what's best for my stray? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-01-2012, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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what's best for my stray?

So I've been feeding Casper (my previous neighbors named him that because he showed up on Halloween) since the day after I moved in. I opened the door and he was on my stoop. He's been an outdoor only cat for at least 3 years. But he was also obviously an indoor-outdoor cat before that, because he's got to be the most affectionate and easygoing cat ever. He sees anyone and rolls right over for a tummy rub. He always wants to play with every cat and dog he sees, though he's pretty submissive around other cats. My current neighbor has a pit bull, and as soon as he sees her, even if he's in the midst of eating, he runs down from my deck to play. He also loves to tag along when the dog's being walked. He did the same with my previous neighbors

He loves it outside but a few times a year -when it's really cold, really hot, or raining - he stands by the back door and wants to come in. I feel so guilty and awful about not letting him in, but Celia's so easily stressed, and she's still skittish around him. He and Margaux coexist mostly peacefully on the deck, but she'd be really unhappy if he were in her space inside. My girls are both about 12, and I'm not going to upset them.

Lately, he seems to want to come inside more. He jumps up on the railing and tries to see inside, and I think he really craves more human attention than I can give him. So now I'm wondering if it wouldn't be better for him if I brought him to a no-kill to try to find him a family.

I bought a little doghouse and put it on my deck (2nd floor and covered). There's an outdoor heating pad inside, with a kitty bed on top of it, and I think it keeps him warm enough in the winter (I'm in Va; it doesn't get ridiculously cold), but still, it can't be very much fun to be stuck in his little house when it's cold or raining. He does just look miserable sometimes.

I'd love to have some input on which is the lesser of the two evils. Is it better for him to continue as an outdoor-only cat like this or should I give him a chance to be adopted? The mere thought of bringing him to a shelter makes me want to cry... But I'll do it if it's a better choice.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-02-2012, 02:37 PM
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Guy, the outside abandoned (?) cat I feed when he comes around, loves to come inside the basement, but gets terrified if the door is closed. (I wonder if that's why he was abandoned - not wanting to be an inside cat.) So the thought is, if you turn him over to a shelter, will he want to be an inside cat? How can you know? Many cats seemingly do love their freedom even when the weather is inclement.

Just last night I watch a National Geographic on cats which said that cats can, and do, adapt to almost any climate on earth, including some Polar climates, although, there, they'd obviously need shelter.

Just my thoughts.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-02-2012, 02:38 PM
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Can you try to find someone to adopt him yourself?

He could continue living outside your house until you do.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-02-2012, 02:39 PM
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You could try contacting one of the local rescue groups to ask for help. Maybe they'll have someone to foster him or can at least try to help you find him a good home.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-02-2012, 08:41 PM
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Was Casper an inside cat with your previous neighbour?

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 07:08 AM
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I'd try to adopt Casper as an indoor-outdoor cat, who knows your girls might enjoy the new addition if the process is done thoughtfully...

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 10:52 AM
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Gah, forum ate my post.

Short answer: I would keep going on as you have (with the exception of getting him to a vet if you haven't already for a wellness check and neutering).

Since you've never let him inside, you don't know if he can really be a good inside (or inside-outside) cat. If he sprays or has other behavioural problems his new owners are going to be a lot less patient and sympathetic than you are.
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