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Outdoor to Indoor cat and diet question

February 18th, 2005, 01:14 PM
It seems apparent that my new cat has had outdoor access as, unlike my other cats - he rushes for the door evey time one is opened. Have to watch him very carefully - coming and going. He's right there, ready to exit.
He spends time every evening checking out all the windows, and he meows and meows sadly (let me ooooout) :sad:

Anyway,what to do about this? ( He is NOT going out) but should I just ride it out, and let him get used to the idea? He is two years old.
Or maybe I could try to bring him outside on a halter and leash every day?
I wonder if that would help him?
Or, as it seems he's become used to the outdoors, would it only make him want to go out even more.. and slow down the adjustment?

Also, he has been fed only tinned food, (Iams) and so rejects the dry completely.
My other cats free-feed on the dry food (Go Natural) and only have the tinned as a supplement.
I have taken him off the Iams and brought it Felidae tinned. But how often should he have this? Twice a day is what I've been giving him.
I'd prefer he was on he same "routine" as my other cats.. as they are now wanting this too.
Is it better for cats to have a wet and dry combo - or doesnt matter either way?

February 18th, 2005, 01:19 PM
Is your cat fixed (you might have mentioned this somewhere else and I didn't see it) in most cases this is the cause for them trying to escape all the time. My cat was crazy to get out until he got fixed, now he could care less.
In the summer months you can try a harness and leash... but you should remain outdoors with them/him at all times. A cat tied out alone is a great prey for a dog/ racoon, etc... It's never a good idea to teather them and leave them alone.

As for the cat food. If you're cat is fixed, then the wet food for males is good because it gives them the water that they might not normally drink. On a strictly dry food diet they can form cystals in their urine and get UTI, which can be deadly.

February 18th, 2005, 01:27 PM
Our first cat, Snooky, was adopted from the HS, he was a stray. He always wanted out! Every door that's opened he darts to make his exit... he still does this and it's been 5 yrs. When I'm near a door, he meows loudly to go out but we don't let him. For the first few years we didn't let him set foot outside because like you, we thought if he kept getting a taste of it he'd still want it, but it didn't make a difference. Now in the summers we take him out for a few minutes here and there and he loves it... he doesn't go anywhere but in our yard, he just rolls in the grass. My guess is he would continue this behavior even if you didn't take him out at all, like our cat does.

February 18th, 2005, 01:40 PM
I had a cat who I wanted to keep indoors. He cried and cried to go outside, so I started taking him outside on a harness. He loved being outside. Well, everytime he cried and we didn't take him outside, he would pee on the couch right in front of you and once right beside me!!!! If he cried we let him out. While we were at work, he would pee on the couch because no one was here to let him out!!! So I started letting him out on his own. Sadly, he wandered out to the road one day and was hit by a car :sad: I wonder if he went to the road because of me! The previous week before he was hit, he followed me out to the road to put garbage out. I was unaware he had followed until I turned around and saw him sitting at the edge of the road!

I just thought I would share my experience with you regarding your cat wanting out!! Everyone has different experiences and this was mine. I have other cats that come in and out as they please and so far so good. My one girl won't stray more than 5 feet from the house!!

February 18th, 2005, 01:46 PM
Sammie, yes, I should have mentioned that he is neutered.
He may still be feeling stressed from all the changes in his life.. so I will give him some more time. He is very relaxed in the daytime, but becomes restless at night.
I've never tried a halter and leash with a cat.. it might be something that needs to be started as a kitten to be successful.
If I do try this, I would definitely stay right with him.. you are so right about the dangers of leaving a tethered cat or small dog. Even though we have a tall fenced backyard that keeps out dogs and (hopefully) coyotes, we also have raccoons who patrol the area from time to time. I've had to chase them off my deck more than once. One I encountered was reluctant to leave the yard, so I threw a small plastic flashight in his direction to scare him.. He hissed at me. I didnt know that raccons hissed! :) I think they could be quite fierce as a small wild animal.

February 18th, 2005, 04:32 PM
I've been able to retrain an outdoor to an indoor cat - but younger so...
I tried one of our raggies on a leash but then I came to the problem that he always wanted out so I quit that.

Try a big play session before you go to bed and see if that helps settle him.

If you want to transition him to dry food, start out with it in the canned food, having added extra water and letting it soften. Gradually increase the hardness of it. My guess is that if all he could get was hard food for a while he'd eat it :)

re: urine crystals etc. A water fountain really increases their intake of water.

February 19th, 2005, 09:16 PM
Hi...I have three males. Sam is fixed and is about 5 yrs old, Charcoal is also 5 and PursheeMan who is about 1.5. Charcoal and Purshee are not altered.

We live in the outskirts of a small community with dairy cattle across the road from us. All three are outside cats unless its cold. I have a small 'doggie' door that I open in the winter so they can come and go as they please.

My husband is alergic to fur (cat/dog.etc) so when he starts sneezing every one runs for the doggie door, since we have hardwood floors...this can be pretty funny to watch.

If you do not want your new cat outside, I say don't let him...he will adjust. You would not let your child out if you thought he would get hurt. Have you seen the cat runs that are available now?? They are caged on top and sides. You can let your feline lay in the yard in these without having to worry about them getting attacked.

