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My indoor cats want out!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I live in an apartment on the fifth floor with my two cats, and ever since I got them 4 months ago, it’s been a constant struggle for me to keep them indoor. At first they just wanted out on the balcony, which was okay when they were kittens because then they couldn’t jump high enough to fall off the balcony. Then one day, one of the kitties was standing on the railing and, since then I haven’t been able to let them out on the balcony because I’m terrified that they’ll fall down. Then there’s the problem of having flowers and plants indoor. Every time I come home with a plant, they’ll chew it to pieces and scatter what’s left of it all over the apartment. I tried buying them catnip, but that also ended in pieces all over the house. It’s like I can’t bring anything from outside into the house. Then the real problem is that every time someone comes in or goes out, the cats run out at the same time, and there’s been times where they were so fast that we didn’t notice them going out, so they were gone for maybe an hour until a neighbor came knocking with one of them. Then I started taking them out with me, but in a leash. And they love that, they can stay out for hours if I let them, but the problem is, that ever since I started doing that, the cats have become more and more eager to go out. I can’t leave my apartment without them trying to go with me. Often they’ll be scratching on the door or windows, they’ve even scratched the wallpaper off the wall right next to the front door, and they’ve started scratching in the window panes as well. I don’t have time to take them out more than a few times a week, so now I’m wondering if I shouldn’t be doing it at all? They love it, but maybe I’m just making things worse by doing it? I really don’t know what to do, I hate seeing my cats suffer like this, and I don’t know what to do
post #2 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iben
I live in an apartment on the fifth floor with my two cats, and ever since I got them 4 months ago, it’s been a constant struggle for me to keep them indoor. At first they just wanted out on the balcony, which was okay when they were kittens because then they couldn’t jump high enough to fall off the balcony. Then one day, one of the kitties was standing on the railing and, since then I haven’t been able to let them out on the balcony because I’m terrified that they’ll fall down. Then there’s the problem of having flowers and plants indoor. Every time I come home with a plant, they’ll chew it to pieces and scatter what’s left of it all over the apartment. I tried buying them catnip, but that also ended in pieces all over the house. It’s like I can’t bring anything from outside into the house. Then the real problem is that every time someone comes in or goes out, the cats run out at the same time, and there’s been times where they were so fast that we didn’t notice them going out, so they were gone for maybe an hour until a neighbor came knocking with one of them. Then I started taking them out with me, but in a leash. And they love that, they can stay out for hours if I let them, but the problem is, that ever since I started doing that, the cats have become more and more eager to go out. I can’t leave my apartment without them trying to go with me. Often they’ll be scratching on the door or windows, they’ve even scratched the wallpaper off the wall right next to the front door, and they’ve started scratching in the window panes as well. I don’t have time to take them out more than a few times a week, so now I’m wondering if I shouldn’t be doing it at all? They love it, but maybe I’m just making things worse by doing it? I really don’t know what to do, I hate seeing my cats suffer like this, and I don’t know what to do
Are they spayed or neutered?
If not, you should do it ASAP, that will help with this getting out behavior.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
they aren't neutered yet. They're about 8 months old now, and the vet told us to wait until they were fully grown, because neutering them might inhibit their growth. But if that really is the solution, then I'm very relieved, because it's breaks my heart when they want to go out. They're making noises that sounds like crying while they're standing front of the door
post #4 of 17
I believe cats can actually be neutered as early as two months. Definitely it's safe and not a problem by eight months - all of mine had it done around 5 or 6 months, and that is pretty standard (here, anyway, not sure which country you're in). I would get them neutered ASAP like Allissa said (and possibly find a new vet, yours sounds suspect to me, though again maybe that is the norm where you live, but here I can't imagine a vet suggesting that, here they push doing it by six months at the latest).
post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iben
