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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-15-2011, 02:00 AM Thread Starter
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helping cat to be outdoor cat

here is the gist of what is going on...

my wife and i are moving 6 hours away to a more permanent place... and we have two cats, nami.. our outdoor loving little explorer female of about 8-10 months, we actually adopted her as a stray

and chopper, our scaredy cat.


When we first got chopper, he never once tried to go out (Nami obsessively tried to go out, constantly). Eventually he started begging alongside her (as if he just begged to beg) and eventually he'd run out too and we'd have to catch him.

Funny thing is, he started begging at the door all by himself and so i decided to let him out for a bit, when i opened the door he zoomed out. not even 3 minutes later i heard a knock on the door and one of the neighbords in the apt complex was telling me the cat was meowing like crazy outside our door (we couldnt hear him).

i tested him out a couple more times when he was begging to be out, sometimes he wont even last a minute when he's begging outside, but when nami breaks out he wants to be out too and he runs off as if its normal

he seems afraid to be out alone though, but still tries and gives up in seconds.


Here is the problem... we're moving, and the place does not allow cats. So we've decided to feed them and help them be outdoor cats and hopefully move into our own House soon where they can be indoor/outdoor.

To be outdoor we'd go outside and feed them once or twice a day (they might be catching stuff too) and give them water.

this is my question, has anyone had to do this? move far away and have their cats outside and feed them?

also, how can i help my poor chopper (male 1 yr old) be more comfortable with the outdoors? Will he adapt, cope, and be happy with the change?


Thanks for all your help in advance!
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-15-2011, 02:12 AM
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I already feel sad for Chopper. He is NOT going to understand why he's no longer allowed inside with his mommy and daddy. It doesn't sound like can emotionally adapt to the outside.

And I'm confused, you say you're moving to a "more permanent place" and then that you'll "hopefully move into our own House soon" - why not wait until you can move into your own house? Why the interim move? (Just curious, something I've apparently picked up from my cats....)

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Will he adapt, cope, and be happy with the change?
Not that I can see, but I have no experience trying to make that kind of change. Maybe someone else does.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-15-2011, 02:18 AM
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I'm not sure what your best solution is...but moving and immediately putting a cat outdoors is not the greatest option. Cats are very territorial and they won't recognize the new area as their territory until after they've been acclimatized to the new area for a while. As a result, they could easily wander off in search of their (old) territory. I have heard that one of the most common causes of cats being lost arises following a move, if the cat is allowed outside (or escapes outside) and then tries to find his/her way "home".

When I was growing up, we had an indoor/outdoor cat (this was 40 years ago when times were very different). She was basically outdoors during the summer and indoors in the winter. We moved about 20 minutes away from our prior home, and she continually returned to our old home. Our former neighbor would call us daily saying she was back. After spending a number of days retrieving her, we had to keep her inside for a while until she learned to accept our new home as her territory.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-15-2011, 02:19 AM
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No. If the cat is unhappy and not completely comfortable outside for short periods of time, I do NOT see him adjusting well to 100% outdoors at all and it is my belief that it would be cruel to do so.

You just *cannot* prepare a cat who obviously doesn't *want* what you want for it, and not in the manner you are proposing. Cats need to be contained at their new place long enough until they do learn that *this* is now their home where they find food, shelter and love.

IMO, I feel your choices are to move to a place that *does* allow pets or re-home them to a home that *can* care for them as safely as the cats prefer, whether that is an indoor-only or indoor/outdoor home where the cats would be safe from most outdoor dangers.



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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-15-2011, 02:31 AM
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I have seen indoor only cats get outside and it is a sad, sad sight. One I know of stayed frozen in the same spot and would not move. It was terrified. Please do not do this to your cat. He will not understand anything about the new world you toss him out into. As for catching stuff...Please don't count on that. The cat is a DOMESTIC animal. This means they rely on us for their food, and they no more associate a mouse or a bird with food than many of us associate the cow in the pasture with a Big Mac. If you have to, find this cat a new home or find a place to live where you can have indoor pets. I'm sorry, but I'd live on the street before I'd move to a place where I couldn't also have my animal companions. They depend on us and we are responsible for them for the rest of their lives.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-15-2011, 02:58 AM
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Please don't do this to your animal, at least try to re home it first.

