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converting an outdoor cat

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

My cats are both 10 years old and are indoor/outdoor cats. There's a woman who moved in downstairs (I live in an apartment complex) who lets her 3 cocker spaniels out side without a leash. They have chased my cats more than once and I don't want to take any chances of the dogs chasing them into the road. I would like to convert my cats into indoor cats. Is that cruel at this point, since they've been allowed to go outside for 10 years now? I can't take the cats crying at the door, but I don't want anything to happen to them either... Any suggestions??


post #2 of 15
I had to convert my 5 year old, Squirt, when he was about 2. I moved, so I had to keep him in. When I did finally let him out, he got lost for 2 weeks! After I got him back, I just wouldn't let him outside anymore. In my old apartment, he always went out the sliding glass door, so I do not open that at all where I live now, to stop him from crying by the door. He's ok with being in now, but it caused him to gain a lot of weight.

On a side note, we used to own a cat that my mother took with her when she moved to Texas many years ago. Her new husband had 2 undisciplined German Sheperds who chased Buzz when she went outside. She finally just ran away.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for replying Deb. Can I ask how long it took for your cat to "give up" and stop running for the door? Tell me I'm not being paranoid, and that it is MUCH MUCH better for the cats to stay indoors, no matter how bad I feel for them...
post #4 of 15
I know it can be hard to convert the outdoor cats. They can keep up the howling, running and whining for months. If your ears and nerves can take it, it is well worth it. However, if you have room theres an alternative. You can make some very nice outdoor enclosures. The size of a small room and some attach them to a window, so the cats have acess most of the time.
post #5 of 15

I know how you feel. You wouldn't want to see your cats hurt by those dogs, would you? Maybe one of those catnappers by an open window would sooth them.
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thank you both for your suggestions...I just feel so mean not letting them enjoy the nice weather..

I have 2 cat shelves that they DO use all the time, and I bought a 'cat playpen' to put on the deck, but they don't want anything to do with it..
I wonder if they sell something 'semi-portable' that they can go through my kitchen window and into an enclosure that I can put on my deck??? Have any of you ever heard of anything like that??

I'm getting anxious because with the nice weather coming, they're going to be AWFUL!!! The winter is not so bad, they'd rather stay in anyway..

Well, thank you both for being so helpful, sorry if I'm a pain!!
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

I just read your post and you mention something about an enclosure that the cats can get to through a window!!!!

WHere do they sell something like that???? Sound GREAT!!!

Thanks for any help you can give me...

post #8 of 15
Most of the ones I have seen have been made from scratch. I know theres a few of them in the March issue of Cat Fancy Magazine. I will do some research and see if I can find a retailer though.
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much Sandie... Don't go crazy though, I shouldn't make you do all the work... But.... if you do find something let me know.. I'll try to search for it through the internet also, and maybe "Cat Fancy" will let me order the 'back issue' that had it in there..

Thanks again for being so helpful!!!

post #10 of 15
Ahha...just went downstairs to get my copy. They have a website you can get some more details on it. It is http://www.animalnetwork.com/cats/enclosure.asp I hope you find something you like. One of them was built for only 100.00.
post #11 of 15
Hey, Sandie, those enclosures are neat! Too bad it was my ex who dabbled in carpentry!
post #12 of 15
I have several indoor/outdoor cats who are older and would not be able to convert - so rather than try to alter your cat's living arrangements, I have a few questions on your neighbor -

Do you have leash laws in your state/town/county? My neighbor's dog chased my cats in my yard for a few weeks and I would call him every night to come and get his dog - finally his dog bit one of my cats and I had enough - I called the animal control officer every day for three weeks until he finally made my neighbor keep his dog contained. My neighbor was angry but I was angrier - after all it was my cat who needed stitches at the vet.

What does your neighbor say when her dogs chase the cats - the dogs should be on a leash, on a line or in a fenced in area. That is usually the law in most states.
post #13 of 15
Hurrah for you, Rene! That was my thought, too. only some people can be so hard to deal with. I am also cautious of cat-hurting people.
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Your absolutely right about the "leash law" This woman has been told by every neighbor and the property manager... She just tells me that she can't possibly walk 3 dogs. She has been fined by the condominium board over and over, but she still continues to let them run free. Then in the nicer weather, she'll block off the common staircase so that her dogs can be out on the deck all day, meanwhile, if I let my cats out, and don't notice that she has the gate up, my cats will be "trapped" on the deck, unless I leave my door open for them to run in.

Everything was fine until she started doing this...

Thanks to everyone for their help. I'm going to check out the website with the enclosures now!!

Thanks again!
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
The enclosures were pretty neat!!! But I'm a single woman who doesn't know which end of the hammer to hit a screw with! (just kidding, I know you hit a nail, not a screw):o)

Anyway, I got some ideas from it and maybe someone can build something for me... I'll keep thinking about it...

Thanks again!!

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