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Hi there,
I got a cat a month ago and had her use a litter box as she was not spayed yet and i didnt want her outside. I have got her spayed now and she has been going outside. Its great here lots of acreage and places to roam. The only thing is she comes in and heads for the litter box. Is there a way i can wean her off the box so she can go outside?

thanks
cynthia
 

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I'd rethink leting her go outside. It's very dangerous. There are dogs, cars, wild animals.. And just because you're in the country is no excuse. I grew up with the country and lost a lot of cats due to CARS. Even one lost its leg, and another its tail! It's not safe out there!
 

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You might want to consider keeping the litter box. It sounds like you live far away from other people, but if you don't you're neighbors won't appreciate cat stuff in their sandboxes.

Also, vets often request samples be brought in, if you have no box, where will you find the..ahh...stuff.

Also, One of the indicators of illness or disease is the regularity of using the box, again, how would you know what your cat was doing.
 

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What I know about cats is that if I didn't let them outside then they would be very unhappy, very. I have a cat door here and they are always running in and out. I think that cats are pretty smart to stay out of the road, mine don't go there they are scared of the cars I guess it just depends on the cat. But how would you like to be trapped in your house 24/7, not me I think they need a little freedom, even if you have to go out there with them they need fresh air. Iguess if you raised the kitten and the kitten has never gone outside then what does it know about it, so he/she would probably be fine indoors all the time, but if he knows there is an outside, and you try to keep him in he is going to be unhappy. just my thoughts.........
 

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If you put into balance the dangers that are outside with a life indoors - I am definately opting for the indoors.
When I first got Frosty I was seriously thinking of buying him a harness and teaching him to go outside for walks - And I would have loved to take him any time he wanted to. He offers me so much so that time wouldn't be a problem. But then I would be so tense for fear he would always try to escape outdoors. And he could if he really wanted to even though he is neutered. Once they go outdoors they will have the taste for it.

What are the dangers that I fear so?
1. Cars - they may be smart enough not to go in the road - but it is enough for them to see something that looks like prey on the other side of the road and the obvious tragic can occur
2. Dogs - a lot of people "feel safe" about letting their cats out since everybody in the neighbourhood keeps their dogs indoors or in the pins - but what if one manages to get out ? Or there are is a wondering stray dog in the area? I have seen cats escaping dogs chasing them but I have also witnessed sad cases. Dogs just like cats hunt for everything that moves - it is not that they hate cats
3. Wildlife - large birds, raccoons or other could put cats' life in danger
4. Other cats (think territory) and even people (they could steal them or just harm them)

Don't forget that outdoor cats will need etra vaccines. One very importnat thing is not to leave small kittens outdoors - they are very likely not to survive.

So what to do in order to make our indoor cats life happier? Well besides our love, socializing during playtime together we can add window seats, screened porches (where possible), kitty videos (some people go for Animal Planet programs), fish tanks, cat trees , etc

I had to elaborate one more time (I have probably done it in the past) because I have seen kittens killed outdoors, adult cats injured and had to be put to sleep - The outdoor experience brought too much sadness (not with any of my cats - but either way it hurts just as much)
 

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Please consider this article by

Ed Kostro, Indoors vs. (sic) Outdoor Cats
30 April, 2003

Having worked in animal shelters and having live-trapped feral felines, I’ve seen first hand the horrific tragedies that can befall an outdoor cat. I’ve seen brutalized cats missing eyes or limbs; I’ve seen burned cats, victims of someone’s childish prank or viciousness; and I’ve seen cats riddled with disease, fleas, and mange.

In my opinion, the outdoor dangers far outweigh the advantages of letting cats roam free.

Vehicular Traffic: It is a myth that cats are ‘street savvy.’ I’ve personally seen many dead cats needlessly run down on our streets and highways.

Other Animals: A cat is usually no match for a dog or a raccoon in a brawl. Coyotes are increasingly turning to felines as a new food source since their normal food sources are rapidly declining.

Cruel Humans: Cat hating humans do all sorts of vile things to torture felines; including setting rat poison out for them, shooting them, and setting them on fire with gasoline.

Outdoor Hazards: Chemically treated lawns present health risks to felines that spend a lot of time on them, and antifreeze, which drips from many vehicles, is often relished by parched street animals. Antifreeze is extremely poisonous to all animals.

Disease: Outdoor cats can catch rabies, feline leukemia, or feline immunodeficiency virus from other outdoor animals.

Parasites: Outdoor cats will inevitably become infested with fleas, ticks, and other nasty little parasites. These parasites can eventually kill them or at least induce unnecessary suffering and infections; and these parasites can also infest your home when your outdoor cat briefly comes indoors.

The latest feline addition to my household was a tiny feral that I live-trapped. She was riddled with fleas, and had severe eye and respiratory infections. Tuffy is now healthy, happy, and living indoors.

