Q: How can I make my outdoor cat an indoor cat?

June 28, 2010 | By Mary T. | 2 answers | Expired: 2039 days ago

Mary T.

How can I keep my formerly outdoor cat from going stir crazy indoors?

Chosen Answer

To make a former outdoor cat a happy indoor cat, provide plenty of opportunities for exploration, and a safe taste of the outdoor world he missed.

One of the joys of outdoor life is exploration. “What’s behind that garbage can? Who’s in that hole in the tree? How far out on that limb can I go?”

You want to duplicate — in a safe and scaled down way — the exploration opportunities in the new, indoor environment. (Well, maybe not the garbage can part.)

A climbable “cat-scape” — complete with stuff to scratch and holes to hide in — is a fine substitute for a tree. Catnip-filled mice last longer than the real ones, and provide a stuffed bird toy if you must. If this is the cat’s first time in your home, there will be plenty of intriguing places to explore. Closets and cabinets with toxic chemicals should be off limits, of course. And don’t forget that often something as simple as a paper grocery bag on the floor or a cardboard box will offer new adventures.

As for the call of the wild — a perch in a securely screened, open window will keep your cat in touch (indirectly) with the sights, sounds, and smells of the great outdoors. Even a nylon-and-screen kitty gazebo — set up on the ground or balcony — is better than being stuck in the house.

And much, much safer than being struck in traffic or chased by an unruly dog.

Thanks to the vets at BluePearl Veterinary Partners (bluepearlvet.com) for this answer.

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Readers' Answers (1)

Jul 12, 2010

My cat is the same way. She goes crazy because she wants outside. Though because she doesn't come inside when called anymore and we had a terrible scare that she was attacked a while ago, she is now an indoor cat. Just give your cat lots of love. I open my window (it has a screen) and my cat will sit on the window ledge and just look outside. That way she can have the fresh air, though she can't go outside..
she's gotten better from just love and playing with her.

hope it helps.

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