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Super Contributor
Posts: 357
Registered: ‎07-27-2010

Advice needed: Any way to know whether an outdoor cat would make a good indoor only cat?

Warning this is a long post:

 

Here are the specifics:  Hubby and I recently inherited an outdoor cat (about 7 months old male) from neighbors.  Cat's name is Charlie.  We have known Charlie since he was a kitten.  He is not a feral cat..neighbors got him from a litter.  Charlie is very sweet and gets along well with my dog (Lab-Greyhound mix).  Charlie has never lived indoors.  However, when it is cold outside we lock him in our garage with his bed with heating pad; space heater; food, water and a litter box (which he has never used).  The longest he has been in the garage is 10 hours "overnight".  Hubby built him a huge, two-story kitty condo. with enclosed area with cat entry.  We keep kitty condo. outside on  non-screened patio, which is under shade from upper deck.

 

Charlie loves climbing trees, watching birds, chasing squirrels and basking in the sun.  However, Charlie often runs in the door to our house until we grab him and place him back outside. Also,he meows at the window etiher to come in? or for us to come out? UNsure.  He is very affectionate with my hubby and me and with our dog.

 

I NEVER wanted an "outdoor" cat...because of safety issues for the cat.  Traffic (although I think he is smart enough to avoid the roads and we live in a rural area); critters (racoons, snakes, foxes).  Athough, Charlie has been raised in this environment...it's all he knows...I still don't like him being outside.

 

So HERE are the ISSUES:  (1) We already have 2 FEMALE indoor cats and not sure if they would accept Charlie and (2) Not sure Charlie would want to be an ONLY "indoor" cat.

 

Sorry this is a long post -- but thought the details would help you all formulate opinions and advice regarding whether is a good candidate to be an ONLY indoor cat.  Thank you!

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Super Contributor
Posts: 455
Registered: ‎09-05-2013

Re: Advice needed: Any way to know whether an outdoor cat would make a good indoor only cat?

My granddaughter rescued an outdoor cat about two years ago.  At the time, the vet thought the cat was about one year old and had grown up outside  I inherited her and she has adjusted nicely to living inside.  I never let her go out..  She is sweet and playful and seems quite content living as an indoor cat.  However, I cannot speak to whether she would have fit in with other animals.  I think that depends on all of their dispositions. 

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Posts: 1,842
Registered: ‎03-20-2010

Re: Advice needed: Any way to know whether an outdoor cat would make a good indoor only cat?

In my experience, a cat used to being outdoors probably hunts a lot, so will not be happy in the house, and will constantly trying to sneak back out every chance they get. I have seen this happen! 

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Posts: 357
Registered: ‎07-27-2010

Re: Advice needed: Any way to know whether an outdoor cat would make a good indoor only cat?

@Skyegirl  Thanks for your opinion.  My first cat was an outdoor cat that I rescued from the cold when I lived in Indiana.  I understand your point (below) and that was my concern as well.  Luckily, that kitty NEVER wanted to go outside again.  I think she loved the comforts and safety of being indoors.  However, she was the ONLY pet I had at the time.


wrote:

In my experience, a cat used to being outdoors probably hunts a lot, so will not be happy in the house, and will constantly trying to sneak back out every chance they get. I have seen this happen! 


 

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Posts: 27,755
Registered: ‎03-12-2010

Re: Advice needed: Any way to know whether an outdoor cat would make a good indoor only cat?

OMG!  All of the cats who've lived with me (except the two who now live with me) just showed up at my house.

 

At one time I had 4 cats (showed up at various times).  There is no way to no.  It does take patience though.

 

The two cats I have now were found living outside.  They are supposed to be brother and sister but one is orange and the other is long-haired and black and white.

 

The black and white one is afraid of everything.  The only time I can be near her is when I'm laying in the bed she lays next to me (and this has been after maybe 3 or more years).

 

Her brother (?) is amazing!  He loves everyone and they love him.

 

I had one cat (Jack) who loved being outside.  I live on a dead end street (no sidewalks and 1 acre tree lots).  Jack would get up in the morning (he had his own room) and have breakfast, then he'd play outside, come in near lunch time and eat.  He'd go back out if the weather was nice.  Then he'd be in for the night.  

 

He just loved being outside!  It was as if he was saying, "I'll come in and be a house cat, but you have to let me be outside too".

