Helping kitty mourn indoor status - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 06-09-2007, 11:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The stray cat saga continues......

We are still hoping someone will answer our ad in the paper for the found cat we now have living in our house. She has been here since Monday night. She is having a hard time adjusting from being an outdoor cat to an indoor cat.

First, she is really sad. My other cats are being pretty good around her but they are not yet letting her play with them and keeping thier distance. But she spends most of the day sitting in the screened window making sorrowful meowing sounds.

The bigger problem is that she is very stealth about trying to get out. She waits by the doors and can escape in no time. Being summer, we are in and out constantly. And I have a 3yo that is not exactly quick about her ins and outs. Kitty has managed to escape once already. I barely caught her before she took off up the same tree we rescued her from......

Any suggestions?

I cannot have her going in and out. I have two other strictly indoor cats, one in frail health, that cannot be exposed to outdoor illnesses. We also live two blocks from a major highway. If she is going to live here, it is going to have to be indoors. Our other two cats were indoor cats before we got them so I have no experience.
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#2 of 10 Old 06-09-2007, 03:47 PM
 
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I did this gradually with mine. I took them outside on harnesses, which they detested, so it got to the point that they were like, "No thanks, we'd rather stay inside than deal with those @#$% harnesses".

Also, a kitty water fountain, some cat grass, catnip, and lots of toys helped a lot, as did turning them loose in our basement to hunt mice.

You are such a good person for helping this cat! She will adjust, just give it time.

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#3 of 10 Old 06-09-2007, 05:50 PM
 
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What about a catio? (A patio for cats.) I was able to put dog run fencing next to my house, and put a cat door in a window. My cats would much rather be roaming the great outdoors, but they love to hang out in their catio. I put a few plants out there and an old cat post, and they spend a large part of the day there. They still will sneak out an open door if they get the chance, but they aren't as urgent or determined.

In my experience, outdoor cats who want back outside don't stop trying to get outside. Not a very helpful comment, and maybe there are cats less opinionated than the ones I grew up with and currently have.
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#4 of 10 Old 06-09-2007, 05:57 PM
 
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Are you sure she doesn't have any kittens out there that you're unaware of? Does she look like she could be nursing?
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#5 of 10 Old 06-09-2007, 08:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by ~MoonGypsy~ View Post
Are you sure she doesn't have any kittens out there that you're unaware of? Does she look like she could be nursing?
She is pregnant now. So if she has had kittens, they are likely on thier own by now.
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#6 of 10 Old 06-09-2007, 08:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Leta View Post
I did this gradually with mine. I took them outside on harnesses, which they detested, so it got to the point that they were like, "No thanks, we'd rather stay inside than deal with those @#$% harnesses".

Also, a kitty water fountain, some cat grass, catnip, and lots of toys helped a lot, as did turning them loose in our basement to hunt mice.

You are such a good person for helping this cat! She will adjust, just give it time.
Thanks! I do let her in the basement. There are no mice because my other cats scared them away but there are LOTS of juicy spiders.

ETA: I forgot all about cat toys! My other cats outgrew them a long time ago and they all got sucked up the vacuum over time. I got some new ones. She is mindly interested. My middle cat has apparently decided she likes them again and has been going nuts all afternoon.
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#7 of 10 Old 06-09-2007, 08:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Dechen View Post
What about a catio? (A patio for cats.) I was able to put dog run fencing next to my house, and put a cat door in a window. My cats would much rather be roaming the great outdoors, but they love to hang out in their catio. I put a few plants out there and an old cat post, and they spend a large part of the day there. They still will sneak out an open door if they get the chance, but they aren't as urgent or determined.

In my experience, outdoor cats who want back outside don't stop trying to get outside. Not a very helpful comment, and maybe there are cats less opinionated than the ones I grew up with and currently have.
What do you do in the winter?

I am staring to get more and more nervous about this. I really cannot have this be a problem for the next 15 years. Any chance she will calm down after being spayed?
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#8 of 10 Old 06-09-2007, 08:48 PM
 
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She is pregnant now. So if she has had kittens, they are likely on thier own by now.
Ah, maybe she's just nesting then and that's what causing the urge to get back out there. Maybe providing her with a nice dark, quiet place to nest would help her at least feel secure enough that she's not always fighting to get outside.
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#9 of 10 Old 06-09-2007, 08:51 PM
 
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I'm betting that she'll chill out, at least somewhat, when she isn't preggers/in heat anymore.

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#10 of 10 Old 06-09-2007, 10:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
What do you do in the winter?

I am staring to get more and more nervous about this. I really cannot have this be a problem for the next 15 years. Any chance she will calm down after being spayed?
Well, there is no doubt that she will chill out. I know we can all relate to how being pregnant makes you weird at times (or at least I can ). It is all very new to her and obviously she has never known having a warm, safe home to live in...and not having to rely upon the outdoors for food and homing!

Give her time...do you think it is something you can deal with for a month or so? I do think taking her for walks would likely help...and maybe getting her something like a catio or contraption that allows her to be outdoors but still contained!

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