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I'm going to approach my dad about letting the cats be indoor cats again...any ideas?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure where this is supposed to be, so mods, feel free to move it if you think it should be somewhere else!

Now that Clementine has been here nearly a week and has stayed inside the whole time (except for her small escape earlier), I’ve finally realized what I’ve been missing out on. It’s so fun to have a cat around all of the time, and it’s not nearly as much trouble as my dad makes it out to be! Having outside cats is fine, I have nothing against it, but I really do think it’s time that the cats are able to spend as much time indoors as they want to. My dad doesn’t agree, obviously, but I think that’s because the only cat he’s ever had indoors was the one who sprayed. I know it’s not true that all cats do that, and whether that’s first and foremost in his mind I don’t know, but I’m willing to try work out any kinks in the indoor-cat idea that he might come up with.

So, I’m going to propose a plan to him. I’m going to ask him if he can let the cats stay inside for a week straight, night and day, wandering in and out as they please which will be most likely in 100% of the time). If it all goes fine, he can let them be indoor cats. If it doesn’t, they get to go back to being outdoor cats when my dad is home and indoor/outdoor cats when he’s not.

There are a few things I know are bound to come up with that I need help coming up with strong fixes for. First off is the shedding. How do I reduce this problem? I know a good diet is the key, so what kind of food should they be eating? A mix of wet and dry? Brushing shouldn’t be a problem since I have all of the tools for that and will have no problem doing it however often is necessary. For the shedding that does occur, I’m willing to vacuum every day, so that should be no problem.

The second problem, which would be for both my mom and dad, is the ever-present litterbox problem. My mom will not tolerate any feces/urine in the house, it’s her pet peeve (no pun intended ). What kind of litterbox is best for a multi-cat (five) household? Also, where would it be best to situate them, and what litter would be best for reducing any odors? I know two would be the minimum that I would need. My mom would also prefer for them to not be in any heavily trafficked areas, so would a bathroom/bedroom location work fine?

The third is one I’m not sure exactly how to fix. Neither of my parents like cats on counters or tables. I find this a bit odd as they’re easily cleaned, but if it’s possible to train cats to stay off of them and it’ll allow them to live much more comfortable inside, I’m willing to take as many measures as possible to keep them off. Any ideas on how to go about doing this?

I’m trying to make this as little change for my mom and dad as possible, especially for my dad since he is not at all an animal person. So, along with not putting any added responsibilities on either of them with this proposal, I’d also like to find some benefits of having cats inside that I can tell him. I know they’re gorgeous creatures, full of personality, and are amusing to watch, but I need some solid things that even a non-animal lover would appreciate. I already have mousing down as one, but any others would be highly appreciated!

I know I’m going to have to make sacrifices. I’m willing to pay for anything new, help out more with any more expensive foods I’d need to buy to reduce shedding, but scratching posts and soft claws, and am going to be 100% responsible for any messes or damage that they do. Any other suggestions of things I could add into this area would be appreciated, but it’s probably one of the more difficult things. Also, if there is anything at all that you think he might be concerned about that I could be prepared to answer to, I’d love it if you’d post about it.

This plan may completely sink, and I’m prepared for that. However, I’m willing to do almost anything to give my babies a better life than the one that they have, and the first step to doing that is welcoming them in the house like they should be. On a quick side note, if you have suggestions on how to approach him about this plan (think about the fact that I’ve talked to him about this issue uncountable times) I’d really, really be thankful!
post #2 of 13
First thought that comes to me is put the litter boxes in your bedroom. I imagine that is where the food and water should be set up as well.Unless you have a basement. Othewise the litter is going to gross you mother out. If it is in your bedroom, you have to scoop twice a day and take the leavings to the trash. As far as damage and hair, you will brush, and clip their nails.
If you are vigilent in these areas, your parents will only see the fun things about the cats, and perhaps grow to love them. They should be indoors for their own safety.
post #3 of 13
If you are talking about 5 cats being in the house at the same time you may need 3 litter pans and hope they don't argue about it. The pans would need to be scooped at least twice a day if your mom is that concerned.

The counter thing is a problem. Most cat owners are happy if the cats stay off there for the most part, but there are times where cats will be cats and they will get on there no matter what you do. Thing is to keep all food off the counters so it doesn't attract the cats too much.

The shedding would be fairly easy to control (are they all short hair or a mix of long/short hair cats?). If shorthair, they should be ok with once or twice a week combing (not brushing). If longhair, have to be combed every day.

