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Bringing stray in

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
For the last three years I've been caring for a stray cat, who I named Kitty. She came to our house a few summers ago, looking ragged and skinny and in need of a home. I've been feeding her since and she has responded in kind by being incredibly affectionate. She's been inside the house a few times, mostly during Independence Day (fireworks) or when the AZ monsoon starts (dust storms and abrupt showers).

I just recently took her to the vet for an exam and vaccinations and am happy to report that she's in great health (just has dry skin and mild tartar build up). In a couple weeks, she'll be going in for spay, additional shots, and probably some blood and fecal test.

I would love to have Kitty as an indoor cat but I think she's been outdoors for too long to deprive her from it. Any tips on making a transition to exclusively indoor life? Is there anything I should be aware of or keep in mind?

Thanks!
post #2 of 15
Make a milieu she has a plenty to do. Climbing possibilities. Search food(!) - or at least search treats. Scratching trees. Toys. Some cozy places to hide some.
Of course some cat igloo or a nice sideturned cardboard box.

If she is cat sociale, another cat can be very useful (and you want two cats of course!).

You can have a dvd-Tv with fishes and or birds on... Or else TV on.

Feliway cant hurt but can help.

I think you have good chances.

Good luck, and keep us updated!
post #3 of 15
Go to the Behavior forum and you will see several threads on converting outdoor to indoor cats.
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by yayi View Post
Go to the Behavior forum and you will see several threads on converting outdoor to indoor cats.
Yes, excellent advice. as the situation not diverses significally from converting an outdoor home cat into a strictly indoor cat. Not easy but usually possible; same advices I already wrote.

In fact, it may be easier with a homeless or even a semiferal:
For a outgoing homecat the outside is mostly a lot of fun and joy. If something is scary shehe can usually run home if need be. While the homeless knows very well the outside can be and is both horrible and scary, making the survival itself an everlasting fight for life.

Thus there are lots of adopted homeless which become strictly indoors cats without any problems.

(Although Im the first to admit, this may be more difficult with a fostered feral. Still, worth a try.)
post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by StefanZ View Post
Yes, excellent advice. as the situation not diverses significally from converting an outdoor home cat into a strictly indoor cat. Not easy but usually possible; same advices I already wrote.

In fact, it may be easier with a homeless or even a semiferal:
For a outgoing homecat the outside is mostly a lot of fun and joy. If something is scary shehe can usually run home if need be. While the homeless knows very well the outside can be and is both horrible and scary, making the survival itself an everlasting fight for life.

Thus there are lots of adopted homeless which become strictly indoors cats without any problems.

(Although Im the first to admit, this may be more difficult with a fostered feral. Still, worth a try.)
Agreed actually -- I just took in a rescue kitty from outside, and she doesn't seem to miss the outdoors AT ALL. At the moment, she's pregnant so she's even restricted to just my bedroom and she hasn't even really tried to get out at that one room very much. I think she knows how much better this is than out in the parking lot.
post #6 of 15
we took in a cat that lived outside for almost 15 years. it didnt take him to long to get used to the inside at all. maybe because he was so old already.
but when i take in other outside cats i only feed them inside so they know thats where they get fed. after a few weeks they dont even want to outside anymore. since u had her in the house already it shouldnt be to hard to turn her into a inside kitty. just dont let her out anymore, she will get used to it fast.

good luck
post #7 of 15
I think that if you provide proper stimulation, there won't be a problem.

Make sure to give kitty special play time at least 2x per day, and a minimum of 15 minutes. That will help alleviate boredom.

If you can put bird-feeders out at least one window (and our kitties love the squirrels too, so we don't discourage them), that is fabulous "Cat TV."

We build "box-condos" for the kitties out of cardboard boxes (almost universally loved by cats!) by cutting holes and taping them up - we get them all spread out and up to three stories high - and we hide treats in them and change the configuration weekly.

Make sure you rotate toys. We don't leave any out for more than a week. Otherwise the kitties get bored with them.

Make sure you don't leave out catnip toys. Cats that react to catnip become "immune" to it if they smell it all the time. We leave catnip toys out for one or two days and then put them away for two weeks.

Make sure you ALWAYS put away interactive toys (wand toys) that have any kind of string or rope or line or anything. Cats that have chased mice are attracted to the string and often eat it - and that can result in surgery if it gets wrapped around kitty's intestines.

