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Stray kitty - outdoor info needed

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
First a little history: I rescued a stray kitty from under our woodshed just over a week ago. He was about 6 weeks old the vet figured. It is becoming increasing difficult to keep him contained. We have an open concept house and we are still in the middle of building so we have no doors on the bedrooms, bathroom, etc. etc. We are just using curtains for the time being as we have lots of other more pressing jobs to do.

We have an older cat who we are slowly trying to get use to the kitty and we also have 7 pug dogs who seem to be very interested in him. They corner him quite often when he makes his way over the board we have up between the livingroom and bedroom where I'm TRYING to contain him. They don't want to hurt him, they just want to play with him. The kitty isn't exactly scared of them, he is pretty fearless but with 7 pugs coming at him I'm sure it's a bit daunting. At any rate he jumps out into the livingroom more and more so I guess he is kinda enjoying all the attention he is getting.

Okay, so the problem is that we have doggie doors with access to the outdoors. I know that it will be virtually impossible to keep this little guy indoors. I have no idea at what point or what age he will figure out how to get outside through the doggie doors but he is a very smart little fella so I have a feeling it won't be long.

At this tender age will he know enough to come back inside? Are there things I should do to ensure his return. Should I put a collar on him? I'm afraid if I do and he gets lost as he grows it would choke him to death.

Any advice on how to deal with outdoor kitties would be very much appreciated. Most of my cats have always been indoor cats. My older cat would never use the doggie door as she never leaves the bedroom/bathroom area so I'm not use to having indoor/outdoor cats.
post #2 of 15
They make safety collars of cats and kittens. That way if it gets caught, it will break away instead of choke the cat. If you are going to let him outside, you might want to consider having him microchipped. They also make cat runs, so that cat can be outside, but won't run away.

However I think this kitten in too young to go out. Is it possible for the dog doors to be sealed on a temporary basis, and just take the dogs out when they need to go?
post #3 of 15
Quote:
Okay, so the problem is that we have doggie doors with access to the outdoors. I know that it will be virtually impossible to keep this little guy indoors. I have no idea at what point or what age he will figure out how to get outside through the doggie doors but he is a very smart little fella so I have a feeling it won't be long.
This kitten should NOT be allowed back outdoors until he has received his basic vaccines (including rabies) and has been neutered...for now, you need to contain this little one to a room whenever you are not able to supervise him.

Katie
post #4 of 15
i agree with keeping the little guy contained as kittens that young are so susceptible to predation, diesease, getting stuck in dangerous places, etc.
post #5 of 15
Could you maybe use a babygate or something like that until he is big enough, nuetered, vaccinated, etc?
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
I agree he is too young to go outside but the chance is always there that he may get out without us wanting him to.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
I cannot seem to contain this little monster. I have tons of baby gates around the house for the dogs but this little one can jump them all. He has also scaled a 4' high board we have in front of the bedroom door that we hoped would keep him in that room.
post #8 of 15
Is there a way that you can make the dog door magnet controlled so that only the dogs could go out....they would wear special collars that would activate the door.

Katie
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Gosh I don't think I could do that. I have seven dogs. That would cost a fortune!
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pugwinkle
Gosh I don't think I could do that. I have seven dogs. That would cost a fortune!
Then probably it is best to keep the kitten contained to a room where it cannot have access to the outdoors.

Katie
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNR1
Then probably it is best to keep the kitten contained to a room where it cannot have access to the outdoors.

Katie
\\
For the most part we do try to keep him in the bedroom downstairs however he gets very lonely down there and meows a lot. I end up going down there to get him and he loves to play with the pugs and my older cat. I try to keep the doggie door closed while he is upstairs but I worry about him getting out of the human doors as well. This little guy is VERY quick and determined. I guess the only thing I can do is try my very best to keep him indoors and hope to heavens if he does get out he will know enough to come back.
post #12 of 15
Does he seem to want to go outside? All our adult cats began their lives outside, but only Ace (who was an indoor/mostly outdoor cat until we got him at the age of five) occasionally attempts escape—and even he just runs under the deck so he can roll in the dirt. The others don't even attempt it. Most cats are perfectly happy inside. Of course you want to do everything you can to keep the little guy safe, but it sounds to me like you are already doing a lot—blocking the doggie door when he's out, etc. If he doesn't seem to want to dart out now, likely you won't have a problem.

