Best way to get outside cat accustomed to life on the inside

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by ma2babygurl13, Nov 25, 2010.

  1. ma2babygurl13

    ma2babygurl13 Songster

    Jun 18, 2009
    Fairborn OH
    My parents have a cat, who has lived on the farm for 7 years, and was a young adult when she showed up. My dad wants me to take her home to my house. He feels bad for it, and with winter on our doorstep... So what is the best way to get her used to being an inside kitty? Will she have trouble using a litter box? Do you think she will want to use her claws everywhere, or can she be "trained" to a scratching post? Any insight from you fellow cat lovers reply!

  2. aubreynoramarie

    aubreynoramarie designated lawn flamingo

    May 27, 2010
    Reno, Nevada
    just so you know...

    this could become extremely difficult on you.

    cats are sensitive to change, and this could go either way. she could pee on everything, cry all night and day to be let out, tear up your furniture, eat the food off the table, terrorize your other pets, vomit up hairballs on your shoes, swipe at you, and did i say PEE ON EVERYTHING?

    BUT it could also go the other way and she could act like shes been there forever.

    i have honestly seen it go both ways.

    good luck!
  3. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    I have "rehabilitated" several outside cats of all ages and so far all of them have adjusted quite well and very quickly. What I found with my bunch is that they really enjoyed being inside and had no desire to ever go out again. In fact, these are cats who never leave the house when a door gets left open by accident. All of my indoor cats from the start make a beeline for it! They all knew what to do with a litter box after I showed them where it was. For the first couple days I did keep them separated from my other cats - in a bathroom or laundry room just to keep the stress down for them....and my other cats. The claws are a problem because they are used to scratching them on trees most likely. What I did was purchase a cat tree with a solid wood base that looks like a tree. I'm sure you could make one too. All my cats love it. My biggest advice to you is to make sure the cat has all its vaccinations, a check up as soon as possible, is treated for worms and fleas.
  4. scrambledmess

    scrambledmess Songster

    Sep 26, 2008
    NW Ohio
    If she has been in a barn, try the pressed sawdust litter. That is a really nice transition for both texture and smell. Basically, she may be more likely to use it quickly if it is familiar to her.

    When I bring a new cat home, I put it in the bathroom for the first few days. That way it can get used to the sounds and smells of the house and everyone in it. I leave them in there longer depending on their age, whether they had been inside or out, etc. For an older cat who just has to learn where the litter box is and seemed okay with the family, they may just spend the night in there. For a cat going through a big change, they could spend up to a week in there. For a kitten, they spend the nights in the bathroom for a long time until they can hold it long enough to make their way back to the litter box without supervision.

  5. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Crowing

    Jun 20, 2009
    Orange County, NY

    Also, you can purchase those cardboard catnip cat scratchers for about $9at the pet store, my cats LOVE them.
    Never had a problem with a cat adapting to the indoors, after awhle, they prefer it.
  6. woodmort

    woodmort Songster

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    Interesting, you say the cat is a "she" but nothing about litters so I assume she's spayed. If not spayed, I'd get it done ASAP. I'd get her to vet and checked for feline leuk and ear mites as well as fleas and worms. Also she'll need, at the minimum, a rabies shots. Then confine her to a single room for a few days with food, water and the litter box, she'll get the idea. Once she does, open the door and allow her to explore on her own with "her" room being a place of refuge if things scare her. In the meantime spend quiet time with her, picking her up and petting her. Each time you feed her call her name so she associates it with coming to you. I suspect, if she's been used to people, she will adapt fairly quickly. The biggest problem is going to be keeping her inside. While she may not care to go out, she may also try to go outside at any opportunity.
  7. ma2babygurl13

    ma2babygurl13 Songster

    Jun 18, 2009
    Fairborn OH
    We believe it is a she... I am not good at sexing cats unless of course you can see the testes... either way if it is a she, she is spayed, if it is a he, he is neutered. The local "feral cat" society people who go around and catch the feral cats and have them fixed and then release them, notch their ears so they can tell if the cat has been altered. This cat has the notch. I say it is a she but not positive. It doesn't spray, and it lives outside not in a barn (granted there are open barns for shelter but none have sawdust.) She is used to people and kids, and dogs. So I don't think that will be much of an adjustment. We don't have any other cats. I don't think she will want back out, she is always trying to go inside my parents house, but my mom has terrible allergies to cats, which is why she isn't allowed it there. Our biggest concern besides the litter box issue is her clawing everything in sight. I plan to get or make a cat tree and scratcher. All the time she has been there she has been a great cat, and doesn't claw on the furniture outside (patio stuff with cushions which is where she is usually curled up asleep) I guess I will get the stuff ready and bring her home... I guess if it doesn't work out, I can either find her a home or just take her back to the farm.... here is a pic of her [​IMG]



  8. annaraven

    annaraven Born this way

    Apr 15, 2010
    SillyCon Valley
    She's lovely. Many outdoor cats are quite happy to be inside with no problems. Learn how to clip her front claws and you can save some of your furniture. You already know about scratching posts. Also getting a little pot of grass for her might be useful. Have fun. Good for you for taking her in.
  9. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida

  10. sunflowerenvy

    sunflowerenvy Songster

    Apr 4, 2010
    south/west tn
    Quote:if i was you i would send that pick to a "feral cat"person in your area. down in fl they cut at angle off the topofthe ear to keep trap of cats that take care. s/n.
    also i would put the flea drop on her at least 24 before u been her into the house so she can drop the fleas n eggs out side.when u bring her into the house bring to the pooped she should catch on real quick scoop it out very other day at first.
    in a week or two start play with the paws and push in the pads so the nails are extrend out and rub them so she will get used to it then u can use nail clips to cut off the points.

    my feral males neutral cats that come inside dont want to go out at all. but my feral females sprayed cats go in and out..but when we r off our property they walk on a leash. every morning when i go out to open the coop door . my female cat walk out and sit on the coop porch while i go into the coop to open the door for the chickens, and then comes right back with me.
    it might take up a month for the cat get used to being inside. you might want to put her in small room at night, so she learn to sleep at night

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