Hunting Small Critters: Your well-fed outdoor pet cat will still hunt even though it does not need the food; it’s just following its natural instinct. I would rather let my cats ‘hunt’ indoor toys than chipmunks, salamanders, squirrels, and lovely little song birds.

Lifespan: Statistics reveal that homeless cats, or cats kept outdoors, have an average life span of 2 to 5 years, while cats that are kept indoors can live to be well over 17 years old.

As a responsible cat owner, you must make the right choice for your furry feline friends, as I think I did for mine.

http://www.authorsden.com/visit/viewart ... 0&id=13877
________________________________

I sincerely hope you'll consider these facts. I cannot describe to you how I felt when my precious Pixie was just one step too slow for the car, and my neighbor called with an offer to bury her.

Now and then God entrusts us with a life that becomes so special that words become inadequate. I had a bond with Pixie that I cannot explain. I had only a minute to say "goodbye," because my neighbor was standing outside in the rain with his shovel. What a terrible way to learn a lesson. My heart still breaks when I think of that night. I had time only to thank God for letting me care for one of His precious creatures. I loved her so much.
 

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Okay - yes cats indoors lead much safer lives. Of course there are many things outside that could lead to kitty injury or death, HOWEVER some cats are just outside cats. Although they probably don't live as long, they are just as happy out of doors as their indoor counterparts. I am from a very rural area, and have lived on a farm for years. We have always had barn cats who loved their outdoor "wild" life, and enjoyed the free milk and numerous mice as treats along with their food. I agree that in larger cities and even just towns in general, cats are much better off being kept in houses. But sometimes, rural kitties are just as good outside.

Inside, cats never get the chance to hunt for REAL prey, lay in the grass in the sunshine, catch bugs, and all of the fun stuff kitties like to do. If a cat has never known this pleasure, then they are completely happy indoors.

I had a lynx point half himilayan cat that was a strictly indoor cat. One day my dad accidentally left the door open and he wandered outside. We caught him and brought him in, but that one taste of freedom led him to want more of it. Every day he sat by the door and meowed horribly wanting to go outside and play. Finally we started to let him out. We have a 5 acre yard, so he would play to his hearts content a safe distance from the road. When he got tired he would meow to be let in. Some cats just enjoy the freedom.

I know that some people have strong opinions on this and many other issues, but it does no good to preach at others and try to admonish them for their cat habits. I think that every cat is different, and every person has their own way of taking care of their babies. I too have seen my share of dead kitties on the road, or killed by wild animals, but I believe that if you let your cat out, you are assuming that risk. It is personal preference and there is no need to criticize.

Plus, coming from experience, when someone is having a problem with their animal and come to this forum for advice, they are coming for help, not for a debate. So why can't we just answer their questions, and keep our concerns to ourselves.

Cynthia - I don't know of any tried and true method of weaning her off the litterbox, especially if she is an indoor/outdoor cat. She probably finds comfort in the litterbox being there. If you remove her litterbox, she might find that she only wants to come in to be fed, or if she is too hot or too cold. Sorry I couldn't be of more help.
 

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Parker, I agree!

I personally would never let my cats outside...but that's me and my cats and my neighborhood...etc.

I cringe a little everytime someone mentions something that differs from the common belief of most members of the forum...because I know that they will be lectured and in the end not even have their question answered.
 

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your cat is probably trained to use the litter box and thinks she's doing the right thing. i'd try to keep the box outside for a while so she gets used to going outside. eventually start putting dirt and grass in the box instead of litter. i've never tried it, but that sounds about right to me. or, perhaps, get a bag of sand and make her an outdoor litter box?

@ parker and kitty's mom

the people here care about the well being of all cats, not just our own, and its a proven fact that outdoor cats don't live as long as indoor cats because there are lots of uncontrollable dangers out there. so many people here have had to learn the hard way, they're just trying to save others from the same heart break.
 

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I feel quite sad that some people think my attempt to help them is preaching at them or debating with them. It would be a lot easier to iignore the post or suggest that you just allow your cats to lead short, happy lives than to share the heartache I went through.

But aren't we here to learn from the experiences and knowledge of others? It would be cowardly to ignore a situation that might lead to tragedy. If I see a child in danger should I tell the mother or ignore the situation-- for fear I am accused of lecturing? Noone who urged you to keep your cats indoors was unkind to you. In fact, I believe all were polite and caring. If they had not been polite, it would be my duty as a moderator to bring it to their attention.

I am not influenced by majority thought unless it is supported by documented fact. On the contrary, I am a very independent thinker. My Pixie was killed 8 years before I joined a cat forum. I don't cringe when someone disagrees with me; I either learn from them or they learn from me.

I wish you the very best for your cats.
 

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I think it is a good idea to let your cats outside BUT I think you really have to consider the dangers and do it safely...

