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Guilty feelings

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I re-homed a 6 year old cat.He was an outdoor cat,only coming inside for the occasional meal. He used to live just a few doors away and so it is important that I don't allow him out. He is desperate to go out, and sits sadly by the door,hoping someone will let him out. I just feel so guilty, but know that keeping him in is in his best interests. I have 2 Feliway plug-ins, in the hope that they will help him adjust to his new surroundings and allow my 2 original cats to get used to him being about. What are the chances of him and my other 2 cats settling down?
post #2 of 12
It will take a little time, but they will all probably end up ok. It is hard to make an indoor kitty out of an outdoor kitty, but you can do it. I had to do it to a cat that had been an indoor/outdoor cat for 12 years. He finally adjusted, and is fine. Now that we live in area that is safe for him to go in the yard, he doesn't want to any more. Good luck to you and your kitties.
post #3 of 12
Maybe playing with him or finding things he likes indoors so he has exciting adventures inside the house? I have one cat who is an indoor only and one that is indoor/outdoor and we've been able to get the outdoor one to stay inside more by playing with her when she looks longingly at the door. It gets some of the adventure seeking out of her system. Sometimes she just wants to go out and sniff around, though, so I know it's hard to see. It'll be better for your kitty in the long run to establish a house with you instead of wandering back to his old house.
post #4 of 12
Toys, toys and more toys!! And catnip too. And lots of play time!!!

My first cat, Russell was an outdoor cat and he is now an indoor cat. Though I did get him as a kitten but I don't think it was any easier. He used to bolt out the door as soon as it opened even when it was raining.

But with lots of play time and plenty of toys around, scratching mats and cuddles and time for himself to do catty thing alone, things settled down six months later. I'm not saying that it will take that long, it just took that long in my case.

Though, you do have it slightly harder with two resident cats already. All three cats will have to get used to each other and establish a pecking order of their own. Feliway does have a calming effect on cats, though it won't curb their desires such as wanting to venture outside.

Encourage your new cat to play with cat toys inside. I have found that baby toys last the longest with my two as they are less likely to fall apart and less likely to become lodged in their throats and become choking hazards. But there are good quality cat toys around if you look hard enough. And have plenty of toys especially if the resident cats play with toys too. (That in itself could get interest from your new cat to play as well.)

And maybe purchase a new scratching mat/post that has no one's scent on it so everyone has equal opportunity to scratch it and mark their scents on it. The new cat may see the original scratch post as claimed territory and not want to scratch it leaving him nowhere to scratch other than perhaps your favourite couch!

And perhaps make a toy to allow him to use those hunting skills so he can hunt inside. I tie a piece of string to a favourite toy and pull it so it trails in front or either of my cats. And it nearly always gets their attention and they begin stalking it before pouncing on it.

And eventually, he'll realise, there's food inside, somewhere to scratch, somewhere to sun himself and sleep the day away, things to play with, things to hunt, other cats to play cat chasey with, somewhere to go do his 'business'and free and loving cuddles and the outside will seem less attractive to him. Though he may retain some of his desire to venture out. You can help alleviate this by making a place for him to look outside at everything that wanders past a window or maybe take him for walks with a cat harness.
post #5 of 12
my charli is like that too! shes an indoor kitty, but shes been outside a few times and now she always wants to go outside! she sits at the door too and meows to let her out..i feel bad for her but i just have to remind myself its for the best, and not to let her out cuz it will just encourage her more!
btw, excuse my ignorance, but what are Feliway plug-ins and what do they do?
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
I believe that the plug-ins imitate the facial pheromones given out when a cat rubs its head against objects such as furniture. They plug into a plug socket in the house and look just like an air freshener. They are supposed to help relax a stressed cat, stop it scratching in the wrong places and stop inappropriate urine marking and generally gives off vibes of well being to cats. I don't know how long it has to have been plugged in for, before there is a noticeable difference to the cats behaviour. Below is a link that will give some more indepth details of Feliway.

post #7 of 12
Some of the best ways to occupy a preoccupied indoor kitty.

Install a fish tank- make sure it is covered or capped tightly.

Put up a window perch, so the cat can see outside. Some people even put bird feeders right on the window outside to give the cat entertainment.

Buy a large solid cat condo and put it where when the cat is at the top level, he can see outdoors

Find a large empty cardboard box, cut the flaps off one end, make large holes in the side (not on floor level) and big enough for the cat to jump in and out of easily. Place it braced against a wall and toss in a few ping pong balls.

Turbo scratchers are good exercise and entertainment.

While doing housework clip a string to your belt loop and tie a toy on the other end of the string. Drag the toy from room to room with you as you clean and see if you can engage his prey response.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
I feel I must let you know that I had to let Harry out. He was depressed looking, he had stopped washing and he stopped using his litter tray. Once he had been out for a few hours I bought him back in and he was so much happier, he sat in his favourite place and washed all over, he rolled for a tummy rub and was just so much more relaxed. His last owners have said they wont feed him or let him in their house and hopefully he will start to realise that I am now the one that feeds him and lets him in etc. At least I always know where he is if I need to find him. I always make sure he is in by 9:00pm and he then stays in over night.
post #9 of 12
As long as Harry is is happy and healthy, that's the main thing.

And it's fantastic news that you were able to talk to the previous owners about Harry and come to an agreement.
post #10 of 12
I had no idea poor Harry had stopped bathing and using the litter box! I'm so glad you found something that works for both of you.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Harry has now been going out all day long, he can get back into the house whenever he wants to, and will often pop home just to check everything is OK. Best of all, my other 2 cats are outdoor cats that come and go as they please, and at about 9pm all 3 cats are waiting for their last feed of the day and are wanting to go to bed. So I think Harry has settled now, he knows the routine here and is more than happy to come to me. He is such a clever boy to know to come back last thing of the evening. The other cats are happier with him aswell. He is just so happy to be able to roam.
post #12 of 12
That is so sweet! If he comes around even not at mealtimes then it seems like he really considers your house part of his territory.

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