Why not offer a trial test of a month instead of a week. If you do everything you say for a month, it will be routine and don't forget, if you slack off, your parents may kick them all out and never let them back in!

BTW is everyone spayed/neutered now?
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm noting this all down. Three litter pans, twice a day changing, food off counters, regular nail clipping. Goldenkitty - I have three mediumhairs and two shorthairs, so I'll have to be on top of that. I shouldn't be hard considering the fact that I love being around them and the love being touched. Yes, they are all spayed and neutered with the exception of my newcomer Clementine who has her spay appointment on Wednesday of next week. I'll see what he says at the month offer. If I bring it up with my mom around and in a fair manner I can't see how he could possibly say no.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
It went over beautifully with my mom when I just suggested the trial period to her. She said that she's definitely be willing to try, but that I 'shouldn't get my hopes up that dad would too'. I'm just crossing my fingers that he realizes how much this would mean to me and decides to give it a shot, too.
post #6 of 13
If all else fails - jut your bottom lip out & let your eyes fill with tears....

OK, bad advice, but I'm sending mega dad is open to it!!
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
I might just have to do that thanks though, I'll definitely need the vibes! I'm going to ask him him he comes home in about 15 minutes, so you guys should know the outcome in no more than an hour if everything goes as planned.
post #8 of 13
I hope he says yes.
post #9 of 13
if you're going to have 5 cats inside, i'd suggest a minimum of 4 boxes [that's what i have] & 6 would be better. to avoid 'overspray' & to save $$$, use the extra-large 66 quart Sterilite tubs. scoop 3-4 times daily to help control odor - more if you can.

location - all 4 of my boxes are in closets - 3 in my bedroom closet, 1 in the hall closet. if the cats know where they are & they're easily reachable, then more secluded locations should be ok - especially since none are kittens.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Tonight has been an emotional rollercoaster. I suggested the trial period - no go. I cried, agrued, cried, debated, cried, compromised, cried again...maybe you shouldn't have suggested the tearing up idea Nat, I took it a bit too seriously . Anyway, after a half a roll of toilet paper and several heart-to-hearts, he agreed to let one cat become fully indoors. I automatically said no, after all, that's not fair, but finally agreed since Clementine is a newcomer and it would help her adjust.

So here I am - one inside dog, one inside bird, two inside fish, one inside cats, and four cats still outside. It's a huge start, more than he would have given a while ago, that's for sure, but I had hoped that he would at least let the others come inside for a bit to see how it went at least. On the bright side, though, Clementine will reap all the benefits of an indoor girl and I get someone to cuddle with me at night. I'm just really really hoping he'll see how beautiful and worthwhile cats are and how good it is to have them inside and then take my suggestion of giving me a gift of five inside cats for Christmas. After all, that is the ultimate gift.

Thank you all for the vibes. Even though they didn't carry my plan all the way through, little Clemmy will now have her ultimate life. Lets hope the others will follow be able to suit sooner rather than later!

Edit: another bright side...if she is actually pregnant her babies will be warm and cozy 24/7 too, which is a HUGE benefit since I hated having kittens outdoors.
post #11 of 13
Well its a start. And maybe, just maybe if he sees how much better the indoor kitty will have it and that his "fears" are not justified, then in a few months, he may let the others in. But let it be more his idea.

With my parents, the stray that showed up (Mitten) was supposed to be outside cat only. However, with cold weather coming, mom and dad agreed that Mitten could come inside to the basement so he would not be as cold and out of the snow.

After a month or so, they found Mitten was a good boy, and allowed him upstairs. By spring, Mitten was in every room of the house except my parent's bedroom (I don't remember him going in there).

So maybe your dad will "break" soom
post #12 of 13
You seem such a caring young woman, and I am sure you will live your life saving the lives of many cats and kittens. You are right, one cat inside is a good start. Perhaps you could provide warm shelters for the other cats as well as food and water. Don't give up, your dad may change his mind.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
The other cats are all spayed, neutered, and have a warm spot, food, and water. They also do come inside the house often. (Actually, Twix is inside right now checking out Clementine, who is the newcomer. ) I've always wanted them to be considered inside pets instead of outside pets though, because it's so much safer and altogether better for them to live inside the house, not to mention the benefits I would reap from having them near me often.

I'm going to keep up hope that Clementine will be able to change his mind. If I keep up on everything and show him only the good sides of having an indoor cat, you all are right - maybe he will change his mind. I'm not giving up hope just yet!
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