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Help! One of my indoor cats is desperate to be an outdoor cat!

Max is a black cat, looks like a leopard! He's 3 years old, very active, runs around the house all day, and is desperate to get out on my screened porch, which is his favorite spot. My other 2 kitties spend some time there too, but Max spends 95% of his time there, and is always trying to get outside. He's always climbing the screens at night when a possum or raccoon appear on the outside fence.

He's escaped a couple of times, and his YOW is so distinctive that I located him and was able to rescue him. I think he is miserable being inside and I want to transition him to being an outdoor cat. But I'm concerned that he has no experience being outside.

I have never done this and I need some advice. I live in a house in an urban area. This cat will NOT wear a collar; I've tried a million times. He's chipped but I'm afraid people will think he's a stray cat. I'm concerned about fleas. But Max is such a great cat that I want him to be happy and he is constantly frustrated.

Can anyone out there give me some pointers?

THANK YOU in advance.
 

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I wouldn’t let him roam free outside. It’s too dangerous for him. He will get into fights with other cats, hit by a car or others may harm him. You will worry yourself sick not knowing where and what he is doing outside. A good screened porch is all he needs. I would suggest you make some improvements to the porch so he doesn’t escape. Probably some type of reinforced screen. I wish I had a screened porch.
 

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Hi. I also think you shouldn't let him be an outdoor cat. I live in an apartment and my cat meows in front of the door, he wants to be let out constantly. I open the door for him, and then he just sits there, until there is a strange noise and he runs inside. I do understand your worries. I know nothing will happen to him in front of my apartment door.
I work as a caretaker for an elderly couple, and they live in a house in a more rural part of the city, and they got lots of cats, two inside cats, and two outside cats. They had 4 outside cats when I started to work for them. One got hit by a car, and the other one picked up cat leukemia, which is a viral disease. So your cat could be hurt by cars, other ppl, or some disease he could pick up from other cats. Keep him safe inside, my advice.
 

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Hello P. You could staple some 14 gauge 2x3 galvanized wire mesh to the screened porch to reinforce it so he can't break through. You could also try playing with him several times a day to burn off some of his excess energy, and put some shelves or cat trees on the porch so he can be higher up.
 

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It depends too on what the outside area is like. I had an indoor-outdoor where I lived with an uncongested area for him to roam and hunt where he had been an outdoor stray kitten. I've never been sorry I let him roam tho we did make a few trips to the vet...fights with who knows what, a couple of warbles, etc. But I'm not sorry I let him roam. I would do it again. It is not illegal where we live as it is for dogs to roam. But we are now in a condo area and I feel it's not good for my cats nor neighbors to let them out. Assess your neighborhood, follow your local laws and your heart.
 

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Not only cats can get hit by a car, they also hunt and kill wildlife - small birds and rodents. My mom's cat recently passed away because she hunted a rat that, apparently, has been poisoned. As for the collar issue, maybe you could try a harness? You could walk the cat then and get some exercise & much needed stimulation
 
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