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Indoor to Ourdoor

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I have a 4 or 5 year old indoor cat that I would like to introduce to the outdoors. I am moving to a slow street with very little traffic. I am looking for suggestions on the best way to do this (or if it is even possible at this point). Thank you!
post #2 of 13
I think you'll find most North Americans here would recommend you not let your cat outside.

My husband was letting Bijou out against my wishes and we live in a very safe area. Bijou got bitten by either another cat or something and had a huge abscess on his back. He had to undergo surgery and keep a tube in his back for almost a week - that cost us $677. Bijou no longer goes outside. It was a tough lesson for my hubby but it works for me. Bijou has taken to being inside only very well and only "asks" occasionally to go out.

I'll tell you what I said to my husband - "I cannot afford the vet bills for an outdoor cat so unless you plan to pay for the vet bills, the cat stays inside". So, my questions to you are: Can you afford $500 and possibly much higher vet bills if your cat gets hurt? Can you be certain his illness/accident won't kill him? Will you pay whatever it takes to make him better if he gets hurt rather than just euthanize him? If you can answer all those questions with a yes, then it's up to you if you let him out or not.
post #3 of 13
If your cat has always been an inside kitty, I see no reason to start making him/her an outside cat. They probably would be terrified of all the stuff, even on a quiet street.

If you feel you need to give them some outside time (and risk them running out the door when open), then train to a harness/leash or build/buy a cat enclosure where they can sit and watch.

All my cats are 100% inside cats. When we build an enclosed porch on our house, that's about the closest they will get to being outside - a nice railing on the inside and screened in windows. They can sit out there and watch the birds in safety. They won't be touching the grass
post #4 of 13
I second the others. Keep you cat indoors! The life expectancy of outdoor cats is about 6 years, compared to 16 for indoor cats.

Don't buy into the idea that you're somehow "depriving" your cat by keeping him/her indoors. Both of my cats were strays (first one adopted ME) and so lived outdoors for quite a while, but both of them embraced indoor living wholeheartedly and never showed any sign of wanting to go out once they experienced the security of indoor living.
post #5 of 13
I agree with everyone else. I seen so many dead outdoor cats even in rural areas here. I have seen 3 in the last week. All the cats we did let out died young. I was a kid then. The cats I have now have never been out in their life.
post #6 of 13
Is there a reason that you think your cat should spend time outside? Are you talking all of the time or just part-time?
Would a leash work for what you want?
post #7 of 13
I am with the others. Outdoors is no life for a cat. It is not safe. They can get hit by cars, bitten by more aggressive cats, get into someone's anti freeze or other poisons, stolen, tortured by someone who hates cats and so many other things. Domestic cats were bred to be our companions. Sure the outdoors is fun for them because cats like stimulation and they have no idea what dangerous things are out there. But you do.
Get some toys for the cat and enjoy having the peace of mind of knowing where he is at all times.
post #8 of 13
I am rare North American ... My cats (cept for punky and pj do to their brain issues ) do go outside ... BUT they are trained to stay in the backyard , are all leash and harness trained and a minimum of 12 months old ... oh they have to be fully vaxed , able and willing to come when called ( he he I can see 90 % of the yard from the door )
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
I am rare North American ... My cats (cept for punky and pj do to their brain issues ) do go outside ... BUT they are trained to stay in the backyard , are all leash and harness trained and a minimum of 12 months old ... oh they have to be fully vaxed , able and willing to come when called ( he he I can see 90 % of the yard from the door )
Bijou stayed in our yard only as well - unfortunately the animal that bit him was not trained to stay OUT of our yard.
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
Bijou stayed in our yard only as well - unfortunately the animal that bit him was not trained to stay OUT of our yard.
yeah I have thought on that one but no animals get near when there is a 85lb ridgeback "supervising'
post #11 of 13
I know I will get hit here....

We have 8, 6 that go outside, ONLY during the day. At night the doors are locked(we have a cat door by both the "human" doors) Everyone is in at night.

Satin, our oldest is going on 15. My husband has always treated his cats this way. We have lost one this way, tho to be honest Homey was never in the best of health from day one. My husband believes in letting them live life to say.

Now that said, if yours has been an indoor cat all his life, no I would not let him outside. We have 2 here that will not go out. Squirrel is terrifed of the outside(seeing how she was more then likely kicked out of the house and ran off) she is one of ours-we found on the side of the road-ones. The other is my husband's mother's cat whom we inherted as we promised my MIL we took her in when she passed away. Precious has no front claws and should never go out.

I have one that only comes in when it rains or it is time to come in. The others come in, check on us and go back out.

You ask, do we have cat fights bite problems and other problems. Yes. we keep albon on hand for the cat bites. It is an anibotic that helps keep the pus from building up from them. Our only bad one was my Figgit who decided to go out AFTER a rain storm, climb a tree and FALL OUT OF IT!!

Like one of the other ladies, over $600 later and a broken skull, well she goes out now, but no tree climbing anymore. she got fat and sassy instead. BTW, the vet gave her less then a week to live. When we came back for her check up 2 weeks later, he was both surprised and pleased she lived through it. Tho, I won the bet at what happen to her, vet's vote, car,, my husband's vote was a bb gun...and I said she fall out of the dang tree....

We live in a rural area and that makes some different, tho if you have coyote anywhere near you, cats beware!
post #12 of 13
The street I live on is very busy but in general our neighborhood streets aren't super busy. While driving to church last sunday night I saw something I pray I never have to see again. Apparently someone had hit a cat and I saw it flipping and flailing on the side of the street. I knew immediately that it was hurt to bad to save--so I immediately found the number for animal control to come get the poor thing and euthanize it. I hadn't stooped because I was needed at church for something but I realized I had to go back and see the cat--I was sort of relieved to find that the cat had passed away. I did have animal control come to pick the cat up and dispose of it.

Both of my babies were saved from the streets and I can't imagine allowing them to be outside cats--no cat should have to worry about the fate that poor cat/kitten really, suffered. I can't help but say alittle prayer each time I drive by there now--and snuggle mine alittle closer knowing they are safe inside.

Please keep your cats inside or in a safe enclosure or on harness outside.

Leslie
post #13 of 13
One other thing. It would be rare for an inside all your life cat, to cope with what is outside in safety (e.g cars, dogs, etc.) when not supervised.

Growing up outside vs born and living inside - then turned loose outside is far different. Unless you are supervising your cat's outside time (leash or enclosure) you are risking your cat's life by turning him outside now.
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