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Need help with "wild" cat. Cat sanctuary? Ideas? Anyone?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
My story, in a nutshell:

I have six cats that live with me, in my two-bedroom apartment.

I have two others that I pay "kitty support" for that reside with the family that lives in my rental property.

One of these kitties is named Chance; I've written about him before on here. Thought I'd lost him once. He is very dear to me, and a very sweet boy.

This is him:

Here's my dilemma: Chance loves to be outside. Chance also loves to be inside...when he feels like it...which usually isn't for very long. He also has a volatile relationship with the two other cats residing in the house. He likes to use his big mitts to swat at my other stray, Fritz, who is geriatric and doesn't need the grief.

The fact that Chance is let out most days and then comes home at night is a constant source of stress, for obvious reasons. It's a subdivision where many don't observe speed limits, there are kids around I don't trust, and Chance on occasion has been known to wander a bit too far from home.

Not to mention the fact that he's been through 3 collars/tags in the last month. He's just come home without them. I don't know if someone is messing with him or not, but I'm starting to take it as a sign that something needs to change. Granted, they are breakaway collars, but he's been fine for months with them, without incident.

My first thought is to keep him indoors (at the house), but try to get him to walk with a harness, so he can get his outdoor fix. There's still no guarantee he's going to ever mesh with the other kitties, though.

I can't monitor Chance and what's going on at the house 24/7. I don't have the power to just do whatever in terms of indoctrinating him into someone else's home (though I've certainly tried). I just want him to be happy. I'd transport him to an outdoor sanctuary of some sort, if I knew he would be safe. Every day for the past year or so, I live with the fact that I might get a call that something happened to Chance, and that I could/should have done something to set him up with a better way of life. But I don't know what that is. I recently came upon the realization that my most recent kitty adoption - my 6th - is my personal limit for my own residence. I say that with more than a bit of sadness.

I'm open for any suggestions.
post #2 of 5
The only thing I can think of is an outdoor enclosure. I know some people here have built these for their outdoor/feral kitties so you may have some luck getting some practical ideas.
post #3 of 5
Not sure of your financial situation but have you thought about an outdoor enclosure? Depending on how big it is, this might be something you can do. He'll live inside and have the freedom to go out when he needs to get away.

You can even buy a collar for him that electronically works the door - so the other kitties don't go outside.

Here's the one I dream about building. Obviously, unless I win the lottery, it will remain a dream.
post #4 of 5
We built our own- here are some photos.

post #5 of 5

I know the original post was made years ago but I thought I'd respond in case someone else has the same issue and is looking for answers in your replies.  We have 5 cats indoors (one cat is named Indy which is short for indoor/outdoor. He decided he wanted to stay indoors eventually ) We have abou 18 cats outdoors. We are currently building a 16x18x8 foot enclosure they'll also have a 20x20 ft area under the sunroom and will be able to go up onto a deck that has a house hubby built with electricty so we can put lightbulbs in there to keep the temp down in the winter and insulation.  Anyway.............. A house I lived in once the woman had a cat she didn't want to go outside and also needed it to stay apart from her dog. She put up some bifold doors in a doorway to close off part of the house. I'm going to try and describe them to you. They had a 3 or 4 inch x 2 ft (I think is the widht ) top they had this in the middle and on the bottom also and the sides were like 2 inch by 6 ft edges. My measurements are going to stink because I'm not a carpenter and doing this from memory. The areas between the top/middle/bottom had dowels. You know those thin ones you can get. Like 1/2 inch in diameter. This was to allow the cat to see into the other rooms but just not pass through them. This was a great idea and when we moved in we left the doors up for our dogs. (Ok just noticed I can insert an image here so I'm going to try and draw this thing out for you) Ok so this pic isn't very pretty but you'll get the general idea. Plus they stained the wood to match the doorway, you can also find some turned dowels but make sure they are close enough that kitty doesn't get his head stuck. I'd say no more then 2  inches apart. You could also use lattice or some sort of a white grate. Lowes has a ton of stuff. It's a cheaper solution then having him outdoors all the time and paying a hefty vet bill if he comes home injured and will also keep him from the other cats. Remember though if  he isn't included with the rest of the colony indoors he'll always be ousted. Eventually they'll decide the chain of command. Do what the cat whisperer does. Get a string or laser light and let them all play with it togehter until they're too tired to fight. At least with these doors you can go out for dinner or on a weekend trip even and not worry about him.

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