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Current time: January 27, 2022, 4:28 pm

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Help Making Indoor Cat into Outdoor cat.
#1
Help Making Indoor Cat into Outdoor cat.
A friend of the family passed away a few months ago, and we took on two of her pets. One of them is a cat who has been an indoor cat all his life.

I'm fine with an indoor cat and all, but this cat makes an unbelievable mess in the litter box. It's insane. I actually have two litter boxes in his area and I have to change them four times for every one time I change the litter box our other cat prefers to use. (I have two cats. And they seem to have claimed certain litter boxes as their own.) IDK whats up with him filling litter boxes like he does. I'm going to bring it up to the vet next time we go.

Anyway, I want to make this new cat an outdoor cat. But he is very afraid to be outside. It's like, he wants to go outside. He will walk outside, but then he gets scared and meows at the door and won't wander around. Every day that it's been nice, I've put him out on the porch with a can of tuna. He gets his fill (usually half the can) and then he goes straight to the door and meows continuously to get back in. He won't wander around or explore.

Anyone have any experience doing this sort of thing? I could really use some tips if anyone has them. I'd really like for him to hang out outside so he can do his "business" out there and not go through so much kitty litter. I've never seen a cat that didn't enjoy being outside.
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#2
RE: Help Making Indoor Cat into Outdoor cat.
(April 28, 2021 at 8:38 am)vulcanlogician Wrote: A friend of the family passed away a few months ago, and we took on two of her pets. One of them is a cat who has been an indoor cat all his life.

I'm fine with an indoor cat and all, but this cat makes an unbelievable mess in the litter box. It's insane. I actually have two litter boxes in his area and I have to change them four times for every one time I change the litter box our other cat prefers to use. (I have two cats. And they seem to have claimed certain litter boxes as their own.) IDK whats up with him filling litter boxes like he does. I'm going to bring it up to the vet next time we go.

Anyway, I want to make this new cat an outdoor cat. But he is very afraid to be outside. It's like, he wants to go outside. He will walk outside, but then he gets scared and meows at the door and won't wander around. Every day that it's been nice, I've put him out on the porch with a can of tuna. He gets his fill (usually half the can) and then he goes straight to the door and meows continuously to get back in. He won't wander around or explore.

Anyone have any experience doing this sort of thing? I could really use some tips if anyone has them. I'd really like for him to hang out outside so he can do his "business" out there and not go through so much kitty litter. I've never seen a cat that didn't enjoy being outside.

I really would advise against that. Outdoor cats are at higher risk of injury, infection or getting hit by a car. Now if you can make some sort of inclosure outside that they cant get out of, that would be one thing. Or maybe even leash train them. But roaming free I wouldn't.
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#3
RE: Help Making Indoor Cat into Outdoor cat.
(April 28, 2021 at 8:48 am)Brian37 Wrote: I really would advise against that. Outdoor cats are at higher risk of injury, infection or getting hit by a car. Now if you can make some sort of inclosure outside that they cant get out of, that would be one thing. Or maybe even leash train them. But roaming free I wouldn't.

Thanks, Brian. And I understand your concern. I do think it may be less of a risk for him to be an outdoor cat on my property though. As I said, we live on a small farm. On two sides are our neighbors' hay fields, and on the other side of the house is our horse pasture (with no horses)... and beyond that our neighbor's sheep farm. The road is a good ways away. The cat does catch mice. So I thought he might be interested in stalking chipmunks and birds in the pasture (like our other cat does).

I'm not dead set on making him an outdoor cat. A cheap litter solution may do the trick. As it is now, I am spending way too much on kitty litter (quadruple the amount I used to spend when we had two cats before). This cat produces a huge quantity of mess. I'm considering getting the cheapest kitty litter I can find (right now I use the expensive stuff) just to handle the volume this cat creates. I'm also open to advice here.
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#4
RE: Help Making Indoor Cat into Outdoor cat.
(April 28, 2021 at 9:08 am)vulcanlogician Wrote:
(April 28, 2021 at 8:48 am)Brian37 Wrote: I really would advise against that. Outdoor cats are at higher risk of injury, infection or getting hit by a car. Now if you can make some sort of inclosure outside that they cant get out of, that would be one thing. Or maybe even leash train them. But roaming free I wouldn't.

Thanks, Brian. And I understand your concern. I do think it may be less of a risk for him to be an outdoor cat on my property though. As I said, we live on a small farm. On two sides are our neighbors' hay fields, and on the other side of the house is our horse pasture (with no horses)... and beyond that our neighbor's sheep farm. The road is a good ways away. The cat does catch mice. So I thought he might be interested in stalking chipmunks and birds in the pasture (like our other cat does).

I'm not dead set on making him an outdoor cat. A cheap litter solution may do the trick. As it is now, I am spending way too much on kitty litter (quadruple the amount I used to spend when we had two cats before). This cat produces a huge quantity of mess. I'm considering getting the cheapest kitty litter I can find (right now I use the expensive stuff) just to handle the volume this cat creates. I'm also open to advice here.

One of my close friends, my late mother's physical thearapists has a family of outdoor cats. I get the appeal, and yea, I hate cleaning the litterbox. But it is still up to you. You have to weigh the cost/benefit. His cats are way off the main road, and his side roads are all slow speed. But he still has to worry about the cats fighting other animals, like other cats, or racoons, or dogs. Plus they like to hunt, and they can get bitten by animals that carry rabies. 

In all seriousness, I know you love your friend, but if the bother isn't worth it to you, you could consider giving it up for adoption. I hated giving my late mother's cat up when she was not allowed to go back to her assisted living. One of the assistents who worked there took her in. I already have a cat and he was super jeolous of other cats.
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#5
RE: Help Making Indoor Cat into Outdoor cat.
I think a conversation with the vet is in order. Is this cat eating a crazy amount of food for there to be that much, shall we say, output? Since the cat belonged to someone who appears to have been either in ill health or elderly, perhaps the cat has food insecurity and now at your house is loading up because it got used to not knowing when it's next meal was coming?

Just throwing ideas out there.

My sister has a bunch of cats and according to her it's a thing that they claim litter boxes. She has them on all three levels of the house as certain cats prefer certain areas.

She has mentioned a cat that she has to ration. Apparently he'd be the size of a small car if she let him eat any time.

I just have one cat so I don't have those issues. Just thinking out loud as a pet owner.
                              It's like herding cats around here...feral cats, at that.                                                          
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#6
RE: Help Making Indoor Cat into Outdoor cat.
Buy an indoor pitbull that loves cats -


For dinner...
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#7
RE: Help Making Indoor Cat into Outdoor cat.
Try systematic desensitization.  Expose the cat to the outdoors gradually and include a reward.
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#8
RE: Help Making Indoor Cat into Outdoor cat.
Have you tried staying with him/her outside. Maybe some company might ease him or her into being an explorer.
[Image: Fenrir-sign.jpg]
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#9
RE: Help Making Indoor Cat into Outdoor cat.
(April 28, 2021 at 11:05 am)Angrboda Wrote: Have you tried staying with him/her outside.  Maybe some company might ease him or her into being an explorer.

That would be my suggestion. Sit with him while he has his tuna, and gradually move the tuna further from the porch.

Boru
‘Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson
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#10
RE: Help Making Indoor Cat into Outdoor cat.
If you spend more time outside, the cat will too. Got ten of the little fuckers. Cant keep em in at day or out at night.
It's bad for the rest of the world when americans are paid so little they can only afford chocolate mined by child slaves and clothes made in overseas sweatshops. - Robyn Pennacchia
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