ratter, so I had to give in with her and leave her out, but it was always a worry. So then I got the idea of building an outdoor enclosure accessable to the house by a cat flap. There's plenty of companies building them commercially now http://www.catfencein.com/ is one but they're not cheap. I built my own for very little money and I'm not particularly handy either and it works brilliantly well. I was able to use one side of the house so it's big enough to have grass and a natural soil litter area and other features that keep the cats amused. I've since got two refuge kittens and they love it, I do let them out into the greater garden area under supervision but really I think they'd accept being totally confined to the enclosure and house. I'm a great fan of outdoor cat enclosures now. The commercial ones are available in all shapes and sizes, off a window or door or just enclosing a patio area (better than nothing), and are removable if necessary. Elsewhere I see that harness and leashes for cats so that they can be walked outdoors are also becoming popular, though I've not tried this myself. I can just imagine the rodeo exhibitions but they say cats do get used to it.
post #4 of 6
hi! I am so glad I discovered this site today! I had 4 cats all from the same litter, but one (Jake) was hit and killed last December. Since then I have been very worried about the safety of the other 3 (Bailey, Sophie, Maddy) and last week Bailey disappeared. I was so distraught. But, thankfully, he returned a week later, starving and so glad to be home. I have no idea where he had been, but he was so homesick. I have been racking my brain trying to devise some way to start to keep them inside without their tantrums and torture bec. they want out. They get very bad and sneaky when they have to stay in so I usually end up letting them out. They usually sleep all day and roam outside most of the night (!) They are inside/outside cats.

The closed in area sounds great and I may just have to screen in my large back porch. Although I do want to keep them safe, they absolutely love being outside with the wind in their faces, smelling the breese, rolling in the dirt!, and gardening with me! But I cannot stand the stress of worrying about them and being terrified when I see an animal on the road, praying that it is not one of my babies. We live a few streets away from a highway.

Thanks for all of your ideas!!! I am going to check into them right away!
post #5 of 6
Cats certainly love to be outside, no one will ever convince me that it's natural to totally confine cats, though sometimes it's necessary to at least partially confine them, if only at night. Unfortunately nighttime is their favourite time of the day but it's also the most dangerous time for them, there's all sorts of other critters prowling around out there, also they get dazzled by car headlights. Are you familiar with the About.com cats site? I just can't find the URL at the moment but it should be easy to access by seaching for About.com. The articles and especially the forum attached to this site are a mine of excellent information on everything to do with cats, including cat enclosures, keeping indoor cats happy etc.
post #6 of 6
Calnickmom and Kimberly:

Just don't give in to the whining. They'll adjust eventually. My Squirt was indoor/outdoor for a few years and LOVED being an outside boy. When I moved several years ago, he went out and was lost for 2 weeks! That was the end of his outside days. He got the hint.

If you can devise a safe way for them to have limited exposure; all the better. One of those enclosures would be good. If you have a screened porch, that's good too. I just bought a house, and I swear, one of the deciding factors was this outdoor atrium that lets my cats go outside, but they can't get out of the enclosed area.

Good luck, and welcome to the Cat Site!
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