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Old 03-31-2017, 01:04 AM
1,882 posts, read 3,021,902 times
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Hi everyone, I have a very dear cat named Edgar whom I got five years ago while I was living in a bus behind a larger house. It was sort of an artist's residence, and my landlord and I had noticed him about because he was so handsome, and then my landlord brought him into my bus and I fell in love.

Being that I lived on sort of an estate, and in a bus, keeping him inside wasn't an option, nor was adopting him out after we clicked. He was and is my boy.

After I moved out of the bus, I moved to a place with a large fenced in yard and low buildings around. Again, my place was very tiny, so he was still an indoor/outdoor cat. For most of my time with Ed, we have had situations where he could come and go (mostly) as he pleased, because it was safe.

Now, I have moved to the mountains and live in a large house. Since I am living with my volatile ex, i am getting my own, much smaller place. Here, I let him out for a couple hours in the morning, after walking all around the house to make sure there are no coyotes. Because there are loads around. And i have heard horror stories of people losing multiple cats. That would absolutely GUT me.

So..I have become EXTREMELY anxious about coyotes, and its tough to rob Ed of the stimulation and fun that I know he gets from being outside. He hunts lizards and climbs trees, and he has always been able to roam until we moved here.

He has taken the curtailed outside time surprisingly well. In fact, you can just about set your clock by him. He goes out for two hours, and then comes in and conks out. He doesn't seem too upset about not being let out the rest of the time.

But...I have a large house. I am about to move into a much smaller place. And he will be left alone a good deal of the time.

I am really not keen on letting him out unsupervised anymore, at all.

I have thought about training him on a leash, and taking him for walks. I have thought about getting another cat.

What are any of your experiences with this sort of transition? It kinda makes me sad when I think about how he would climb on the roof or along ledges and lay in the garden and how happy and contented he looked when I would see him lying in the grass back at our old place. I am even thinking of investing in my own fencing at my new place, more like a large cage, so he can have outside time totally protected.

I would love any and all advice/shared experience on this issue! Thanks ahead of time!
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Old 03-31-2017, 08:55 AM
Location: Wisconsin
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I think the transition depends on the cat's personality. Four months ago, we brought an abandoned cat inside, knowing almost nothing about her background. I was afraid she'd want to be outside but she has shown NO interest so far.

You can indeed get fencing that is cat proof for your backyard. I know some cat bloggers that have this. You can use the leash too. Maybe you can take him for car rides or to pet-friendly places, if he is ok with that, to keep him mentally stimulated.

Indoors, make sure to have a tall cat tree, a window perch, or other places to increase "his" space. Use interactive toys to help him release energy.

Once he's settled in, he may also enjoy a buddy, but one thing at a time of course. :-)
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Old 03-31-2017, 01:22 PM
Location: US
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Many years ago we built an outdoor pet enclosure and have gotten so much use out of it I wish we had built it sooner than we did. It started out small and we gradually added more making it more secure and more interesting for them. We have two ways for them to enter and it is directly behind my house so I can still watch over them. I still only let them out when we are home and not at night. If you live in a coyote prone area I would suggest making it coyote proof. I actually sit out there a lot with them since we have comfortable chairs and a area with simple roofing for shade. My indoor cats took to it immediately while my two semi indoor cats took a bit longer to get used to not roaming, but they did and it is much better than expecting an outdoor cat to never get outdoors again.

There is a lot of information online as to how to go about building one. Some are simple while others are very large it's whatever you can afford and whatever you can build and maintain. Our enclosure was built cheaply at first with materials we already had, I think its best to start out small and build on to it as you go along.
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Old 04-02-2017, 07:29 PM
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Thanks you guys, for the input! I just moved into a new place and there are lots of great options for building him an outdoor area...lots of grass and shade. I am definitely going to build something for him. When I do i will share here!
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Old 04-03-2017, 11:22 AM
Location: Lake Coeur D’Alene
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My cats were indoor/outdoor when we lived in (what most people consider wilderness: cougars, wolves, grizzly bears, coyotes around) but we had Great Pyrenees guarding our livestock who also kept the cats safe. After the last Pyr died of old age we started keeping them in at night but one night George managed to escape and was attacked by a raccoon and nearly killed. Long and expensive convalescence and after that they were both indoor cats. It really helped I we also moved at the same time so going to a new place where they weren't used to going outside probably helped.

honestly, with all the predators we had in northern Idaho, it was those damned raccoons that were the biggest problem.
We live in an urban neighborhood now and people are always certain it's a coyote getting their outdoor cats and this place is thick with extremely bold raccoons and everyone thinks they are harmless.
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Old 04-03-2017, 04:50 PM
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I adopted an indoor/outdoor cat. He lived across the street and the owners said we could have him (he was at our house constantly because we gave him needed attention). But, he was indoor/outdoor and when we got him he would go to the door maybe for a few weeks. I wouldn't let him out. I told him, "Buddy, you're not going out anymore, period." Maybe it sounds silly, but he knew he wasn't after he came to live w/ me. They adapt especially if they know you mean it.
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Old 04-06-2017, 03:38 AM
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I adopted an outdoor cat . . . he was so darn happy for regular meals and soft beds he didn't care in the least about going out. I do take him out on a leash now and then which he enjoys.
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