 

Jack brought me (at different times) two tiny baby bunny rabbits.  He carried them inside and put them in one of his little houses.  I saw him, took it out and the next day I took each one down to the stream outside of the area where Jack played.

 

Another time he brought me something that was tiny and strange.  I called my neighbor, she took it home and it turned out to be a just born squirrel.  She nursed it and released it.

 

There were other varmits (one was a live copperhead snake).  It was delivered (?) on the back porch.  We had little cat doors installed everywhere for him.

 

Think about this.  Most cats have all been (at some point) outdoor cats.  

 

It will take time to get them to where they won't run out the door when you open it.  I've always used a spray bottle to keep them from behaving badly.

 

Soon you only have to hold it up or put it where you don't want them to go.

 

Also cats have something they're afraid of.  With Bill (my cat) he's afraid of black trash bags and just going near the drawer where the foil holder is located.  Many cats are afraid of foil.

 

I don't claim to be an authority on cats.  I've just lived with quite a few and my dear friend has tons of cats and dogs (she works for my vet).  If there's one thing she's taught me is don't ever think you can figure out a cat.....they'll fool you every time.

 

 

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Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Advice needed: Any way to know whether an outdoor cat would make a good indoor only cat?


wrote:

 

@MsCatLuver

 

So HERE are the ISSUES:  (1) We already have 2 FEMALE indoor cats and not sure if they would accept Charlie and (2) Not sure Charlie would want to be an ONLY "indoor" cat.

 

I think the hardest part is if the 2 female cats would accept Charlie.   I think you need to be able to keep them in separate rooms.  


 

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Super Contributor
Posts: 357
Registered: ‎07-27-2010

Re: Advice needed: Any way to know whether an outdoor cat would make a good indoor only cat?

@lovescats  I think you are correct... and this will probably have to be a "trial by fire" situation.  No way of knowing until We try to introduce all cats in person (ha,ha) meaning directly with caution 

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Posts: 5,147
Registered: ‎07-07-2010

Re: Advice needed: Any way to know whether an outdoor cat would make a good indoor only cat?

@MsCatLuver, we have had several cats that just showed up at our house and we eventually brought them inside.  However, they did not want to stay indoors all of the time.  Luckily, we live in a very small neighborhood where everyone looks out for them.

 

Last winter, Bud showed up and we bought a heated house for our front stoop.  We then added another one because there were other stray cats that came to the house to be fed.  Last spring, Bud walked in the house and has never left.  The vet says that he is somewhere between 3 and 6 years old.  When he wants to go out, he starts digging at the furniture, so out he goes.  He does sleep inside, because about 15 minutes before we go to bed, we call Last Call Bud out the door.  He shows up immediately.  He only answers to Bud, even though we have tried a number of names before getting to Bud.

 

Anyway, our two rescue cats seem to like him or at least are not bothered by him.  He rubs up against both of them, as well as our dog Happy, and he especially loved our Darcy.

 

If you can get Charlie to stay indoors, fine.  If not, it sounds like he has a good setup and life just the way things are.  The cats will figure it out.  Good luck and thank you for taking him in.  It sounds like he has inherited the good home.

The next time that I hear salt and ice together, it better be in a margarita!
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Posts: 3,247
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

Re: Advice needed: Any way to know whether an outdoor cat would make a good indoor only cat?

We've recently had a cat adopt us. She was basically cared by a neighbor who recently moved. She began to hang around our house and started to come in for food, water, and a place to sleep. She is now able to come and go as we have cat doors that allow her that freedom. A very nice cat, clean, and uses a scratching board. So far she does her "thing" outside, although I have set up a kitty litter box for her. She has been "fixed" and I assume had shots. Will take her to a vet once I feel she trusts us. 

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Posts: 357
Registered: ‎07-27-2010

Re: Advice needed: Any way to know whether an outdoor cat would make a good indoor only cat?


wrote:

If you can get Charlie to stay indoors, fine.  If not, it sounds like he has a good setup and life just the way things are.  The cats will figure it out.  Good luck and thank you for taking him in.  It sounds like he has inherited the good home.


@sxmgirl  Thanks for your advice and your kind words.  Obviously, if I decide that he will be happier outside (as well the rest of the animals having him outside rather than indoors)....I will just have to get over my fears of him possibly having to deal with other outdoor critters.