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Teaching a Cat to be Indoor/Outdoor?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure if outdoor cats allowed yet - I still have to call housing on base but I was wondering if anyone knows the proper way to teach a cat to be an indoor/outdoor cat?

I'm so worried my little kitten will run away on me. I like hm being an indoor cat, but I feel like I'm depriving him of his true glory outside. I know I'd go crazy staying inside at all times. Maybe that doesn't apply to cats? Either way, I'd really like some input.

Thanks a lot.

Ohh also, how does one edit the avatar?? I can't figure it out for the life of me.
post #2 of 11
Cats can be perfectly happy indoors, provide them with lots of toys, scratching posts/cat trees and a nice window (with a bird feeder outside).

I like to give mine some outdoor time so they go out on harness until I get my enclosure built.

I wouldn't let them go out free, too much risk of fighting with other cats, getting run over etc.
post #3 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by AttiCat View Post
I'm not sure if outdoor cats allowed yet
Better make sure before deciding to let your cat go outside. However, if your kitten is happy indoors let him stay inside.

Re: avatar. Just go to your User CP and click on "Edit Avatar"
post #4 of 11
My cats are indoor only and they are just fine.

One of them, Xander, was rescued from the street where he was living for several months or more and he has shown zero interest in going outside since I've had him. He knows that it is much nicer and safer for him inside

Unless your kitty is insistent on going outside, I would keep him in for his own safety. As long as he gets plenty of attention and has things to play with and keep him busy he will be fine.

How old is he? There is a very good chance he might just run off if you let him out and he isn't used to that.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by missymotus View Post
I like to give mine some outdoor time so they go out on harness until I get my enclosure built.
So you walk your cat? I thought about doing that also, but I wasn't sure if cats like that that. It would give my neighbors something to talk about though, they're very chatty it seems.

I was afraid he would run away too, that's why I figured I'd ask for some advice about properly teaching him to come back home. But I also wondered if they know where to go from marking territory? hmm.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlleyGirl View Post
How old is he? There is a very good chance he might just run off if you let him out and he isn't used to that.
Lol, well I wasn't planning on tossing him out and shutting the door. I've brought him outside supervised before and the second time he seemed to be interested in wandering around. [In my backyard] I guess that was my way of seeing if he'd like to be an outdoor cat.

He's about 2 months.
post #7 of 11
I would keep him in until he is neutered, or the chances are he will probably wander off in search of a female, then make your decision.
post #8 of 11
Most cats don't go "walking" on a leash like dogs, but with a long tether, it ensures their safety while with you outside. Cats DO bolt when frightened, so even though outside and supervised - it isn't the same thing as on a leash, where they're supervised AND safe.

All of our 7 kitties are rescued ferals. All lived at least the first three months outside, several lived over a year outside. ALL of them are happy as indoor-only and none of them has ever tried to bolt or cries to go outside. We make sure to give them lots of interactive play every day, and we put up bird feeders - they love watching out the windows, and the birds and squirrels are like "cat TV."

Laurie
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'll definitely have to invest in a bird feeder and/or bird bath then, huh?
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by AttiCat View Post
I was afraid he would run away too, that's why I figured I'd ask for some advice about properly teaching him to come back home. But I also wondered if they know where to go from marking territory? hmm.
Hi,
as long as he's been neutered- why on earth should he run away? Also get your cat chipped and/ or tatood and I'd wait untill the cat is 6 months old

The best way to go about getting your cat use to going out is simply leaving the back door open on a nice saturday morning while reading a book in your garden. The cat can then wander out at its own speed and return to the house if he's had enough. Don't feed the cat any breakfast on that morning so he'll be hungy and come back sooner

Cats seem to orientate themselves with the aid of sounds (Church bells, Streetsounds etc.) and smells.

regards,

Christine
post #11 of 11
I'm glad this topic was brought up, AttiCat and I agree with everyone else, about waiting until your cat is fixed. Maybe you could ease the cat into enjoying the outdoors, by using a leash for a bit at first.

I have two cats, Jasper is indoor/outdoor (adopted stray), while Nimbus is strictly indoor. I've been thinking about starting to let Nimbus out as well, but I don't know if it is a good idea.

Nimbus is little over a year old and he lived outside on a farm for his first few months as a kitten. I'm worried about letting him out, though, because Jasper's parent cats and several of his kitten siblings also hang around outside. We also have woods behind our house. I just feel so bad, because poor Nimbus always watches Jasper and the other cats play outside and meows loudly Jasper is younger than Nimbus, but I wonder if he would help guide Nimbus and keep him from getting lost outside?
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