How do we get kitty used to being a little more confined? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-26-2004, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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How do we get kitty used to being a little more confined?

I'm sure you're all aware by now of the ongoing saga of the stray kitty we've come to call "Buddy."

Well, last night he was gone for quite a few hours and we didn't see him again until this morning. He was sleeping on one of our lawn chairs. My husband put the kennel together for him and we thought we would give him a little introduction to the garage first. He's not neutered yet so he's not coming in the house until that's done.

Anyway, we put him in the kennel for a little bit and left him outdoors for maybe 10 minutes at the most. Then he started getting real nervous and tried to scratch his way out of the kennel. So we put him in the garage, where we have a bed and litter box for him.

He was terribly jittery in there and was looking for a way out. He proceeded to spray in his bed and do-do in it, and never did figure out the litter box. I dumped the poo-poo into the litter box from the bed and am hoping that he figures it out soon.

We kept him in the garage for maybe 20 minutes max and then let him back outside our fence line, where he felt more free to roam and was way more relaxed. Hubby sat outside the fence line with him and he still seemed to be okay with hubby. He just simply went crazy while being confined because he's not used to that.

So we let him roam around the neighborhood as he wanted again for a while and he ended up where we originally found him - in the yard to the north of us. He laid down under the shade of a piece of their patio furniture and took a little nap. We really wanted him to feel comfortable coming back in our yard again so hubby went over there to talk to him a little bit and Buddy ended up following him back to our yard, where he is now laying in one of our lawn chairs.

So right now we're all in the house (George and Herbie included) and Buddy is resting peacefully and knows where his food is out there. We plan on taking Buddy back into the garage a little bit more later this afternoon and evening because when Wednesday comes he'll need to stay in our garage all night because we take him to the vet for his feline disease check on Thursday morning.

I'm real nervous about how to transition this little guy into being a "mostly indoors" cat. I don't want to traumatize him so much that he begins to not trust us anymore. Do you think some of this may remedy itself once he is neutered?

If anyone can offer some advice or share an experience of doing this before please let me know. I just want to do this right so we don't end up losing him for good.

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-26-2004, 04:25 PM
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I've never had this experience but I'm hoping for the best.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-26-2004, 06:23 PM
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I remember you first post about a cat, but i missed what happened next, i guess you brought him in finally. I think it will take time for him to adapt to you, do dont' be nervous he's not coming in your house right away and being 'your' cat ... i'd say give him time, introduce him to a regular place in your back yard he can sleep in - like small cat bed in the crate and keep doing what you're doing with his poop - i.e. put it in the litter box. Just take it slow and hope for the best.. and NO, i'd not lock in in the garage just yet
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-26-2004, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the kind words, Rare. Actually, hubby and I did take Buddy back to the garage a second time this afternoon and things went quite a bit better than the first. He only spent 25 to 30 minutes in there and BOTH of us stayed in there with him. He's COMPLETELY attached to my husband and I think that made things better for him. He really didn't seem that nervous at all. He just walked around and sniffed everything up in the garage and even spent some time looking out one of the windows and chasing some bugs.

We'll try the garage thing and go in there WITH him 1 more time tonight and then just let him sleep in the yard and hang out overnight. But when Wednesday comes along we really have no choice but to keep him in the garage so we can guarantee he is going to be around for his first vet appointment on Thursday morning.

Get husband is actually thinking of pumping up the air mattress that we have and taking it out to the garage to spend the night with Buddy on Wednesday night. Isn't that sweet?! At least that way for Buddy's first night in there he won't be alone and yet George and Herbie can't get to him.

I feel much better about this whole thing as each little episode has been happening lately.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-26-2004, 06:54 PM
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I think the ideal solution is to build an enclosure of 2x2's and wire as generous a size as possible! I'd love to have one. It could attach to the house at a kitty door, and also have an outside door so that you can enter and put in a little house for shade and dead tree limbs to climb, and you could go in and play with the kitties. This would be great, inexpensive, and easy to build. Of course, you would need a screened roof and floor also. There are plans on the internet! You could have a litter box in there too, and it would keep the one in the house clean longer. It sounds like kitty heaven to me--no danger and lots of sunbeams.


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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-26-2004, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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Buddy's 3rd trip to the garage today didn't go quite as well as the 2nd. We had gotten company at about the same time that hubby was trying to bring Buddy back out towards the backyard and the car spooked him.

He ran off, very quickly I might add, through the neighbor's yard and managed to squeeze under a fence and get on the other half of the block. Hubby had a pretty good idea of where he ended up though and sure enough...we found him walking through some brush (mild term used for a neighbor that won't control his weed problem in his backyard! ) and hubby called his name and he came right out to him.

So he brought him back over to our place and he's been here ever since. We really feel comfortable with him walking around in and out of the yard at will now because he spent all day with us today and knows how good things are for him here.

Hubby and I and the resident cats have come inside for the evening and left Buddy out there by himself. We've been peaking at him through the windows and he's handling it excellently! He's walked around stalking some birds, sniffed the flowers and bushes in the yard and has jumped back in his lawn chair for another cat nap. Even if he does get the itch to go hunting this evening I really feel confident that we'll see him in the morning.

There is one concern that has popped up (or should I say "pooped up" ) with the whole garage situation. We put a litter box out there for him and so far he hasn't figured out how to use it. He poo-pooed in the kitty bed and peed on some curtains that we had recently taken off the window in the garage so as to let more light in.

Since we don't have any intentions on bringing him in the house to stay until after his neutering on July 6th, is this ample time to teach him that he needs to use the litter box? I know they say "consistency is the key" but since he's so used to wandering around by himself it freaks him out to be in the garage for much longer than 20 minutes or so and that hasn't left us much time to try to get the point across to him.

If anyone can offer hints on this, we'd appreciate it.
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