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Unhappy kitty....long

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Marley is just over a year old. He was born feral in my shed and I brought him in about 9 weeks old. I used to let him outside with me on occasion because he loves going outside and he was never left out unattended. Up until about a month ago he did great, stayed right around the house and would come in when called. Well about 3 weeks ago he got pretty brave and wandered the yard for about 3 hours, not wanting me to come near him. He stayed in the yard, we have a really big yard with a huge field behind us. Anyway, he came back inside...that time. About a week later he got out when I was letting my dog out. He stayed out all night. Sometimes he was by the house sometimes he was in a tree, sometimes he was playing in the shed. He finally let me get close enough to grab him the next day when I got home from work.

So...I have a cat harness that I have put on him and twice he has got out of it. When I am out front I have a 20ft lead that I put him on and he can just hang out outside....but he hates it. He doesn't like the harness at all. I've put it on him various times in the house to get him used to it but he still acts like it's the most awful thing in the world to have on. I have tightened it so he can't get out of it now and he just lays down and rolls around and meows like it's the worst thing ever.

When I am outside with my dog, Marley will sit at the door and cry until we come in. I feel so bad for him because when he is outside I can tell how happy he is. I don't want him to be an indoor/outdoor cat for many reasons...fleas, worms, he will one day dissapear or get hit by a car or get in a bad fight with an animal, he will be in my neighbors yard. I can't afford a cato right now and we don't have a screened in porch. I play with him and try to keep him as happy as he can be inside but I think he would be much more content being able to come in and out.
So finally to my question. should I continue to put him on the harness even if he hates it? Will he eventually be able to relax with it on? I feel bad because I know he wants to run and chase bugs but he can't because he is restricted. I've tried to walk with him on it but he won't move.....sorry this is so long, please any advice is welcome!!!
post #2 of 4
Have you thought about investing in a fenced off area for him? I know there are specialty cat fences and enclosures so you don't have to worry about them running off and you will know they are safe while they enjoy the outdoors.
post #3 of 4
Your options are, unforuantely, limited. You can either keep him in all the time - eventually he'll give up on going out (and cats can be happy indoors only). Otherwise, are you able to build a cat enclosure for him?
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
We have thought about screening in our porch for him but Im not sure he'd be happy with that. He loves to run and chase bugs and climb trees. I have thought about building a cat enclosure, when we got some extra money it will be on the top of our list. I have noticed that if we are inside he is perfectly content...unitl we let the dog out, then he sits and cries by the door, or if we are outside he wants out. I think I will continue to get him used to the harness for now, I just don't want it to stress him out.
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