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indoor to outdoor cats

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I'm not sure if i'm putting this in the right place, but I have a question involving my two cats. They've been indoor cats their whole lives (they're both almost two) but because of certain circumstances right now, specifically where I'm living, I don't know if they necessarily can be kept inside all the time. I plan on moving somewhere else in a few weeks where they will be allowed inside all the time. Anyway, my question is, would cats who were exclusively indoor be able to survive outside, I mean I know cats do it all the time, but my cats are sort of scared of being outside and aren't used to it, obviously. I was thinking maybe trying to familiarize them with being outside first. They're both fixed (boy and girl), have all their shots and are up to date and everything I'm just concerned about them maybe wandering off or something, or would they most likely stay in/around the yard? I don't really have much experience with outdoor cats so I don't really know how it works.
post #2 of 17
Welcome to TCS!

Would it be at all possible to buy or build an outdoor enclosure for them?

You are a bit unclear as to why they have to go outdoors? Maybe if you explained a little further, we could offer better advice!
post #3 of 17
IMO an indoor cat that's been indoors all their life would be in more danger outside as they would not no how to really avoid danger (stray dogs, cars, mean kids, etc.). And even with shots you are putting them at risk from stray cats that could be FeLV or FIP positive.

I'd like to know more of why they would be outside now?
post #4 of 17
Hi there, If I were you I would try everything humanly possible to keep my cats indoors.

I lost my british Shorthair two years ago, because I let him out. He was very persistent about going outside everytime the door was left open.

Anyway he was killed and not a week goes by that I dont blame myself for letting him out!

My brother's 5 cats were poisoned by a neighbour who hates cats!

You not only have the other feline diseases to contend with, but neighbours cars etc..

Cats outside get hurt. Its as simple as that.

Sorry. jmo
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
well, the situation is sort of complicated. i was living with a roommate and planned to move to a different state when the lease was up on our apartment. everything was supposed to be ready for me to move up there by the time the lease was up on our apt. well it turns out everything isn't in order for me to move out of state yet, so i'm staying with a family member until everything is situated. two of the people in the house are mildly-severely allergic to cats (depending how dramatic my relative is being at the time). my family are really not cat people either, like at all, unfortunately. i've tried finding someone to board the cats for me while i wait to move, but no one is able to. so, i don't really know what else to do, i love my cats more than anything, and i don't want to have to give them up to an animal shelter or something when this situation isn't going to be long term thing (maybe a few weeks). that's why i was maybe hoping they'd be ok outside a bit (i can probably put them in the garage at night).
post #6 of 17
You poor thing, what a horrible situation. I dont know what to say to you. Im sorry.

Do you know anyone who loves cats? Maybe put them up?
I just cant say go for it, let them out, when I have had it happen to me and its heartbreaking!

Is it a big garage? seeing its only for a few weeks, can you house them in there comfortably? and then play with them when you come home in the afternoon or evening? even take them out on a lead once a day for exercise??
Is this an option for you? Just explain to them. You would be devastated if something happened to your cats.
post #7 of 17
One way to deal with the allery thing is to treat your cats with Petal Cleanse/C It will take three weeks to be fully working, but it really does help! (I use it when visiting my sister, with my kitties, as she's asthmatic and pet allergies trigger it)

I assume that you have your own room in the place? Would it be possible to keep your cats in there and let them roam around the house when family members aren't around - or persuade them to let you have them out of the room while you are there?

I hope you can find a solution other than having them outside!
post #8 of 17
This must be so frustrating for you. Hopefully you can figure out what to do without putting the cats outside. For their safety, I would say try and keep them indoors if at all possible.
post #9 of 17
If the people are mildly allergic, I can't see why the cats couldn't just stay in your room all the time and not roam in the house. Plus you can wet them down (with washcloth) once a day with distilled water - it neutralizes the allergins.

But to put your indoor cats outside without protection is asking for them to get in trouble or even killed.
post #10 of 17
If you keep them and the house clean, midly allergic people should be ok. My mom is mildly allergic, and she has no problems with the cats. They were originally outdoors only, but they were allowed indoors once my mom realized that she could handle them. The house is REALLY clean though (she has someone who dusts, cleans the floors, and the bathrooms thoroughly every week). Plus, the cats get yearly baths in spring during sheding season.

If she goes into other people's homes, she can still have a reaction if the house isn't cleaned as thorougly. This is only for midly allergic people though. We've had other midly allergic people come over, and they are fine. One of my friends is very allergic, and he's fine for about 20 minutes if the cats are in another room. Then he has to go outside because he starts getting a reaction.

