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outdoor cat

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
hi im new on here so hello!

I bought my 3rd cat last August from a rescue shelter. They said he was about 3 months old but when I checked him out at the vets they said he was more like 6 or 7 months old but underfed. The shelter found him on his own and so he had become ferral. For the first few months of having him he was very scared and shy-especially around humans. He has warmed up to me in the last few months and is no longer afraid of me and he gets on great with my other 2 cats. Ive tried letting him outside a few times now with the other cats and he will not come back in the house. he will come close for food but as soon as i try and grab him he runs away. It has been a nightmare through the winter and it takes me about a week to get him back in for a warm. He has been spayed so he doesnt wander but i cant get him. Its not like hes scared to be in the house either cus everytime i av managed 2 get im in hes been purring like mad and seems very happy. Any suggestions as to how I can make him normal - going in and out when he wants. I dont want him getting ill from the cold or getting tics etc ?
post #2 of 14
You know, that's an interesting cycle that's taken place. A shelter rescues him (likely a feral from the sound of it), you pay for him, take him home and then promptly let him go outside (again). Now you can't get him back in the house. What's wrong with this picture? There are good reasons why all of us over the pond to the west think it's better to keep our cats indoors, or at least in an enclosure or on a leash. I can only suggest you find some way of 'rescuing' him again before he's run over or found by a pound who won't be so kind to him... good luck.
post #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by clsmith9 View Post
I dont want him getting ill from the cold or getting tics etc ?
Perhaps next time he manages to be inside, keep him there.
post #4 of 14
Agreed with the above -- keep him/her inside (not sure which since you say him, but say he was spayed which would be a female cat procedure) -- if he's a feral rescue, the best thing to do is not to tempt him with the chance to scamper off into the wilderness again.
post #5 of 14
IMO you made the mistake of letting him back outside without a harness/leash or put in a cat enclosure. Since he was feral when they got him, it would be very easy to do so again when you let him out.

He was not totally trusting you or knowing that is where his home is. If you get him back inside, then keep him there. Do not let him just come and go - he will go rather then come!
post #6 of 14
I disagree with the above posts. A feral cat that's used to being outside is not going to be happy cooped up inside not being allowed out. You need to gain his trust and show him that your home is a happy warm loving place with lot's of food where he can always come back to. Don't try to force him inside, and I'd suggest moving his food indoors if it's currently outside (do this while he's inside so he sees that he'll have to come in for it.)

Another important thing to remember is that having an outdoor cat means paying alot more attention to flea and mite prevention. Apparently Revolution works well for all of that (I've never tried it but I've heard good things!)

Most cats can handle themselves just fine in the winter, they just don't like to be outside in the cold.

Give it time, and slowly I'm sure he'll come around to being inside.. especially if the food's in there.

good luck!
post #7 of 14
I know plenty of people who have kept feral cats inside once they are in and they adjusted. IMO if you let him out, he's gonna take off sooner or later - whether or not you have food there. He's capable of getting food outside and will do so; having food inside won't entice him back inside to stay for good.

Still say if the poster gets him to come in, then keep him in!
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by angryrectangle View Post
I disagree with the above posts. A feral cat that's used to being outside is not going to be happy cooped up inside not being allowed out. You need to gain his trust and show him that your home is a happy warm loving place with lot's of food where he can always come back to. Don't try to force him inside, and I'd suggest moving his food indoors if it's currently outside (do this while he's inside so he sees that he'll have to come in for it.)
There are good reasons why most shelters in the U.S., and most breeders, require cats to be kept inside. The first reason is, of course, because the cat will live longer. The second reason is that they are very hard on the ecology.

Here's a link to yesterday's "Talk of the Nation" on NPR. You can click on it and listen to the episode. It's about how birds are disappearing from the American landscape, and one of the big reasons is the domestic cat.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...oryId=89188490

Europeans often consider Americans "barbaric" for such practices as declawing, but most of the world is far behind us in sensible car for house cats, who are, after all, HOUSE cats.
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
Europeans often consider Americans "barbaric" for such practices as declawing, but most of the world is far behind us in sensible care for house cats, who are, after all, HOUSE cats.
I believe here at TCS, we are anti-declawing. I am not European or American and to me declawing is barbaric.
Sorry for going off topic.
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
Europeans often consider Americans "barbaric" for such practices as declawing, but most of the world is far behind us in sensible car for house cats, who are, after all, HOUSE cats.
I am American and declawing is a barbaric and horrific thing to do to an animal. I am ashamed to even know people who declaw their cats.

Anyways, back on topic... definitely keep the cat indoors next time he/she comes around. Is it a he or a she? You said "he" and "spay" in the same post. Feral cats can definitely be made into housecats. If he is purring and was even deemed adoptable from a shelter then he likely was not a true feral anyways. True ferals are like any wild animal, the second it sees you, you no longer see it. You try to handle it and it wants to hurt you. Sounds like this cat was a stray and not a real feral. But either way, keep it inside next time, stop letting him out!
post #11 of 14
Congratulations for rescuing this cat from the shelter, and again for taking him to the vet to be checked out and neutered. You are to be commended for that!

As for letting him outside... it is proven that indoor cats live longer for various reasons from not being attacked by dogs or hit by cars, to not contracting diseases or infections from other cats. If your boy wants out badly, maybe you can try leash training him, or set up a run or cage. They also sell cat-safe fencing.

Another thing you can try is to give him more play time in the house, more toys, a scratching post and perhaps provide him with some potted cat grass and/or grow your own cat nip. These things might deter him from wanting to go outside and want to be home more.

I know you want to do right by your pet - otherwise you wouldnt be here. Good luck with your boy! He's lucky to have someone to love him.
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
There are good reasons why most shelters in the U.S., and most breeders, require cats to be kept inside. The first reason is, of course, because the cat will live longer. The second reason is that they are very hard on the ecology.

Here's a link to yesterday's "Talk of the Nation" on NPR. You can click on it and listen to the episode. It's about how birds are disappearing from the American landscape, and one of the big reasons is the domestic cat.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...oryId=89188490

Europeans often consider Americans "barbaric" for such practices as declawing, but most of the world is far behind us in sensible car for house cats, who are, after all, HOUSE cats.
You can put a bell on a kitten when they're young so that they're unable to develop the habit to hunt. You can even put one on it when it's older so they're still unable to hunt. If that's really the big concern, there's a pretty simple way around it.
post #13 of 14
Actually studies were done not long ago that proved wearing bells was no help to birds at all, as they did not associate the cat with the bell sounds and it had no bearing at all on how many birds were killed.
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by angryrectangle View Post
You can put a bell on a kitten when they're young so that they're unable to develop the habit to hunt. You can even put one on it when it's older so they're still unable to hunt. If that's really the big concern, there's a pretty simple way around it.
Of course, it's not the big concern. It's the length of the cat's life. A cat that's been killed by a car is probably unable to wish it was back inside, safe and sound....
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