they aren't neutered yet. They're about 8 months old now, and the vet told us to wait until they were fully grown, because neutering them might inhibit their growth. But if that really is the solution, then I'm very relieved, because it's breaks my heart when they want to go out. They're making noises that sounds like crying while they're standing front of the door
I think you need to find a new vet. This is ridiculous to wait that long! They are going to start spraying all over your house and it will smell so bad. I think you should definately find a new vet. It can be done as young as 2 or 3 months I believe or the vets at a travelling clinic by me do it at 2 pounds.
post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iben
they aren't neutered yet. They're about 8 months old now, and the vet told us to wait until they were fully grown, because neutering them might inhibit their growth. But if that really is the solution, then I'm very relieved, because it's breaks my heart when they want to go out. They're making noises that sounds like crying while they're standing front of the door
Well, it's no surprise they want out. It's very hard to keep unneutered cats inside, because they want to go out and find a female cat to breed with.
Also, I got mine two cats neutered at 6 month. It doesn't inhibit their growth, my one cat grew a lot since he got neutered. And the second I just had done last week. If you don't do it early, they will start to spray (pee) all over your house because they will be marking their territory. At 8 month they should be definetly old enough to neuter.
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thank you. That really is a relief, it's becoming unbearable at this point, I'll make an appointment at the vet to get them both neutered as soon as possible, and hopefully the problem will go away then.
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iben
I live in an apartment on the fifth floor with my two cats, and ever since I got them 4 months ago, it’s been a constant struggle for me to keep them indoor. At first they just wanted out on the balcony, which was okay when they were kittens because then they couldn’t jump high enough to fall off the balcony. Then one day, one of the kitties was standing on the railing and, since then I haven’t been able to let them out on the balcony because I’m terrified that they’ll fall down. Then there’s the problem of having flowers and plants indoor. Every time I come home with a plant, they’ll chew it to pieces and scatter what’s left of it all over the apartment. I tried buying them catnip, but that also ended in pieces all over the house. It’s like I can’t bring anything from outside into the house. Then the real problem is that every time someone comes in or goes out, the cats run out at the same time, and there’s been times where they were so fast that we didn’t notice them going out, so they were gone for maybe an hour until a neighbor came knocking with one of them. Then I started taking them out with me, but in a leash. And they love that, they can stay out for hours if I let them, but the problem is, that ever since I started doing that, the cats have become more and more eager to go out. I can’t leave my apartment without them trying to go with me. Often they’ll be scratching on the door or windows, they’ve even scratched the wallpaper off the wall right next to the front door, and they’ve started scratching in the window panes as well. I don’t have time to take them out more than a few times a week, so now I’m wondering if I shouldn’t be doing it at all? They love it, but maybe I’m just making things worse by doing it? I really don’t know what to do, I hate seeing my cats suffer like this, and I don’t know what to do
That's identical to my 2 girls, except Buffy is more extreme than Willow. Both of them are spayed, and Buffy is 20 months old, Willow 3 1/2 years old. If the door opens, Buffy turns into a black blur and you'll be lucky if you can get the door closed before she comes around the corner and zooms toward freedom. Willow is slower, since she's always sniffing every single thing in her path as she travels. She wouldn't even think of passing any foreign object without checking it out. But both girls tear apart the screens in the windows, and they escape that way too. Right now we don't have a screen, since we've run out of the screen part (we had a roll in the garage, but now we're all out). A week ago, mom opened the window just a crack (the window is pretty heavy, so mom figured they wouldn't be able to open it any further, and neither girl could fit through the crack). Well, the window was opened much wider, Buffy was missing, though Willow was still in the house. My sister, who knows Willow better, figures Willow pried the window open using her head and paws (she's got a coconut for a head), and then Buffy abandoned her and flew through the new crack. Poor Willow, who couldn't fit through the new crack, was left behind, probably cursing and screaming at Buffy. (Buffy returned by nightfall, and just walked into the house without the usual us-chasing-her-around-the-yard-and-eventually-giving-up-before-she-lets-herself-be-caught game.

