Flag

Q: How do you turn an in/out cat to indoor only?

December 23, 2008 | By Shell | 13 answers | Expired: 2080 days ago

How do you turn an in/out cat to indoor only?

I worry about my cat when he's out. He was born outside and I took him in in July. He begs to go out so I let him out during the day. I have yet to install a door because I have indoor only cats as well. Help

Readers' Answers (13)

1 | 2 |

  • Sort by:
  • Latest |
  • Rank
Kelly
Flag

Jan 06, 2009

All my cats were rescues that started life outside. Most were adult when they were rescued & some were even feral.

I make sure they have plenty of windows to look out of all day & even keep the blinds up in the sunroom at night so they can look out into the backyard. They have lots of toys & cat trees & things to climb & scratch. When the weather was good I would open a window just enough for them to take in the outdoor smells & sounds too.

I also have a catproof 8ft fence in my backyard & take them out occasionally to soak up some rays & roll in the grass. I still only let them go out with supervision though. They're trained to a routine & know they can't go out in the backyard unless I put their collars on them. This is because I also rescue dogs & sometimes we may have rescues that aren't cat-friendly & I don't want them darting out every time the door opens. We always put the dogs up before letting them out anyway but because of the influx of dogs, they don't get to go outside very often at all.

I only have one that still tries to dart out the front door if given a chance. The others will stand at the door & watch what I'm doing & step back when I come back inside.

Mainly, you just have to know that you're doing the safest thing for your kitty & provide him with numerous & varied outlets of entertainment & energy expenditure. Make it interesting & worth his while to "prowl" inside the house. You can hide little surprises of treats & fun new toys in places that he has to discover on his little expeditions. Place a bird feeder in a tree outside a window with a comfy seat so he can watch the birds. Simulate his outdoor environment. Cats are curious by nature; they love to explore & discover things & they need stimulation. That's why the outside world is so tempting to them - something is always going on: there's always something new to see, smell, taste, touch, & hear.

Thumbs Up: 1 | Thumbs up!

Pam N.
Flag

Dec 26, 2008

Well first of all we know what is best for him in terms of safety and health. So you have to be firm and in no way let him out. Over time he will stop pleading with you. Play with him alot when at home and give him lots of toys to keep him occupied. A window shelf might be good also or try a kitty video and/or animal planet station. Give him a treat reward when he plays with a toy also.

Thumbs Up: 1 | Thumbs up!

Blackie1
Flag

Dec 25, 2008

We took in an indoor/outdoor cat. It took a lot of patience--at one point we went to the vet and got some sedatives. We never gave them to him, but it was good to know we had an option if it got too bad. Used to keep my heavy necklaces draped over the mirror on the dresser in my bedroom. He would come in every night and paw frantically at the mirror to make the necklaces loudly clank. Was nowhere near the door--he was just being annoying. Totally ignored him--didn't yell or throw things or even lock him out of the room--eventually he just stopped. Also didn't let him have little tastes of freedom--Once I brought him in he didn't go out anymore. It took months for him to totally settle down, but he did.

Thumbs Up: 0 | Thumbs up!

shannon s.
Flag

Dec 24, 2008

such great info on this discussion. i'd say also make sure there are plenty of toys for the cat to play with during this transition so he'll have something to claw at or chew on or shred or whatever he needs to do to keep the cat occupied. basically recreate the outdoors for him. get him steps to climb up on and a scratch post to claw at and whatever else he likes to do outside that you can bring inside.

Thumbs Up: 0 | Thumbs up!

Heather E.
Flag

Dec 24, 2008

Tiger was born outside and lived outside for the first 6 weeks of his life. When we adopted him, we lived in an apartment in military housing. There was no way he could safely go outside, even though he begged. I bought a harness and leash. I trained him to walk on the harness and leash inside and then we started going on walks outside. We would stay close to the house and I would let him scratch on trees, etc. He loved it. All the neighborhood kids loved it too. Tiger was like a celebrity. Tiger is 9 years old now, and doesn't want to go out very often. He is content to watch the wildlife from the windows. Occasionally, he wants to go out and he will get his harness or leash and bring it to me. Tiger is an awesome cat!

Thumbs Up: 1 | Thumbs up!

MaxxieBrown
Flag

Dec 24, 2008

I have three cats which were all strays. Pepper wants nothing to do with the outdoors. She runs in the opposite direction when the doors opens. Wild doesn't how any interest either.

Now Sage, he is my boy that tries to escape. I hold him in my arms at the storm door window so he gets the best view and the reassurance that he is inside for his own safety.

I have an enclosed front porch. I leave a window between my living room and porch opens about 6 inches year round. This is what they have learned to be their outdoors.

Stay strong and don't give in.

Thumbs Up: 0 | Thumbs up!

Jello1
Flag

Dec 24, 2008

You have to be strong and be prepared for an unhappy cat for awhile. I did the conversion, but he kept me up many a night pawing at the wall and making as much noise as he could. But he finally gave in.

Thumbs Up: 1 | Thumbs up!

Liz145
Flag

Dec 24, 2008

We had a little cat wander up outside one evening, and I have gradually converted her to indoors only, for her own safety, as our area is prone to coyotes. She still tries to run out the door sometimes, but the constant "asking" to go outside is lessening. We are also building an outdoor pen that the cats can go out in and enjoy the outdoors without getting lost, run over, or hurt.

Thumbs Up: 2 | Thumbs up!

Meg S.
Flag

Dec 24, 2008

It really depends on the cat. Your cat will let you know by either being very accepting of being kept indoors or acting out with bad behaviours when kept inside.
Only time will tell.....

Thumbs Up: 0 | Thumbs up!

Wendie
Flag

Dec 23, 2008

You make him an indoor cat by not giving in. You are required to be the strong one here. Just like when a little kid cries because he wants the 40th piece of teeth rotting super sugar candy five minutes before bedtime, you need to ignore the whining and keep your cat inside. Indoor/outdoor cats typically live 5 years where indoor only cats typically live 15. Putting up with whining and crying is worth an extra ten years of lifespan if you ask me.

My cat was also a stray who was born outside and spent his first 7 weeks outside. For a long time, we leash walked him or tied him out on a long (dog like) tie out where we could keep an eye out for him out the window. When he started slipping out of his harness all the time, we had to quit that.

We now use a spray bottle and if he's trying to bolt out the door when people are near it, he gets sprayed. If he approaches the door when people are by it, he gets sprayed. It only took about a week and he learned "Hey, I can't go by that door anymore." Every few months, we need to "remind" him of this by going through a few days of spraying him again, but it's been a few years now and he is no longer bolting out the door every chance he gets. And I'll get to enjoy many more years of life with him because of it.

Thumbs Up: 2 | Thumbs up!

1 | 2 |

You might also enjoy:

Got a question about your pet? Get the answers you need from Zootoo's community of pet experts and owners.

Advertisement

Advertisement

See more ›
Know the Answer?

There are always new questions that need answers. Contribute your knowledge about pets.