Outdoor country cat moving to the city! Help!
I'm so excited to find this forum...I've been googling non-stop to find help with my situation but thought I would ask the experts instead!
My cat, Jack, is almost 1 year old. Black and white with fluffy white hair and a funny, uneven mustache. He was an inside cat until he was 6 months old (my plan was to keep it that way), however, while re-locating to Denver I broke my leg and have been unable to walk for 6 months. I put my stuff in storage and we boarded a plane to Wyoming so I could get well with the help of my family.
We kept Jack inside for as long as possible. He is part Maine Coon and since he was a baby very intense about trying to get out. After a few months he escaped and stayed right in the yard. He was so happy! He hung out, smelled flowers, chased bugs and came in when we called. There's not a lot of other animals around here, a few cats maybe, and some antelope. Now, he's addicted. He is obsessed with being outside but as I said, stays very close to home. I knew I was opening a can of worms.....
Part of my struggle is that while I was in the hospital he was alone for almost 6 days (excpept for friends feeding him once a day) and when I returned we have been together non-stop. He cries when I leave, he massages my belly and sleeps in my arms like a baby. He's my best little friend and I don't know what I would do without him. The past 6 months have been a horrific healing process, very depressing and painful.
Ok, so the situation: we are moving to Denver finally! I have a house not right in the city, but in a neighborhood next to a large park. There's a small yard. My landlord told me his cat has been going out for years, but there are foxes in the neighborhood! He said it was ok to install a cat door so he can get in and out. So what should I do? I plan to install a cat perch that sits outside of the window for him...but I know as soon as I open the door he'll be flying outside. Should I get an electric fence and only let him out when I'm home? I don't want to keep that large collar on him while I'm gone all day. Should I install a "sonic door" to keep him away from the front door and again make him wear one of those collars? Then I could put him in a harness and take him out on a lead. Or should I make him suffer and never let him out? I would love to find a way to let him out only when I'm home. I can't really chase after him right now because of my injury so I have to make sure he stays close. Do cats just automatically know how to get home? Like I said, I don't know what I would do without Jack. He's micro-chipped and has an ID collar. He also has all his vaccinations. I desperately need a plan. I do have a little money in savings and can spend around $500 on supplies. Thanks for listening and I look forward to your replies!!!!! Thanks, Adrienne & Jack