Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Southern California
Building any kind of enclosure brings with it the risks that the cat could escape from that, or escape while being transported to and from the enclosure.
There's also so many risks for a lifelong indoors cat to have ANY contact with the outside world, even through an enclosure. What if some other wild critter stops by the enclosure and passes on some kind of disease, or tries to attack Jables through the fencing?
Jables would need to have all his vaccinations, if he doesn't already. He'd need to be on flea and heartworm prevention. He'd need a collar with ID and a microchip. (Actually, he should have a collar/ID and microchip now, at all times, since it's now possible that he could get out again. Kage should wear ID as well.)
Cats, although they have feelings and memories, aren't human. Jables isn't going to be depressed for the rest of his life because he got a "taste" of the outdoors and now wants to be Elsa the lioness from Born Free. Cats don't really "need" to be outside, nor do they need to taste the outdoors or even smell it. We provide for all of a domestic cat's needs, and the addition of "outside time" would just confuse them and complicate their routine lives.
What it sounds like is that he actually had a bit of a bad scare while he was outdoors. Maybe a loud noise spooked him, or he saw another critter that he's never seen before, and got scared. Maybe he just got freaked out by being out of his familiar environment and away from his kitty brother. Now he's super jumpy and a little scarred from the experience. But, basically, he will get over it. It is unlikely that his personality will be permanently altered by this experience. If he'd spent a week outdoors alone, then maybe, but I think he'll be all right.
My own cat got trapped in a neighbor's backyard when she was a very tiny kitten, and the neighbor's kids terrorized her. I think it actually did affect her personality permanently, but she was very, very young at the time.
Just keep Jables' routine the same - feed him the same food, at the same time, offer him affection and attention at the same rate as before - and he should settle down. You may want to consider a trip to the vet for a checkup just to make sure he was not injured or exposed to any toxins or diseases while he was out.
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