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Keeping outside cats in

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#1 Binxi

Posted 04 April 2012 - 11:31 AM

We have two cats (aged 4 and 2) who have been allowed to be inside/outside cats although they are shut inside at night. Our neighbour let us know today that they are constantly using their yard as a toilet (I thought they went mostly in our yard) and quite rightfully has had enough. So our cats are now going to have to adjust to being inside cats. Any tips on how to make this easier on them and not have them hate us completely? How long is it likely to take for them to adjust to the change?

I'm trying to think of where we could put a cat run to allow them outside time- for those that have them, how  do you have them set up? Are they a freestanding bird aviary type structure or do you have them attached to the house so they can go in and out as they please?

#2 la di dah

Posted 04 April 2012 - 11:36 AM

Are they desexed? That makes the wandering urge less. If their food is at home and their box is kept clean, it shouldn't be too long before they work it out okay. I've never built a run though, that's a good idea.

#3 Apageintime

Posted 04 April 2012 - 11:41 AM

you can also teach them to walk on a lead, which will give them some supervised outside time.

When I made this transition I went out and purchased some big plants in pots and made a little 'garden' corner in the house for them.

I also ensure I regularly purchase cat grass for them to eat.

Edited by A.page, 04 April 2012 - 02:32 PM.

#4 HRH Countrymel

Posted 04 April 2012 - 11:45 AM

My friends built a home that was right next to a national park, their 6 year old, previously free to come and go as she pleased in the city mog had to become an indoor cat.

They combined a full enclosure with their veggie garden puss could come and go as she pleased in and out of the high fenced area and the house. (also saved the veg. from wallaby/possum destruction!)

She was (after the stress of the move was over) totally happy.

#5 2puzzled

Posted 04 April 2012 - 11:47 AM

cat grass is important for their digestive systems if they are to be fully inside cats. we are fortunate to have an enclosed verandah where they can lie in the sun and eat cat grass from tubs while we are at home (not while we are out because they have escaped through flyscreens before and it was damn expensive to repair!)

they should adjust OK - try to have somewhere they can sit high near a window in the sun and try to have access to cat grass on a daily basis.

cat lead/harness adjustment can be time consuming and difficult but worth a shot. a large ferret cage/aviary would be ok for some outside time while you are at home - access to fresh dirt to dig in, in the bottom and some grass to chew on and some slings and platforms to lounge in. preferably have them inside if you are not home because a cat run could be exposed to elements they want to get away from - sun or rain etc.

cats don't need a lot of exercise. our vet says as long as you can get them to purr a lot - a good half hour of purring each day is enough to keep their diaphragm and lungs in good order and is important for their fitness, more so than exercise!

#6 la di dah

Posted 04 April 2012 - 11:49 AM

But chasing a laser pointer all the way up the wall is priceless.

#7 Feral*Spikey*

Posted 04 April 2012 - 07:28 PM

My cat is totally indoors, and we don't have an external run.

She's perfectly happy. You may be pleasantly surprised by your cats - just make sure they have clean litter (you have two cats, so need two litter boxes), and stuff to play with and on, if you're not there. Cats do a lot of sleeping, so a nice sunny spot is always popular. Mine does the lounge in the morning, and DD's bed in the afternoon.

There are modular enclosures that you can connect up to your house, Catmax type netting that covers in places, and you can also set up an aviary style enclosure - but the trick is getting them in, and out, so I'd connect up to the house if you can.

Glad you're doing the right thing by your neighbours! biggrin.gif

#8 Binxi

Posted 05 April 2012 - 01:51 PM

Neighbourhood relations smoothed again! Cats have been locked up (though one just dashed out the door when I got back from shopping and I haven't managed to grab him yet!) and I bought her a bunch of flowers to apologise. She was a bit embarrassed and said she didn't mean to cause any trouble and I'm like "No, seriously, thank you for telling us. We'd much rather fix the problem than have an ongoing issue!" (and apologised about a million times). I'm surprised they'd choose her yard as she has a yappy little Pomeranian which I was sure would keep them away but apparently they are determined!

I know they are going to be trouble for a while to keep in. We've had to keep them in for a couple of weeks after surgery before and they absolutely hated it and would try to escape at any chance possible. They'll have to adjust though- they don't have a choice!

Both cats were desexed as early as possible but it doesn't seem to have deterred them from wandering. The ginger male is possibly part stray (rescued litter) which could account for it, but the grey female is domestic through and through.

I've got two litter trays but I'm going to buy the covered ones this afternoon. The grey likes to dig for China when using the tray so scatters it everywhere! Any tips on the best cat litter to use? We use a paper pellet type at the moment (couldn't tell you the brand!) but it sticks to their feet and gets dragged all through the house. Not ideal with a 1 year old child.

Do I just get cat grass from a pet store? I'd never heard of it before.

Thanks for all the tips and advice.

#9 la di dah

Posted 05 April 2012 - 04:48 PM

I use OzPet, its wood pellets and bio-degradable (not that I have a yard that this would do me any good...) and it's really good as far as not scattering and also controlling smell.

I've never bought cat grass so I dunno.

#10 Beanbag Warrior

Posted 05 April 2012 - 04:55 PM

QUOTE (Binxi @ 05/04/2012, 01:51 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
ginger male
grey female

I'm looking at my cats, admiring their impressive control over their quantum state! Being in your house and in mine!

We use Chandler's clay litter because Brie (our girl) likes the closest thing to dirt she can get her paws into - she loathed the paper pellets.  We think they were too soft for her.  She was okay with the crystal, but she much prefers the clay (and it's cheaper, too!)

We take our two for walks on a harness, somewhat irregularly around the yard, so they don't get a lot of grass in their diet (I feel bad now!)  Mr Cream took to it straight away, Brie took about 6 walks to stop freaking out about being strapped in, now she's as eager as he is!

#11 Feral*Spikey*

Posted 05 April 2012 - 04:55 PM

Mine likes Chandlers. It that clay stuff, and it doesn't stick to paws as its a bit too chunky. She can still kick it out though - if she tries hard enough. laugh.gif

#12 Binxi

Posted 05 April 2012 - 08:39 PM

QUOTE (SexyCat @ 05/04/2012, 04:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm looking at my cats, admiring their impressive control over their quantum state! Being in your house and in mine!

We'll have to swap photos original.gif We call your cats Cruiser and Lydia though Tounge1.gif

#13 Kay1

Posted 05 April 2012 - 08:48 PM

I've got two litter trays but I'm going to buy the covered ones this afternoon. The grey likes to dig for China when using the tray so scatters it everywhere! Any tips on the best cat litter to use? We use a paper pellet type at the moment (couldn't tell you the brand!) but it sticks to their feet and gets dragged all through the house. Not ideal with a 1 year old child.

They may not go for the covered trays. I would recommend large, deep storage boxes as litter trays. The breeder we got our cat from used them and recommended them and they definitely cut down on the litter spray - as ours also loves to dig. We use the paper pellets and while a few do escape it is mostly contained. You can get those mats that you put under the trays that are supposed to trap the pellets as they get out of the tray.

#14 mrsgm

Posted 05 April 2012 - 08:56 PM

We have 2 indoor cats, we use the crystal cat litter.  The others need to be changed daily and the smell is too much for me....

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