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indoor cat longs for the great outdoors

marsupial mama
March 7th, 2007, 07:35 PM
I have a new problem... we decided from the outset that out cat will be an indoor kitty - city by-laws and all the dangers of the outside world, including traffic and urban coyotes.

Problem is that the cat (3 months old) hasn't read the rule book. She was fine up until a week or so ago. Now she often tries to run out the door when anyone is coming in or out. The other day I went out with a friend and when I came back I was greeted by all 3 kids yelling something incoherent about "CAT!!". Next thing I knew, she was on the porch looking a bit overwhelmed, so I scooped her up and brought her back in.

We don't have a door on the porch and it isn;t easy to install one because of the design. A two-door system would provide an extra barrier to help keep kitty inside, but we don;t have that option.

Any ideas on how we can convince her to stop trying to escape? I;m scared it will get even worse when spring comes and we want to open windows. I have a feeling that screens wouldn't pose much of an obstacle. She's a calico and definitely has a mind of her own! :cat:

TIA

kagu
March 7th, 2007, 08:45 PM
well I cant say I can be of a huge help but short of putting those patio nets around your porch Id say you could always try taking her outside. My baby thought he wanted to go outside, so I bought him a harness (good and snugg cause they're wriggly little critters) and took him outside. the moment his feet hit the sidewalk that was it. suddenly the world was way bigger than the porch and he was done. But if she likes going out it could be a nice compromise. sure a cat on a harness seems a little silly to some people. but it's an option if your up for it. Just depends on whether or not you think it's a compromise or if it's merely going to encourage her to go out with you. it's a thought though.

clm
March 7th, 2007, 09:25 PM
It'll be hard for a little while keeping her in, but if you can keep her as an indoor cat, do it. She'll be much safer. Are you sure she's only 3 months old? Has she been spayed? If she's actually older and around 5 months old, she could be going into her first heat and that would explain the sudden interest in getting out.

Cindy

CyberKitten
March 7th, 2007, 11:09 PM
The vast majority of cats do get used to being indoors and usually they come to like it - and then in the summer, you can take them out on a leash or build a back yard setting for them.

Give her lots to play with - even a play mate (ie another kitty) might help actually - and lots of toys, a place to sit so she an watch birds and other things outside. Most cats - after spending much time inside- are not kenen to return to the big bad world outdoors, unless they are feral to begin with and even then, some of them never want to go out again.

If she is not spayed, absolutely spay her asap and she will want to stay in even more.

marsupial mama
March 8th, 2007, 06:49 AM
well, the shelter told us when we got her (Feb 1) that she was 8 weeks old. The vet says he will spay her when she is around 5 months, i.e. end of April. She has shots due end of march so maybe i can ask to bring the spaying forward... She came from someone's home (a lady who had gotten her from a neighbour but her husband turned out to be very allergic) rather than off the street so I am pretty confident about the age thing.

she has lots of toys, and the kids play with her all the time, and she gets lots of attention all day, so i doubt it's lack of stimulation. DH doesn't want to get another cat and I won't bring another pet in unless everyone is on board with the idea. <sigh>

not sure how the harness thing would go down, she *hates* the collar! And I'm worried that if we took her out with the idea of aversion therapy she might just develop a taste for the great outdoors.

Help!

jessi76
March 8th, 2007, 08:20 AM
you could build a cat run - enlist the kids help on it too! Here is one site that has links to a few cat run ideas....some you can build, and some you can even buy premade.

http://www.xmission.com/~emailbox/catrun.htm

heidiho
March 8th, 2007, 03:13 PM
Be sure what you do,because i was told by a few people after the first time the cat goes outside,that will be it,they will always want to go outside,i have made the choice to keep ours indoors,i would love to let her go outside but i just will not take the chance of anything happening to her,and she is a super happy kitty,sometimes i feel bad she will look out window and see the 2 strays i feed laying there,but i lov her to much to risk it.

kashtin's kin
March 11th, 2007, 12:53 AM
All our cats are 'all indoors, all the time'. Among them (passed away after 17 years) 2 sisters who spent their first 7 yrs. as barncats, one stray-who-showed-up-and-stayed, about 3 cats who were indoors from day one...and 2 ex-ferals (were out and wild for about 5 months, and have been inside for 6-ish months now).

The 2 ex-barncats never expressed any interest in going outside again, and the stray-who-stayed feels the same way. Out of the indoors from day one cats, one expressed a keen will to 'escape' for a while when he was young, but that was a brief stage.

'Les ex-ferals' have been happy to be indoors all winter, but I think we will have to be a bit vigilant as the weather warms up. We went through a lot to trap and gentle these two, and I am sooooo not anxious to repatriate them with the great (and dangerous i.e. highway close, loose dogs in surrounding countryside) outdoors.

Two of our 3 doors to outside are buffered by a second door; we keep a water pistol at the other door to discourage loitering in that area. In a perfect world cats could be in and outside, be safe, and not kill birds...until that feline utopia exists, our herd will have to settle for longer lives inside.

I know of people who have fenced yards and cats who are not inclined to run
off who supervise outdoor visits very closely; our situation just doesn't lend itself to such a scenario. I also like the idea of 'cat runs'-as long as they are very sturdily constructed and thus keep the cats safe from any marauding critters wanting to break in.

But if you can't do the above with absolute-ish safety...sometimes it's kind to be, NOT cruel (as the song goes), but simply firm on the issue with your fur friends. :D