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My cat want to be outside all the time... Help please!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi fellows,
here is my problem. I adopted a cat from a shelter a month ago, she was found abandoned and she is really cute and affectionate but she want to stay outdoor all the time. She has been neutered and she is 2 years old. Whenever I open the door she try to sneak out and we she finally get out she never return home before a couple of days. I am worried that something may happen to her. I guess that problem is that she has been an outdoor cat for a long time and she is finding a difficult time to get used to live in an small apartment. I have bought her many toys, I try to keep her entertained whenever I can, but she always want to go out to try to hunt birds.
This is my first cat, so I am really not an expert of how to deal with them.
Any suggestions/advices of how to make her indoor?

Many thanks,

post #2 of 13
Javier- do you have a balcony you can perhaps screen in or put a net up, so she can go outside and be safe? The fact that she is spayed will at least stop the breeding cycle, but you really need to keep her indoors if you can. Here is an article written by our webmistress on how to keep indoor cats happy:


I hope it helps
post #3 of 13
Hey Javier...do you have a yard?? There is fencing that you can build to keep a cat safe in your yard...or you can build her an outdoor enclosure. I would really suggest that you do all you can to try to make her an indoor only cat (so many advantages with being indoors only). Good Luck,

post #4 of 13
Hi Javier,
I'm in the same situation with my boy Oliver. We adopted him from a shelter last October and this spring he started driving us crazy with his yeowling and scratching at the door. He even started spraying inside, and he's neutered. We have bought him an outdoor enclosure that allows him to sit outside on the porch and watch the birds and squirrels in safety. He also does well on a harness so I take him out in the morning before I go to work, I just walk around in our yard. It sounds like you're in an apartment, so the balcony enclosure is a great idea. I've always been a big advocate of indoor only cats, and all my other cats have been only indoors, but this boy was absolutely miserable and was driving us crazy. It was either back to the shelter or accomodate him somehow. You may want to get some cat grass for kitty as most cats like to eat grass. Good luck!
post #5 of 13
I so sympathize with you, I adopted a former feral (stray) myself. And it's almost like
once they have LIVED out there it's in their blood or something. I kept him in the first month, but he went into this deranged kitty mode trying to get out over and over. And I caved. It was so against my nature, I had always had indoor cats. It never even occured to me to have a cat that goes outside. But There are a lot of indoor/outdoor cats in my area so I don't think the neighbors mind him(he is one of the nicer ones), but I do realize this isn't the ideal. But once he got some outside time he calmed down so much. And he is going out less and less which is good news. But he does love his life outside, I watch him and he chases bugs and plays with neighbor cats.

Maybe you will have better luck than I did though and be stronger and not cave!, the ideas here are good. I also recommend a window perch. And things like if he does STOP crying at the door and walk away ever, reward him IMMEDIATELY. I also feed him when he returns for reinforcement.

I adore him and I know he is a happy little guy living here, but I sometimes wonder if he would happier as a barn cat or something. I find it interesting that they put him up for adoption so quickly after finding him stray, like he wasn't traumatized by it at all. He wasn't even all that skinny, so someone was feeding him. So he MAY have liked it more than I realize. I mean I know he is happier now with his own home and an adoring owner. But still, I don't think he was miserable.

Anyways good luck!!!
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Many thanks for your advices and ideas, I never thought on some of them and I really appreciate your time.

Thank you so much,

post #7 of 13
hi there,

I have also been having the same problem with george( you may have seen my rant post last week) He just wants to be outside. My husband and I would like to do the enclosure thing. Can anyone give me some ideas which ones they use and what works best? I have been looking into this and wondered if anyone here has tried it?

As for the leash/harness what do the cats prefer?

post #8 of 13
Our cats got out of the 8 style harnesses that cats are "supposed" to use (one learned to do it with ease), so I asked in the Care & Grooming board about it. Hissy posted about http://www.safkat.com/ and it does look good, but I haven't bought it yet. (Airplane tickets can cost a bit...)

As for leash, we use Flexi. Retractable leashes are lighter, and they won't jerk the cat if you're a bit too slow. If we had to stay within a limited space (like on the sidewalk), we'd just lock it at the desired length and be prepared to scoop up the kitty if it went too far to the side. With most cats, the cats walk you
post #9 of 13
I bought Oliver the Kittywalk penthouse and the Kittywalk room, they can be found at


They are a bit pricey but he's worth it (and so is my sanity
He has a retractible leash and a harness that's actually designed for small dogs, it's quite sturdy as he managed to get out of his other one.
post #10 of 13
Living on a farm has its amenities. All of my cats go out. One lives in the barn and runs the dogs out of the barn. It's a hoot to see him chase our Shelty. I have one orange tabby who prefers to be out, but will come in for a half-hour, only to cry to go out again. I live way off the road with woods all around so there is plenty for a cat to do at my house. I have one female who never wants to go out and is the veritable grouch. Our vet has a healthy respect for her. So do I. I feel for those of you who live in the city. Yes, all of mine have been fixed but love the hunt. There is no substitute for it.
post #11 of 13
Casper..appreciate your perspective....however, my 2 cats are fine with life "indoors"...they have plenty of toy mice to hunt, they are well fed and they are well loved. There are soo many dangers to being outdoors...other than just being close to a road...diseases, predators....I absolutely recommend indoors for most domesticated cats.

post #12 of 13
I also am a feral cat program advocate and I have all-indoor kitties. As Katie says, in many neighborhoods too many dangers. I used to let our cats go outdoors (we live on a large acreage), until we began seeing fox. We TNRd our local colony and started keeping our owned cats in. I used to take one cat out on a flexi-lead, until a friend came slamming out of the front door and my cat took off up a cedar tree, with the lead coming VERY close to strangling her. (Of course, I had to let go of the lead, and then coax my cat down carefully, and back indoors carried tightly in my arms!). Maybe there are some cats that absolutely INSIST they want out, I've just been fortunate. We have several "cat trees" and have bird feeders hung around the yard within sight of windows. Most of the (former ferals) we have now have little interest in venturing out the door.

If I had a cat that sneaked out the door, I would toss him a favorite toy or treat right before opening the door; or, maybe I'd confine him to a room elsewhere in the apartment or house when I had to open the door. I've also had friends stationed at the door if we were moving some large item in or out, just to ensure that the cats' curiousity didn't overcome their good sense! :-)

post #13 of 13
Dori is an "indoor kitty" but she seems perfectly happy with it. I did try the leash/harness thing a while back but she wasn't very fond of the outdoors. The only place she walked was back towards the front door She enjoys looking out our big living room window and chirping but she gets really scared when I even walk near the front door with her. I guess it would be different if she had been used to being outside from the beginning though.
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