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Inside to Outside cat

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by FriendlyFlyer, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. FriendlyFlyer

    FriendlyFlyer Chirping

    Jul 16, 2011
    Hello, I had 3 cats a few months ago. My favorite one was trapped and shot by a careless ditch hunter. My parents told me I could have another to replace it if I like. I have been thinking long and hard...I volunteer at the animal shelter in town (I live in the country) and there are two cats that look like my old cat, Lynx. Niether like me too well, they don't pur and don't appreciate being petted(?). Then I noticed a calico cat, she is the most beautiful thing and she loves me to death!! I want to get her sooo bad. She is only a couple of years old, if that. My parents will let me have her but ABSOLUTELY NOT inside. How can I get her used to living outside? Will it traumatize her? Is my love for her worth what she'll have to go through? Will there be any problems at all? Please help me and give me advice. [​IMG]

  2. bock

    bock Songster

    Oct 10, 2008
    Northern CA
    The inside vs. outside cat debate is always a hot topic. Honestly, I feel that neither one is better or worse than the other. Whatever keeps the cat safest and happiest with your situation, with your cat's personality, and with your area's own unique dangers.

    I have three house cats. They spend most of their time on our large balconey enjoying nature. They LOVE it. We take them to visit the outdoors sometimes, and although they do enjoy it, it is obvious that they are not comfortable being so vulnerable. I suppose they could adjust, but I choose to keep them indoors where they are safe from the predators, feral cats, the renters next door, etc. but are still very content. How do I know it is not safe where we live? It took the loss of two beloved indoor/outdoor cats for me to realize I didn't want to put another cat through this. We have always assumed they were lost to a coyote or mountain lion. I know for sure one was taken by a coyote when I saw his orange fur in coyote feces a few days after he disapeared. [​IMG] But thinking back, both cats loved the outdoors, they would cry by the door for hours in order to get out. It was their obsession. It wouldn't be easy if my current cats had that kind of personality, a very tough decision for sure. However, there is the possibility of us moving this summer. If this house didn't have a balcony, I would find some way to allow them to safely access the outdoors. Be it a very tall vinyl fence, or a "cat run". I don't think they would be happy without some access after having a balcony for their entire lives.

    There are also human dangers (as you know [​IMG] ).10 years back, when we lived in the city, we had some crazy neighbors who would feed our cat, then dump him off when he came back. Unfortunately, it wasn't safe there either. Thankfully someone found him, and our kitty was okay.

    I guess it is up to you in the end. There are so many cats in need of homes, it is sad to turn them down when you have room. But there are always dangers lurking, as well as the promise of freedom. Maybe look for a kitten who was born outdoors. It would be very hard on an adult cat who was indoors her entire life. I know my Bella wouldn't last a day out there, she's chicken. [​IMG] I hope you make the right decision.
  3. showbizombie

    showbizombie In the Brooder

    Dec 12, 2011
    Personally I'd advise against having a cat as outdoor only. Whilst cats can be crafty and survive in a lot of situations, for a healthy and happy cat there's simply too many dangers when left outside, especially since the cat will start to roam. Other cats will fight with them, transmit diseases (feline entiritis, FIV, etc), cars, dogs (my mongrel neighbours have a cat-killing dog), not to mention they will kill wildlife.
    If you can manage to enclose the cat to your backyard (not an easy task) then its safer. We have our backyard secured with a special electric fence for cats, as one of our cats is FIV positive and therefore a risk to all the other cats in the neighbourhood. But unless you can do something similar, cats will always find a way to escape.

    But given the personality of the cat you described, it'll probably be much happier indoors where it can be with people all the time.
  4. You'd be better off getting a cat who is already outdoor-wise, one who will learn to quickly set it's own boundaries, and territory. (though personally I'm not so sure why you want to "replace" a cat you lost, so quickly [​IMG])

    and one who is willing, if push comes to shove, to defend itself

    or get a kitten who you can get used to being outside over a period of months.

    a cat who has been indoors it's entire life CAN get used to being outside the instinct is in there somewhere, but most of the time by the time they finally learn, it's been so hard on them, I had one who I adopted from a friend that they could no longer keep, she was already 4 going on 5 years. she had been born and raised inside, but I could not keep her inside.

    she stayed pretty much hidden under my porch for over a month before finally coming out, she turned into one of the best hunters I had.

    I am one who believes that cats do not belong indoors full time (yeah, shoot me), there is just NO inrichment for cats who are indoors 24/7 they see the SAME things over and over.

    outdoors, cats have potentially miles of territory to roam, new things to look at every day, there are dangers yes, but at the same time, unless you're careless to throw an old or a declawed cat outside, most cats can defend themselves.
  5. lishah2000

    lishah2000 Songster

    My older cat was already declawed when I adopted her so she only goes outside supervised and in the dogs fenced area or on the porch (she doesn't move fast and can't climb). She loves being outside, but it's not safe for her.

    The younger one was dumped in the parking lot where I work. She was just a kitten and I had all intentions for her to be outside with access to the porch. Worked well for a bit until the one night she didn't greet me when I got home from work (she always stayed on the porch at night). I did eventually find her on the porch - she had been attacked by another cat. Ended up costing a fortune getting her healed because she got infected and all that stuff. She also now has feline Herpes.

    Yep, she stays indoors now. She doesn't seem to mind, the only time she wants to go out is when I let the dog out to potty. Tried a leash, but she didn't take well to that. I don't think she really wants to go out, just wants to be with the dog. In my experience if a cat really wants to be outdoors they will find a way to get out when you are not paying attention.

    If you must have a cat outdoors I would pick one that has experience being outdoors. Some cats have no real desire to be loose outdoors. A nice porch or cat run is usually appreciated, but they are still protected.
  6. FriendlyFlyer

    FriendlyFlyer Chirping

    Jul 16, 2011
    Thank you so much everyone, especially you bock. I do want to set something straight, my cats that are outside now love it, they ARE happy and HATE it inside, so you don't need to tell me outdoor cats are unhappy cats. That isn't true at all. And I'm not trying to replace my cat "so quickly" ChickenfootDuckbutt. He will NEVER be replaced. My parents offered me the chance to get another cat, I found one at the shelter and wanted to give it a home. Sorry if that's not what you got out of my post. Thanks again!

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