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#1 of 17 Old 10-28-2010, 11:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've always had indoor/outdoor cats. Basically they stayed outside during the day and came in at night. In the winter they stayed in more and in the summer they stayed out more. I always thought that it wasn't fair to the cat to keep it indoors and that was my main argument against the indoor only cat people.

My beloved orange striped cat, Hobbes, went missing yesterday. I was so scared that he was gone forever as he has NEVER been gone all night in his 6 years of life. I always make sure he comes in before bed as he will scratch at my bedroom window in the middle of the night if I don't and wake me up. I finally found him locked in a neighbor's garage this afternoon. So I came to the realization that I want to start keeping my cats indoors.

How do I go about making them happy indoors?

We have a ton of cat toys, they very rarely play with them, but we have them. I have two cat tree things. I have litter boxes. What else do I need to make them happy and keep them from being bored out of their minds? They've been indoor/outdoor kitties all their lives and are used to chasing mice, playing the fields and coming and going as they please.

They have been inside all day and are very unhappy with it at this time. I know they'll get used to it but it is strange to have them underfoot all day long.
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#2 of 17 Old 10-29-2010, 12:24 AM
 
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Personally my cats have never had a problem being indoor only cats. Transitioning is probably going to be a bit of an issue because its not what they are used to. Give them lots of things to do inside, you can teach them tricks etc too

And you can get cat proof fencing or build a cat safe run for them to have safe time outside, just like you do with a dog.

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#3 of 17 Old 10-31-2010, 04:10 PM
 
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I'm not sure how much luck you are going to have convincing your cat that it wants to stay inside all of a sudden. You could look into a catio. But I'd expect your cats will try to make a run fo it anytime the door is open.

We have always kept our cats indoors. Our reasons have to do with fleas, disease and mean people. Ours are perfectly content inside and love interacting with the family (as much as cats do).
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#4 of 17 Old 10-31-2010, 04:17 PM
 
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Well..it really depends on the temperment of the cat. I have had to do this before; when one of my cats got hit by a car I kept the other one inside until we moved. She was never happy, but she adapted to a point. Other cats I have had (and have now) cannot handle being inside. My cat Samhain goes batsh!tcrazy when he can't go out (like today...no way am I letting a black cat out on Halloween, namesake or not) and tears stuff up, claws the baby etc...
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#5 of 17 Old 10-31-2010, 04:40 PM
 
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We had to transition our cats to indoor-only when we lived in an apartment for a while. Believe it or not, they got over it after a few weeks. I honestly do not think there's a thing you can do to make the transition easier on them. It's more like quitting anything cold turkey--it sucks, but then you get used to it, then you forget about it completely. It may be the same for your cats... just give them time.
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#6 of 17 Old 10-31-2010, 04:41 PM
 
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I've never had issues with my cats being indoors. We had in/out cats growing up and I'd never do that again-painful deaths, injuries, diseases, fleas, bailing them out of the pound...they are non-native domesticated species who kill wildlife and become big nuisances. My cats are perfectly happy and safe being indoors. We have a scratch post, feather toys, other cats to chase, and kids that give them attention.

I would also recommend a cat run/catio if you have the space/money. My cats don't need one but I think they're cool so I want to build one next year.

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#7 of 17 Old 10-31-2010, 11:09 PM
 
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Hi,

It might be a good compromise to build them a catio. I have many friends and customers who have built them and tell me that although it is an adjustment for a cat that has been free roaming all their life, it is a great way to give your cat saafe access to the outdoors. Not sure what type of space you have re: yard/acreage etc but I'm sure if you looked through my designs you will find one that works. If you wanted something custom designed we could always do that too.

www.catiodesigns.com is where you can find them

thanks
samantha
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#8 of 17 Old 11-01-2010, 01:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the responses.

The cats are still inside. I am spending a ton of time lavishing attention and love on them and it seems to be helping them adjust. They, of course, are spending a lot of time looking out the window wistfully and my resolve is weakening. Especially as my DH is not happy about them being inside. I know all the arguments for keeping them inside, killing wildlife, danger, etc. and I am trying to keep those in mind.

I've always had cats before that just would NOT be okay as inside all the time cats. The three that I have now seem to be pretty easy going and more people oriented than typical. We'll just have to see how things go, day by day.

We are in the process of buying a home right now and when we get there I will look into building a catio. Not sure what my DH will say though......

Thanks again.
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#9 of 17 Old 11-01-2010, 12:07 PM
 
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I don't want to start a debate, and I do not intend any disrespect or judgement - I'm honestly curious: why is it unfair to a cat to keep it indoors?

