Making Outdoor Cats Live Indoors

Animal Control recently laid down the law; keep our cats from straying into neighbor's yards. We achieved this by adding extra litterboxes indoors and by opening a window a crack for them to view the outdoors. They gradually discovered that the indoors was not so bad! There are no predators or bully top cats indoors. They grew to like us a lot more.

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We do let the cats out for supervised outdoor time and discovered that they had developed an allegiance to their indoor quarters and did not roam. They seem to have more confidence in us opening and closing the door, rather than them freely using the anytime pet door. Since we are a multi-cat household, there was a transition period. But if you are faced with this situation, it is do-able.

Please email me through Thriftyfun if you need support in your challenge.

By mary knight from Kensington, MD

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January 21, 20120 found this helpful

My husband and I are fostering a former outdoor cat for our friends who are moving house over the winter. Somehow when we agreed to foster the cat we also agreed to train him to be an inside cat who only went out on a harness!

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He didn't have any real problems learning to use the litter pan, and to not rush an open door to get out but he did make it plain he wanted to go outside. It's taken a few months, but he now comes running when his harness and leash come off the hook.

Everyday, twice a day, we'd put the harness on him and let him wear it around-at first just in the house, then out in the garden with the lead attached. He hated it, would roll, cry, lie flat and refuse to move. But every now and again he would sniff, walk, show some interest, before seeming to remember he was leashed and throwing a wee fit.

But one day it was as though he 'got it'; he saw the harness come off the hook and ran TO us instead of away. LOL, when it was time to come in, he hissed and growled-he wanted to stay out!

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We take him out on the harness twice a day. It is very different from walking a dog-we don't have a destination or a schedule, we simply follow the cat where he wants to go. We make sure to never drag him or even try to direct his movements unless he is heading for a neighbour's garden.

When he goes home we are going to adopt a rescue cat who will also be an indoor cat, I hope the harness works on the new furbaby! Keeping a cat indoors is much better for the cat in so many ways-vet bills are lower for a cat who isn't exposed to cars, disease, poisons, and angry neighbours, for one thing.

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