Even the quietest areas have dangers, poisonous plants, the odd speeding car, fights with other cats etc. It's not even a safe world for dogs to be walked anymore! I remember the day my old dog cut his leg on some broken glass and we had to rush him to the vet... he limped a bit for years after...

Not only this - what if someone were to take a fancy to your cat and start feeding him/her? It happened to my sister, and she hasn't seen her cat since.

Dylan is an indoor cat at present (still only 14 weeks) and if I ever take him outside it will be on a lead/harness or when we move it will be into a SECURE garden. I know there are many plans available on the internet to aid building enclosures, or just steps to make your garden cat friendly. Once this is complete there is then nothing to stop you letting him/her come and go as you please with a cat flap.

Cats that have been indoors all their life do not miss out on anything, and it is not cruel.

I hope you find a solution
Hayley x x
 

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Two of our cats came from a shelter. One was dropped off as a stray, the other came because his owner went to a nursing home. Both cats have had multiple opportunities to get out, but they have no desire to go outside. We believe they've been there and know life is better inside. We have raccoons, coyotes, fox, etc. in our yard (in a city), so we keep them inside.

Our youngest has always been indoors and he would like to go outside, so we are very careful. He's innocent and naive, doesn't know the dangers. We keep bird feeders and water near the patio door -- they thoroughly enjoy the entertainment.

Everyone's definition of quality life is different when it comes to cats. We need to remember they are domestic animals, not wild. It's our responsibility to care for them, protect them from danger. Last Sunday I had to remove a dead cat from the road on my way to work. I sobbed for two days. We aren't willing to risk this happening to one of our boys.
 

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I will NEVER let my cat be an outdoor cat..how we feel about staying indoors all the time is a little different than how cats feel...my cat plays..chases after flies in the house looks outside the porch window...i cant even take the 1% chance that sometihng might happen to him.even if he ever cries to go outside..it's an animal..it'll learn.i wouldnt let a child just go out on its own if it cried,so wuts so different about my cat? :)..just cuz there are stray cats outside i dont believe means cats are outdoor animals..just too many cats...not enough people wanting to take them in... but hey, just my opinion. :)
 

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Parker hit it right on! I came to this forum to get an answer I very much sooo felt criticized and a huge debate about what you SHOULD or SHOULD NOT do with your cat and if you don't do it like the people that run this place the person with the problem (question) is wrong. I know when I came in here with my question, and got a reponse I was the stupid one, I have had cats for almost 25 years, and always they have been outdoor cats, because my father hated them. If I wanted a cat it had to stay outside, now that I am on my own and still have one cat that I had when I was young which is spayed, and has been outside for most of its life, she don't want to come in now. But I do know just because we let our cats go outside don't mean that we love them any less and they don't get cared for, if I had all the money that I have given to my vet for the care of my cats then I would be a millionare, and none of the money that I have given him is because someone got hurt from some crazy accident. I KNOW there is more dangers outside than there inside, but you don't see me staying inside because of them dangers. Everyone has their opinion and I would not be expressing mine if I hadn't gotten criticized. BLAH BLAH BLAH , ok Im out, I will look elsewhere for my questions to be asked. Thanks to the people who had something good to say about my situation, and there were only a couple.
 

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well...really...ya know...your first question was about your outdoor pregnant cat that just had a litter 3 months earlier who was beating up her kittens, and you considered spaying a last resort because its only her 3rd litter. you also said you'd had plenty of cats over 25 years that had babies a couple times a year. of course people are going to tell you to get her spayed! a pregnant cat who's already taking care of kittens is quite likely to be a bit moody, not to mention you are contributing to an already huge problem. i know you've opened your home to many strays, which is good and generous, but why do you think those strays are out there in the first place? its thanks to people like you who won't spay their outdoor cats!

i'm sure you do know about "them dangers", seeing as you have a 3 legged cat you found in your car with a mangled leg. i'm sure he lost his leg somewhere safe...

excuse us for trying to help. if you think a community exists where people will encourage you to let your cats have as many babies as possible...good luck with that. link us when you find one.
 

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I have 10 cats, and all are indoor/outdoor. I leave the front door open all day(since a cat door can't be put in) and they come and go as they please. Most of the time, they choose to stay outside. I live on an acre, and there are about 1-2 acres next to me. I have to admit, that there has been one problem with my 14 year old due to going outside. She was poked in the eye with a fox-tail and we had to spend a big vet bill, but she gets anything she needs :D

My sister, who used to live at my house, had a black cat, who was VERY curious and he got hit by a car. Poor baby....

I know a person who lets her blind cat outside, and that cat is 20 years old and still healthy! She is also, thank god, is on an all wet food diet.

My vet has two cats and they are 17 years old and they are BARN CATS.

So I think it really depends on where a person lives. In a community with lots of houses, I would NEVER let my cats outside, but in the country with acerage, I would let them outside.

Abhay
 
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