Anyway...I have always had cats. I have always fed them a wet/dry combo of cat food. In the morning they get canned food, supper time is dry. I buy several types of dry and mix them together in a 5 gallon bucket with a lid.

Charcoal always wants the canned food and will beg for it at supper...but when he finally gives up he eats what he has. Sam always prefers dry, but licks the gravey from the wet at breakfast....Mr. PursheeMan :king: eats everything.

My vet recomended that I offer each and always offer a variety so they don't get spoiled. Sometimes one of them will not eat a meal because they don't like the particular flavor....but they will not starve my missing 1 meal.

Wet is good for 'meaty' eating and dry is good for plaque removal from the teeth. A wet/dry combo is what I have always used...and always used it for separate meals.


Lucky Rescue
February 19th, 2005, 09:32 PM
Charcoal and Purshee are not altered.

Just curious - why aren't they neutered? They are off impregnating females and getting into fights that cause abcesses and could very well transmit fatal diseases to them.

Wet is good for 'meaty' eating and dry is good for plaque removal from the teeth

It's not true that dry food is better for the teeth. Healthy teeth depend on heredity and proper maintenence.

Wet food is best for neutered males, which is what the original poster has.

February 19th, 2005, 10:36 PM
Shamrock, the 'poster' wanted advise.

I have been told by my vet that a combo of wet/dry food is what I should feed my cats. Male or female. Altered or otherwise...Is my vet wrong???
Please let me know and I will inform him ASAP.

Charcoal has not been fixed because I adopted him last fall. PursheeMan has not been fixed because I wanted to wait until he was 2 years old. I had a kitten fixed at 1 .5 yrs before and he had urinary problems his whole life.

I like to have this done in the summer. They seem to recover quicker when fixed at this time of year.

February 19th, 2005, 11:17 PM
Did I read that right, leeslynn you let your unneutered cats outside. :mad: Are you not worried about diseases? Just because they're males doesn't mean that they should be intact. Get them neutered as soon as possible.

Lucky Rescue
February 20th, 2005, 09:33 AM
leeslyn, I did give the poster advice, which is that wet food is best for neutered males. Vets are medical doctors and are not always the best people to ask about nutrition and type of food to feed.

Someone who lets her intact toms stay outside to roam, fight, breed or get killed or injured may not be the best person to give advice.

And all my male cats were neutered between 6 months and one year of age, and none of them ever had urinary tract or bladder problems. They ate canned food only.

As far as I know, age of neutering and incidence of FUS are not connected, but I'll be happy to look at proof that there is as I could be wrong about this. Can you show some data?

February 20th, 2005, 09:55 AM
I like to have this done in the summer. They seem to recover quicker when fixed at this time of year.

Ummmm,I must be blonde.I have NEVER heard this before.... :confused:

Shamrock,I can't help you with the how to keep the outdoor cat inside.

But I have to agree with LR about the canned food part.My cats have always had both.And my neutered males have never had any urinay or bladder infections.Even my guy at Pet Value recomends canned food for neutered cats.Twice a day is fine.I actually feed my guys it 3x a day.But only about a teaspoon.And the dry is left out.I give them the Performatrin Ultra.They only snack on the dry.And I have never had any obese cats doing this. :)

February 21st, 2005, 03:50 PM
When I got my first two cats (persian kittens) five years ago, I started them on a premium dry food only - no tinned.
After my neutered male became ill with a UTI, I switched to a wet and dry combo. He has never had a recurrance of this in over three years now. So, it seems to have made the difference.
I later read that the "prime" candidate for a UTI is a neutered male cat, indoor, overweight, and fed an all dry diet. Persian cats appear to have a higher incidence of UTI's also - possibly because they are usually indoor cats and not as active as many other breeds.

I wont worry then if the new cat just eats the wet food only. I only wanted to be sure this would be dietarily sound for him.. and it seems it will be fine.

Havent decided on the halter and leash yet... I'm still mulling that one over. As he settles in more and more, I'm hoping he may forget about his desire to explore. ;)
Thanks for your feeback and suggestions on these two issues.

February 21st, 2005, 04:10 PM
I don't know about anybody else,but to me it's just common sense to feed canned food to cats,especially males.....high quality dry food available for snacking 24/7 to me is a good idea,but not as the main meal
I think in human terms and I would just hate to have the same old dry stuff every day...and many of the cheap foods consist of grain,corn and meat-by products ie,leftovers from slaughters not suitable for human consumption :yuck:
If you love your animals,you will do your best and feed them the best quality food you can,it pays off in the long run,you'll have a healthier animal.
As for letting unalterted cats roam free,it's the height of irresponsability,who knows how many unwanted kittens they are responsible for :)

February 21st, 2005, 05:25 PM
Speaking only from my own experience, Ernie (Ernestina) tried from the very first day we brought her home to get outside, once when she was about 3 she did get out for 3-4 days and was found huddled in the corner under a mobile home. Once your new cat gets used to his new diggs he will probably stop bolting for the door quite so much and then when you least expect it he will escape. If I were you I would make sure he has a collar and tags so when he does escape at least people will now that he has a loving home and contact you when he is found. As for the dry cat food, animals will not starve themselves because they don't like the food, he probably sneeks a piece when you are not looking but turns his nose up whenever you are trying to coerce you into getting what he wants, hmmm, seems to be working and now he is teaching your other furry kids the same thing. Better cut this one in the bud!