I wouldn't put them outdoors even if they are already outdoors cats. Moving drives cats nuts, and they get very confused. For such a short time, it's not worth it. They'll have to find their place in the neighborhood with the other cats, they'll have to learn what yards have dogs, plus they'll have to get used to being outdoors and the dangers (cars). My cats were raised as indoor/outdoor, but if I were in your situation, I would still bring them indoors with me.
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
thanks for all the replies. no, i don't have my own room where i'm staying. i really don't want them to go outside, i know it's dangerous for them, but i don't know what else to do. regarding the allergy thing, like i said, most of my family dislikes cats, not to the point of hurting them or harming them or anything awful like that, but they just don't like being around cats. so i guess they'd use the allergy thing to their advantage and they're not really up for compromise. one of the people in the house allergic to cats is only like 7, too. my cats have never been outdoor, so i was thinking if they were in the fenced backyard they'd stay back there(im trying to be optimistic :/). the fence is about 6 ft high i guess.
post #12 of 17
A 6 feet high fence will NOT keep a cat in - the only outside enclosure you could use safely is one that it fully enclosed - top, sides, and bottom. A large dog kennel would work, but again it HAS to have a top on it.

Is there a vet tech that would be willing to babysit the cats in their home (you pay them a "boarding" fee) until you have your own place?
post #13 of 17
If it comes down to the wire and you have only a few choices: the cats outside and you inside, the cats homeless and you inside, or all of you homeless: then perhaps it would be okay to let them be outside cats for as short a period as possible, but it is basically a worst-case scenario.

I do not think it has to come to that at all. Could you offer to clean the house so that the allergies are not as bothersome, such as vacuuming every day, dusting, sweeping, etc so the cat hair is basically non-existent? Is there any way you could keep them in the garage all the time after you've cat-safed it and keep toys and litterbox and everything in there? Can you live somewhere else? Can the cats live somewhere else with someone you trust? Are there any rooms in the house that you could confine them to at all?
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45
A 6 feet high fence will NOT keep a cat in - the only outside enclosure you could use safely is one that it fully enclosed - top, sides, and bottom. A large dog kennel would work, but again it HAS to have a top on it.

Is there a vet tech that would be willing to babysit the cats in their home (you pay them a "boarding" fee) until you have your own place?
no, i've already attempted to contact everyone i can think of to board the cats, they just can't, for various reasons. I was thinking maybe keeping them in a large kennel, but that seems a bit cruel. the best bet right now is the garage, but it does get pretty hot in there during the day. i'm in california so it's already 90-95 degrees here a few times a week
post #15 of 17
I really feel for you being in this situation. I think it would be best not to let the cats outside if at all possible. When people move it's usually recommended to keep the cats indoors for a few weeks before letting them outside (assuming the cats are indoor/outdoor cats - most are in the UK) anyway so I'd be reluctant to let cats go outside so soon. Even if they are ok outdoors where they are now you then have the potential problem that they might not adapt so well to being indoor cats again after being outdoors.

Since this is a temporary arrangement, is there not 1 room in the house (not necessarily the room in which you sleep) where you can keep the cats and those with allergies can avoid that room as much as possible for the time you are there? Combined with the advice previously given for dealing with allergies that should be ok from the point of view of avoiding allergic reactions.

Are the people you're staying with sympathetic to your situation? Do they understand the problems with letting the cats outside? Is it possible to sit down with them and have a good chat about the situation, explaining that you don't want to cause hassle and that you understand the allergy issue but your cats really need to be kept indoors for their own safety. If they fully understand the situation maybe they will be willing to give a bit more in order to accommodate your cats since it's only for a short while?
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
actually, i wish they were sympathetic toward the cat situation, but they're not. my family does not like cats. their suggestion to me was to give them away, which i could not live with myself if i did. for one they've been with eachother since they were 7 weeks old and i'd feel horrible if they had to be separated, secondly they're like my babies, i'd be devastated if i had to give them up. hell, i spent more money on their christmas presents than i spent on my whole family combined :/. in fact they're urging me to give them away. that's why i say they're really not up for compromise in keeping the cats inside. i don't have the money to keep them both boarded at a kennel until i move, it would end up being really expensive (the one here is $13/day for each cat) and i can't afford that right now, but if they end up having to be outside and don't do well i may try to save enough money to board them. the situation is really depressing me

does anyone else have an account at the site? i think it's a pretty cute site lol

my cats' profiles are: and
post #17 of 17
I know this will probably be the hardest decision, but I would not risk my cats being outside just cause the family doesn't want them inside. I think you'd be more upset and heartbroken if your cats got seriously hurt outside or ran away or killed.

If you cannot find someone to take them temporary, then you have 2 choices:

(1) save money for boarding (2) let them go and adopt them to someone that will keep them in.

I hope you can find the money to board or someone will come forward and help you out temporary by keeping them for a few weeks.

How long would you be staying in the house until you can be in your own place again?
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