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#10 of 17 Old 11-01-2010, 12:21 PM
 
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Build a cat enclosure off of the house.Safe for your cats,they get outdoors,and neighbors won't have to deal with your cats anymore.

If I catch a cat in my yard-collar or not I remove it.That is the risk one takes when allowing a pet to roam free-cars,poison,animal attack,and unhappy neighbors.

I do think it IS hard to keep a cat inside once it is used to roaming.They will pee up your entire home to show you what they think of the new rules. If you do a search on cat enclosures you will be amazed at the pens that have been built for cats. I love the arial tunnels going from a house window to the enclosures.Cats really seem to enjoy these outdoor homes.
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#11 of 17 Old 11-01-2010, 12:24 PM
 
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#12 of 17 Old 11-01-2010, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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nd Deadhead, I hope there is no offense taken but I choose not to get into that can o'worms When I said that was my main argument, I've never actually gotten into an argument or even a real discussion with a cats belong indoors person. That was solely an argument in my brain that I've been having for years.

Mattemm04, I'm going to assume when you say remove it that you mean toss the cat into its home yard or take it to a no-kill shelter or something along those lines. I respect your right to not have cats in your yard, so long as you aren't choosing extermination as your solution.

Again, thank you for those tips! It is kind of fun to have my kitties inside all day. Lots of lovin time when before, they just came inside and slept and then went back outside for more.
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#13 of 17 Old 11-05-2010, 03:27 PM
 
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This is a hard one for me. I do feel it's unnatural for cats to stay indoors only (and I feel like missing out on that direct sunshine could really affect their health) but, except for the very rare living situations, it's so clear that cats just do not belong outside in the world we live in now. Their life expectancy goes way down, they're very susceptible to injury and illness and they can destroy some bird populations. So, strangely, though I am in many ways against keeping cats indoor (need I mention furniture, carpet, and lack of exercise ), I personally find it really is necessary and I do not let mine out.

As long as people aren't letting their cats crap in everyone's yards and keep producing litters of kittens, I totally understand people letting them be outside though.

I meant to say, too, that it will probably be hard to transition your cat, but they will eventually get used to it.
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#14 of 17 Old 11-05-2010, 03:39 PM
 
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I think it just depends on the cat. I have three and I always intended for them to be indoors only. Well, one darts outside every single chance she gets, we can't stop her and have tried for years. But she stays like right in our yard, occassionally walks down the street, but comes running the moment she sees our car or the door open. The second one rarely ever sneaks out. And when she does, it's just to sit on the sill on the outside of the window instead of inside. The third is somewhere in the middle of the two. But when she gets out, all she does is sleep on the mulch around our tree, sometimes climbs it.

All three of my kitties are chipped and I always get nervous if they dont' immediately come in when called, which is rare. But I simply cannot keep them in. They want out and I can't make them miserable by keeping them inside ALL the time.
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#15 of 17 Old 11-06-2010, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We've been at it over a week and they are still adjusting. I feel so badly for them when they stare out the window or sniff under the front door. Argh. I'm still committed though.
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#16 of 17 Old 11-08-2010, 10:52 AM
 
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OP, I too have an orange tabby and I think they must be genetically predisposed to wanderlust. Mine was indoor only but has insisted on going outside. He recently pulled an all nighter and now is sick with some eye drainage and sneezing I'm just not sure how to keep him inside without him destroying our house. I've talked to the vet about it. I know all the dangers. He always stays close to the house and is our great mouser (yeah for that!!) and loooooves to sunbathe in the summer on the patio pavers. The other problem I have is out of our three cats, he's the only one that has his claws, the other two see him going out and are constantly at the door trying to bolt. I'm preggers now and they're ALL driving me nutty with their craziness!!!

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#17 of 17 Old 11-08-2010, 04:00 PM
 
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I recently took in a cat, who was a joyful little thing. I had to keep her in my garage until i could get her to the vet (the next day) b/c i already have cats in the house. She got really quiet and wouldn't come out of her carrier for me--she was clearly stressed. Once inside the house, she stayed in dd's room for the most part and wouldn't respond to our affection. She tried to get out for about 3 days, which broke our hearts. But after that, she's been great. She seems very happy here where she's always fed, dry, loved and played with. She does, however, appear to be gaining weight. Oh, well. She also tries to get out sometimes.

They will acclimate, and it should only take a few days. I felt really guilty about taking her in (I only did b/c she loved attention and i was afraid of her rubbing up on the wrong person), but then i heard that the average lifespan for an outside cat is only 4 years. Ouch. We did the right thing in this case.
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