You can grow grass for your kitty to munch. Be careful of any other house plants you have - I'd look them up to check on toxicity to cats here: http://www.aspca.org/site/PageServer...cc_toxicplants

What a wonderful thing you're doing!

Laurie
post #8 of 15
Oh -- I mightily second that cat grass. Our two semi feral kittens were RAVAGING our house plants (luckily nothing poisonous, but still kind of an annoyance because I LIKE my house plants!), so I went and bought this cat grass seed from the local nursery, and they LOVED it. They also, oddly, went completely nuts for the sprout mix that my roomie and I picked up from the local co-op, thinking we would use it on salads... guess next time we'll need to grow it somewhere more out of reach if WE want to eat it.

But yeah, that cat grass was fabulous, and also for our kittens, helped get their bowel movements regular, and a smidge less odorous, which was quite nice.
post #9 of 15
We took in a stray--a kitten. But he has no interest in going outside. You can open the front door wide open and he sits and stares then looks at you as if to say "I've been there, it wasn't fun, I dont' wanna go back"

Leslie
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the comments everyone. Is cat grass the same as wheat grass? I grow some for my guinea pigs, but haven't thought of giving it to the cat.

The few times she's been in the house, she's never too thrilled to go back out. I can't wait to get her cleaned up and in the house!
post #11 of 15
Yes, it's usually wheat, although I think it is sometimes also a mix of grains.

Laurie
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mochaviolino View Post
For the last three years I've been caring for a stray cat, who I named Kitty. She came to our house a few summers ago, looking ragged and skinny and in need of a home. I've been feeding her since and she has responded in kind by being incredibly affectionate. She's been inside the house a few times, mostly during Independence Day (fireworks) or when the AZ monsoon starts (dust storms and abrupt showers).

I just recently took her to the vet for an exam and vaccinations and am happy to report that she's in great health (just has dry skin and mild tartar build up). In a couple weeks, she'll be going in for spay, additional shots, and probably some blood and fecal test.

I would love to have Kitty as an indoor cat but I think she's been outdoors for too long to deprive her from it. Any tips on making a transition to exclusively indoor life? Is there anything I should be aware of or keep in mind?

Thanks!
My daughter recently had been feeding a stray and letting him live in her shed. She was unable to let him in the house since she was fostering 3 kittens she rescued and had two adult cats as well. The local shelter agreed to try to find him a foster home and as it is their custom they trapped him and took him to their vet. Unfortunately the cat had FIV and Feline Leuk. and was already too far gone to try to save. He was put down. My daughter was devastated. She really liked this cat. He would greet the family members and purr. He also tried to get in the house. Evidently he was someone's house pet. Maybe he was lost or as happens in our area someone just threw him out. My point is that before you try to adopt this kitty have a vet check him out.
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by deljo View Post
My daughter recently had been feeding a stray and letting him live in her shed. She was unable to let him in the house since she was fostering 3 kittens she rescued and had two adult cats as well. The local shelter agreed to try to find him a foster home and as it is their custom they trapped him and took him to their vet. Unfortunately the cat had FIV and Feline Leuk. and was already too far gone to try to save. He was put down. My daughter was devastated. She really liked this cat. He would greet the family members and purr. He also tried to get in the house. Evidently he was someone's house pet. Maybe he was lost or as happens in our area someone just threw him out. My point is that before you try to adopt this kitty have a vet check him out.
She went in for a wellness check and first set of shots last week and has another appointment in a couple weeks (second set of boosters and stool test). I'm waiting until I get some more money to get a blood test done. Thanks for the concern though.
post #14 of 15
Late to the thread, but what you are doing is great! Sending lots of positive vibes your way and hope that the transition to housecat goes well! My own experience has been positive - we took in three semi-feral kittens after months of allowing them to come into our house for food and sleep. One cold night, we just closed the door and they haven't been out since. One of the kittens got out through a window my husband accidentally left open (bad husband!) and as soon as she figured out how to get off the roof, she sat right in front of our front door and came straight back in the house. Anyway, none of them otherwise have made any attempts to go back outside and they LOVE being able to sleep and play without having to worry about 'predators'. Laurie is right - keep 'em stimulated, give 'em lots of nice places to sleep and play and all will be good.

Good luck!
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I can't wait for the indoor transition (which will start the week after next, when she gets the last shots and goes in for spaying). I'm sure she'll appreciate staying inside since summer is coming up soon!
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