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Discussion Starter #1
Hello fellow cat people,

My name is Evan and I live in the western half of Massachusetts. I decided to make a name on this forum so I could get some help for my somewhat adopted cat. So I suppose I should first explain the situation.

My next door neighbor recently passed away and she had a cat named Alice. She was always a semi-outdoor cat, but I really don't know the extent of how much Alice was actually inside. Well, since my neighbors death my mother and I have been trying to take care of Alice. (I built a shelter lined with hay and we feed her daily.) We have built quite the relationship over the past 8 months, and I'm attached.

But here in New England the winters get pretty cold. (There's at least 1 foot of snow outside with another 1/2 inch of ice on top of everything.) I would bring her inside the house but we already have 2 cats (Boots and Mittens. They're brothers.) so bringing her inside is pretty much out of the question.

However, we do have a sun porch. I have always opened the door for her but she would just look inside and not actually come in. But during the snow storm the other night I opened it for her and she ran right in. Now I can't really get her to leave as she has made herself quite comfortable on the chair out there. But to be honest, I want her to stay.

I leave the door open a crack (so she can leave and do her business) 24/7 but this just cant be permanent as I live in a semi-wooded area and other animals are undoubtedly around. And I really don't want a skunk deciding my porch is it's new home.

So after all that rambling it leaves me with the question of WHAT DO I DO?? I have looked into cat doors to install into the porch door. They're kinda pricey but I'll do it if I have to. The manual ones I feel like I might have the same problem with a skunk deciding to stay awhile. And my mother is certain that the electronic ones with the collar will be bad because Alice will end up getting the collar caught on something and be stuck somewhere.

So if anyone has any help to offer please stop and post. I'm really in need of some help.

Alice, my mother, and I thank you all for the help.
 

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Generally collars are elasticated so that if they do get caught they can pull their heads out of the collar to free themselves. I assume that is the same with cat-flap collars.
Is Alice very old do you know? If she is unlikely to go far, you could just let her in and out every day, on a routine that suits you. Cats don't run to their litter every five minutes and are much better than dogs at being left alone in that respect - when we have been delayed and our poor boy has got needy, he pees either in the bath-hole, or the drain in the corner of the bathroom, never anywhere else.
If she is more active and likely to be attracted by goings on outside now and then, a flap would be a better idea, as you say, you never know what else is out there - and what may even go after Alice. We live in a third floor apartment, with no adjoining/shared balcony ... but just before I sleepily opened the balcony door to let my cat go out, I suddenly saw there was another cat out there! Must have got chased up the nearby (now pruned) tree and leapt for it. I am glad in that instance we hadnt got round to installing a simple cat flap - there would have been fur flying everywhere. With a controlled flap, you are both safe - unless she sits near the flap to let her mates in (like my Uncle's cat did, LOL).
I hope you find a solution that suits you both.
 

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Is there a place you could put a wooden box (or foam cooler) attached to your house that's far enough off the ground that the cat can jump to get into it, but a skunk couldn't? I don't think skunks can climb, but coons can. love.my.cat suggestion of closing the porch door is good as long as you're home, but not if you travel a fair amount and are away.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the responses everyone!! It never even crossed my mind to put a litter box in there for her. One of us is home more often than not and we are rarely gone overnight. I have heard however, that when a cat wants to get outside it will tear up everything trying to get out. I don't know how accurate that is, so if someone could please help? It is 100% feasible to think that one of us could let her in and out during the day but what about at night? Do I just close the door and leave her in? What if she gets scared and wants to leave? Or will she be fine till the morning? Since hearing that collars are elastic, I'm beginning to become more comfortable with purchasing the electric cat door for her, if you guys think she might tear up the porch trying to get out at night. Thanks in advance to all who respond.
 
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