Lonely better than scared kitty?? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Lonely better than scared kitty??

Last year we adopted a 2-3 year old kitty. He is cute but shy, and hasn't been out, so he's an indoor kitty. At the shelter they said he was socially awkward with cats. He is also scared of all visitors. He is also scared of the leash we tried to put on to get him to go outside. He is scared of EVERYTHING. But he is soooooo cute. And he loooooves us.
We just adopted two more 'outdoor cats', mother and son pair. We have a vole/mouse problem we really need to deal with. We will keep the new cats in the detached garage during the night (currently they are indoors in the garage to adjust). My husband does not want 3 cats in the house. The garage is pretty large and nice (it used to be a barn) and I got them all heated cat beds and toys etc, but I don't spend as much time with these cats as the indoor cats. However, the outdoor cats seem ok with it. They cuddle when I'm there, but seem to go off after an hour or so. They have each other. The indoor cat requires more attention.

We go on vacation a couple of times a year for more than a week. We have a cat sitter, but I think the indoor cat might be happier with the indoor/ outdoor cats (they will be all locked in during this time for safety). After switching fur between them to smell for a couple of days, I brought the indoor cat in a carrier to the garage to meet the cats. I thought territories might not be fully established since the outdoor cats are new. But the indoor cat hissed, the outdoor cats just looked. I took him back after a couple of min. The indoor cat was clearly upset. OK, I have to take this more slowly.

I know I can continue and can probably make this work.

But do you think it's worth trying to socialize these cats, if the indoor only spends one or two weeks per year with the indoor/outdoor cats? The re-establishment of territory each time might be more stressful. On the other hand, the indoor is a love-bug, and will probably get awfully lonely without company. But he also hates, hates hates new places and is scared of everything. What to do?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-03-2013, 09:24 AM
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Personally I think I would let indoor kitty remain solitary. Especially since new situations frighten him and he's generally just scared of the world. I think your gut instinct that re-establishing territory and re-introducing the indoor and the outdoor cats each time would be too stressful for indoor kitty is spot on.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-03-2013, 09:38 AM
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I would not try to socialize the cats for the sake of a few weeks a year. Furthermore, when you do go away on vacation, I would leave the indoor cat inside. When you leave, you can leave some music on or the TV on softly, and leave some of your personal items (pajamas, T-shirt) close to where he sleeps so that he will have your scent. I agree with your comment that trying to re-socialize these cats each time before you leave would be more stressful than simply leaving the indoor cat on his own.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-03-2013, 11:04 AM
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You pulled a double whammy on poor inside kitty! You took him outside (where he clearly does not enjoy being) and put him in the company of two strange cats - familiar scent or not. I agree with Doodler, indoor kitty can remain solitary for a few days or so indoors and outdoor kitties can remain outdoors. Seems like a win win.

You say he "loooooves" you. What does he do to make you think that if he is so timid? Or is he just timid with new things? Just curious.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-03-2013, 03:08 PM
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Lonely better than scared kitty??

I'm in agreement with all the above. It stresses inside kitty too much to put it through that for a few weeks a year.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-04-2013, 12:42 PM
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Your indoor door kitty clearly doesn't have the outdoor skills to survive. She knows it.

Are you able to get a friend or cat sitter stay at your house when you are on vacation each year. That would be the ideal. She could take care of both sets of cats!

Basic facts on cats is, all cats have territory. His will be in the house the and the other two, if they have been indoor outdoor cats, will have their territory out there.

You are wise to initially keep the two newest mother and son inside the garage and learning that this is their new home. I would keep them in the garage for a minimum of 3 weeks (4 -6 would be better) so they know where their food source is, the noises and smells and people who inhabit their new home/territory.

Many cats take off, to find where they use to live so don't be surprised if they disappear and never come back. Cats are secure in a territory and hate and don't adapt well to change. That is why it isn't suggested to move even feral cats. 50% don't make the change of new territory. Many are killed trying to get back home.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-04-2013, 08:07 PM
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Maybe have 'em all in the house or the garage for 1 big rompin' cat toy jamboree? If the shy 1 replaces TERROR with FUN...
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