The only suggestions I would have is get him neutered as soon as your vet will do it; that will tame his wandering instinct. And make sure he has a fulfilled life inside. You know, the basics: food, water, litter, companionship, toys and playtime with you, a place where he can get away if he wants (like a little kitty condo with a top "shelf" that is comfy and too high for the dogs to reach), and however many cuddles he wants.
post #13 of 15
Quote:
I try to keep the doggie door closed while he is upstairs but I worry about him getting out of the human doors as well. This little guy is VERY quick and determined. I guess the only thing I can do is try my very best to keep him indoors and hope to heavens if he does get out he will know enough to come back.
How about buying a breakaway collar and putting a bell on it...that way you can hear where he is even if you cannot see him.

Katie
post #14 of 15
I've seen Hissy suggest building makeshift interior doors with wood and chicken wire to keep critters in one room or another, which is a great idea if you can do it. But if you aren't handy, you might want to try what we used for awhile in my parents' house...

Assuming your doorway is no more than 36 inches wide, all you need is a 4'x8' panel of corrugated plastic (usually known by the brandname "Coroplast") and a few feet of one-inch-wide adhesive-backed Velcro. Both items can be purchased at most signshops, but the Coroplast will be outrageously expensive there. Check your phone book under Plastics to see if there's a warehouse-type supplier in town -- they'll sell you a sheet of Coroplast for $10 or less.

Use an X-acto knife or utility knife to carefully slice through ONLY ONE LAYER of the corrugated plastic, top to bottom, about six inches in from one edge. This creates a surprisingly strong hinge. Apply Velcro (two layers, joined) along the backside of the hinge portion, position the whole panel in the center of the doorway with just BARELY enough clearance at the bottom to allow it to swing, and press the adhesive back of the Velcro against the wall. HARD!

Now position some smaller Velcro pieces along the other edge of the Coroplast panel, concentrating on the lower part where the critters will be pushing to get in (or out). When you want to go through the door, you'll have to slide your hand up along the panel and slip those Velcro tabs apart, which will get to be a pain... but at least you haven't had to install hinges and so forth.

One problem: the lower edge of the corrugated plastic is vulnerable to headbutting by a determined critter. If you think your babies are strong enough to bow it out and squirm underneath, you may want to slice a one-foot section off the top edge and apply it to the bottom edge with Velcro or duct tape. A double layer along the bottom will be much more difficult to defeat.

Good luck!
post #15 of 15
Hi! Great news on kitty's new home... you are a good
person to take in kitty with so many other animals.

Here's a couple of suggestions i think might? work.

One a dog crate or training pen that they use for puppies/large
dogs. Crate kitty and put her/him out where he can see the dogs
and they can interact during times you aren't around to supervise
or able to supervise. Close the doggie door off when you are
in, so kitty can roam home with doggies... a little work
on your part, but you will be able to get your 7 pugs out
to pee when they need it ( I have great mental image of
7 pugs all going outside to poo/pee at the same time, LOL!)
Herding cats ... herding dogs!

Two: A cat enclosure for BOTH kitties and pups. That way,
kitty can go out no problem, and so can dogs. It would be temporary
so that you could take down/remove later if you wanted dogs to have
full access to yard, and kitty is then at point where he is large
and old enough to be out...

I think a number of places sell these types of enclosures that
attach to the home's doggie/cat doors,
they may call them kennels or "runs?". It does of course
depend on how much you want to spend... if you don't want
to spend alot, you can create/build one yourself cheaply using
2x4s chicken wire and a staple gun and lots of elbow grease n'
work!!

It would be a temporary
solution to the problem.

I don't know your
pet door set up, so only you could figure out how to secure or mate
the enclosure to door,
but it should be possible to do that....

One caveat: when I last had a young cat to intro to outdoors -
he went out SUPERVISED for visits with the out doors (leashed)
until he was old enough to be out alone round 6 months
of age, AND had recieved some "guidance" from
Meow Mommy on things like not going near cars
etc. (At least I did my best to discourage that...)

I also used to worry when he was little that an owl or large
bird of prey might take him since he was
pretty small... ah, country living! Nowdays
I worry about cars and coyotes...
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