Both girls go outside occationally on a harness and leash, but Willow lost hers, so the girls haven't gone out together in quite some time. They have to share Buffy's blue harness, but now the blue one is missing, so neither girl has gone out for a while. Probably a good thing that it snowed, though Buffy (who is a shorthair) still loves going out in any whether, while Willow (who is a longhair) shivers if there's even a mild breeze.
post #9 of 17
I would agree that neutering them now would be a good idea. I am surprised they are not spraying your home.

About your plants, I hope you do not have any toxic plants around. You can buy a deterrent to spray on your plants to keep your cats away from them:

http://www.scentoff.com/

Also, when I lived in a third floor apartment with two cats, we had an outside balcony. I went down to the harbor and talked to the fishermen, and bought an old trawlers net. We brought it home, and hung it up inside the eaves of the balcony, dropped it down to the floor level and wedged it down with boards. We put our plants outside the net, on the outer edge of the balcony. The cats would climb the net, but they couldn't get out of the balcony and it was great exercise for them. You just have to be sure it is secure enough so they don't pull it down. Plus the net looked really cool from the ground and the manager even liked it.
post #10 of 17
I am sure Hissy and others know more about this, but I have come to the conclusion that cats are like people. Some come into the world more adventurous than others. Mine loves to go outside and I go through the same struggles (he is neutered) He is only allowed out on a harness now but after months of staying in he still wants out a lot of the time. Charges me at the door etc. Where as other cats just get used to being in. It does come in waves, some times he is fine being in. But others he will literally go and smell the fresh air at the door. But he isn't going out alone, it isn't safe and he can get over it. he is still quite young and I am sure will mellow with time.

But yes, get them neutered for sure.
post #11 of 17
Since they like plants you might get them some cat grass. It comes in a little kit, you can get it from pet stores and even Wal-mart. You water it and in a few days you have grass that they can chew on. But they will make a mess with it. But its fun. Do they have toys and things to climb and play with in the house. Cat trees are expensive but you can cut holes in cardboard boxes for enrichment for them. Treat balls are fun and so is hiding little treats of dry food in odd places for them to find so they can use some hunting skills. Paper bags are fun. And get them spayed or neutered soon, it is way too late for comfort. And your vet is extremely old fashioned, maybe consider one more up on the recent stuff, since if they ever get sick you want a vet that keeps up with the latest. Becky
post #12 of 17
Mine two never try to get out. They seem to be scared of the outside and don't want to come out at all. Maybe because they are Persians? But when I was a child, our cats used to be inside-outside cats. They were not spayed or neutered, and it's basically impossible to keep a cat inside if he/she isn't spayed or neutered, because they want to breed.
So, hopefully neutering will help.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for all the feedback guys, I've made time to get my two boys neutered next week, and then I'll let you know how things turn out, because at this point I'm on the verge of moving to a house where the two can run out as they please.
post #14 of 17
Oliver is neutered, but until I quit taking him out on a leash, he tried to get out all the time. Now I still need to watch him, but he doesn't try nearly as often. Also, when I'm going out, I give him (tartar control) kitty treats far away from the door. Good luck with your kitties!
post #15 of 17
I have the same problem with one of my cats. Any time the door opens she tries to get out. I even had to put a security screen door up because to keep her in because she can unlock doors. I've tried taking her out on a leash but she can escape her harness in about 2 seconds. I bought a cage to put her in outside and that works well during the summer. It's actually a dog kennel but she will not jump out. Even with the cage I still supervise the whole time. The problem is if I let her out in the cage she wants out all the time. One thing I've learned that helped stop her try to get out (or at least slow her down) is I keep a spray bottle by the door and when I open it I spray the doorway. She hates water and will back away from the door. Also I never let her walk out the door by herself. I always carry her out then set her down once she's outside. Otherwise she gets confused why sometimes she can go out and sometimes she can't.
post #16 of 17
My Doofus came to my front door one day...God knows how long he was an outdoor cat before he came to us....he was 3 months old, so you can't tell if he was born outside.......Anyhoo he always wanted to get out side..even after we got him nuetured...so we started taking him out on a leash.....if you have the time to do this it is definitly a good comprimise for stir crazy cats
post #17 of 17
I dont believe in letting cats outside, but everyone and every situation is different. I just wanted to add that Saki was neutered at 2 and 1/2 months and his growth is just fine. lol. Glad you will be taking them. I also second the idea of putting up some kind of net of some sort so that you can let them out on the balcony but not have to sit there and watch them constantly.
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