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-15-2011, 03:02 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marie73 View Post
I already feel sad for Chopper. He is NOT going to understand why he's no longer allowed inside with his mommy and daddy. It doesn't sound like can emotionally adapt to the outside.

And I'm confused, you say you're moving to a "more permanent place" and then that you'll "hopefully move into our own House soon" - why not wait until you can move into your own house? Why the interim move? (Just curious, something I've apparently picked up from my cats....)


Not that I can see, but I have no experience trying to make that kind of change. Maybe someone else does.
oh sorry that was a typo, i meant i have little choice to where im moving at the moment but my more permanent living situation will be figured out in the next 6 months, i love my cats to death but this is the one time i cant make my living decisions based on them, for children are now to be taken into consideration.

in about 6 months (could be 3-4) id have my own house and would be able to bring them in with me permanently

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Originally Posted by tigressbythetail View Post
I have seen indoor only cats get outside and it is a sad, sad sight. One I know of stayed frozen in the same spot and would not move. It was terrified. Please do not do this to your cat. He will not understand anything about the new world you toss him out into. As for catching stuff...Please don't count on that. The cat is a DOMESTIC animal. This means they rely on us for their food, and they no more associate a mouse or a bird with food than many of us associate the cow in the pasture with a Big Mac. If you have to, find this cat a new home or find a place to live where you can have indoor pets. I'm sorry, but I'd live on the street before I'd move to a place where I couldn't also have my animal companions. They depend on us and we are responsible for them for the rest of their lives.
i agree with the majority of this except hunting, cats do have a very strong natural instinct about hunting and will naturally seek out prey animals. However I am not saying i am relying on this as part of their eating, only that i am thinking they might not finish the bowls i set out for them because theyve had snacks

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Originally Posted by Susan View Post
I'm not sure what your best solution is...but moving and immediately putting a cat outdoors is not the greatest option. Cats are very territorial and they won't recognize the new area as their territory until after they've been acclimatized to the new area for a while. As a result, they could easily wander off in search of their (old) territory. I have heard that one of the most common causes of cats being lost arises following a move, if the cat is allowed outside (or escapes outside) and then tries to find his/her way "home".

When I was growing up, we had an indoor/outdoor cat (this was 40 years ago when times were very different). She was basically outdoors during the summer and indoors in the winter. We moved about 20 minutes away from our prior home, and she continually returned to our old home. Our former neighbor would call us daily saying she was back. After spending a number of days retrieving her, we had to keep her inside for a while until she learned to accept our new home as her territory.
thank you i found this post to be very constructive.. ill do my best to figure out what to do for them, trust me i have their best interest at heart

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidi n Q View Post
No. If the cat is unhappy and not completely comfortable outside for short periods of time, I do NOT see him adjusting well to 100% outdoors at all and it is my belief that it would be cruel to do so.

You just *cannot* prepare a cat who obviously doesn't *want* what you want for it, and not in the manner you are proposing. Cats need to be contained at their new place long enough until they do learn that *this* is now their home where they find food, shelter and love.

IMO, I feel your choices are to move to a place that *does* allow pets or re-home them to a home that *can* care for them as safely as the cats prefer, whether that is an indoor-only or indoor/outdoor home where the cats would be safe from most outdoor dangers.

This is something we have been working on too.





my thoughts:


Maybe I can work with the people im staying with and see if they'll let us keep them in the restroom for a week or so (the restroom is large). I can take them outside several times a day and feed them there and then bring them back indoors, slowly working them to stay outside more often

its the only solution i can come up with...

I am worried for my cats :/
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-15-2011, 03:13 AM
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Quote:
i meant i have little choice to where im moving at the moment but my more permanent living situation will be figured out in the next 6 months, i love my cats to death but this is the one time i cant make my living decisions based on them, for children are now to be taken into consideration.
I totally understand that. Some things really are out of our control. It sounds like you do have their best interests at heart and will figure something out.

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-15-2011, 04:30 AM Thread Starter
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thanks for your support marie, im working hard to figure out what to do (actually talking to my wife about it at the moment)

i have good news for you too, monday our nami is getting spayed
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-15-2011, 04:38 AM
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Yay! That is good news.

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