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Keeping a cat inside

chuck steakchuck steak Registered User regular
edited August 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
So my girlfriend has had this cat for almost 2 years, and has let it go outside for most of it (not sure why she started). The landlord now says cats can't go outside because there are too many cats around (there are a few crazy cat ladies who live in these town houses) and said they are going to get cat traps put out. Besides all this, the cat got pretty hurt earlier this summer and I know it's a good idea to keep your cat inside if you want it to live as long as possible.

Anyways, we've been keeping her in the past few days and she is driving us nuts. She whines for about an hour or two at a time, running back and forth between the doors and whining at windows, then finally lays down and sleeps for a while. Is there anything we can do to speed up the process of her getting used to being inside all the time? We live in Saskatchewan so winter is coming and then this won't be a problem for a while, but what can we do to stop her from whining again once spring comes? Any specific toys or anything that can keep her busy? We just have a little cat platform thing that she doesn't really notice and some mice toys that she plays with occasionally.

chuck steak on

Posts

  • Richard_DastardlyRichard_Dastardly Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Are you keeping her entertained? Playing with her and junk? Perhaps you could also get a collar and leash for walks outside, but it can take a while for a cat to get used to being leashed.

    Other than that, you're pretty much stuck with a cat that wants to go the fuck outside. Unless you get a bigger apartment, you're pretty much gonna have to live with it.

    I think it's pretty irresponsible to let a cat wander outside anyway. If not for its own sake, for the sake of local wildlife.

    Richard_Dastardly on
  • witch_iewitch_ie Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Get her some kitty grass and play with her more. I don't know that she'll ever get used to the idea of not being able to go outside though.

    witch_ie on
  • ManonvonSuperockManonvonSuperock Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Spray bottle with a "stream" feature. Every time it whines, you spray it with water. The cat associates being sprayed with its whining eventually and stops. If the water doesn't do it, mix a little lemon juice with it as cat's have a natural dislike of citrus. Just be careful not to hit its eyes with it then.

    ManonvonSuperock on
  • AurinAurin Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Compressed air also works as a training aid, they don't like the noise. Has she been spayed? Otherwise, buy cat toys and a laser pointer to keep her busy. >.>

    Aurin on
  • TheMarshalTheMarshal Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    If she hasn't been spayed yet, do that. That should calm her down quite a bit.

    The next thing would be to make sure that you're playing with her enough. I know my cats get bored if I come home and head straight for the computer. Only one of them will complain about it, though.

    TheMarshal on
  • KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Poor cat. I don't think I would get a cat unless I could let it kick about with its own style. Sure it makes finding a house harder but then Jeebus didn't mean for cats and flats to be easy

    Kalkino on
    Freedom for the Northern Isles!
  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Get her a scratching post and a ton of toys. Mine loves the one's with the toy dangling on the stick. I can wave it in front of her or stick it in the couch so she can play alone. I got her a few toys she can toss around and I'm thinking abuot getting the toy that is a paperbag with something in it the makes the bag roll and move around a lot. If she doesn't respoond to one style of tor, get her another. Try with cat nip and without. There are lots of options out there. Mine loves paper bags and cardboard boxes as well.

    VisionOfClarity on
  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Spray bottle with a "stream" feature. Every time it whines, you spray it with water. The cat associates being sprayed with its whining eventually and stops. If the water doesn't do it, mix a little lemon juice with it as cat's have a natural dislike of citrus. Just be careful not to hit its eyes with it then.

    If you're cat is jsut bored and whining this is a terrible idea. You don't punish you're animals for being bored and it will only make her more annoyed with you.

    VisionOfClarity on
  • ThylacineThylacine Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Man this sucks :(. I've only had indoor cats my whole life until a few months ago. I have 2 cats right now...one is 100% indoors, but the other one is almost unlivable with unless you let her outside. I kept her as an indoor cat for a year and a half(she was a stray at 6months of age when I got her) and she would use the little box but would also pee on everything for the hell of it. Especially my bed. I had to make my bedroom off limits but every once in awhile she would sneak if I didn't latch the door tight enough because she would shove it open just so she could run in there and pee on my stuff.

    During this whole time she was always trying to escape outside. She would hide and as soon as the door was opened she would dash out it and we'd have to chase her down. Eventually we just had to get to the point here we'd catch her before we'd ever open any door. She would also sit at the door and cry and meow whenever we walked by. If we didn't pay attention to her she would just sit and STARE at the door.

    After I couldn't stand the thought of a having to live for 15+ years with a cat who peed on my bed(even with a 100% clean litter box) I was going to make her an outside cat like she wanted to be so much. So I let her out...but she comes back in all the time too...so I guess she's both. It has taken care of her behavior problems.

    When we moved we kept her indoors for awhile and she started acting out again. I think the best thing would just be to try and distract her and hope she gets over it. How many cats are really running around outside? Can you find out how long they are going to leave the traps out there and just keep the cat in for that duration of time? Also, if they don't trap and release the stray cats that they catch in all likely hood more will just move on into their now unclaimed territory.

    Thylacine on
  • TrowizillaTrowizilla Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    It's good that you're switching your cat to inside-only. Outside cats are at risk for diseases and wreak havok on the local wildlife.

    I asked a friend of mine who rehabilitates feral cats, and she said that generally cats get used to not being able to go out within a month. In the meantime, make sure you're spending lots of time playing with the cat, giving her new experiences (a paper bag can be lots of fun) and basically keeping her stimulated. Another possibility is to get another cat so your cat has company; if the neighborhood was full of cats before, she may be lonely now.

    Trowizilla on
  • TheLawinatorTheLawinator Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Also letting my cat sit on the windowsill with only the screen keeps him satisfied, so he can watch the wildlife.

    TheLawinator on
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  • ihmmyihmmy Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    could take her out for kitty walks... they have kitty harnesses...

    id almost vote for an electronic collar and fence, so she can go out in your yard but wont be out in the alleys where therea re cat traps

    where in SK are you that theyre cat-trapping places anyway?

    ihmmy on
  • chuck steakchuck steak Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    She is spayed and has her shots and everything. As for giving her attention, she gets a lot I would say, but if she is sitting at the door and whining she will just get more whiny if somebody pets her or grabs her.

    We tried a harness once, and that didn't go too well. She flipped out, ripped the leash right out of my gf's hand and ran up a tree. She came back an hour or so later without harness.

    She seams to be a bit better today. We'll get her some more toys and some of that grass and hopefully that will do the trick.

    I live in Moose Jaw, btw.

    chuck steak on
  • ThylacineThylacine Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    The harness takes a while for them to get used to. They will roll around, walk funny with their belly dragging the ground etc. I don't know how you introduced the cat to the harness....but mine I just put it on her for a couple of days inside and she eventually got used to it and ignored it. It was actually pretty funny to watch.

    After they stop flipping out about having the harness on them, then it is easier to put the leash on and take them outside.

    Thylacine on
  • EdgieEdgie TampaRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    That 'one month to get used to being indoors' thing is absolute nonsense. Once a cat knows the freedom and joy of happy outside land, I'm pretty sure that's all they will ever want.

    If your cat is spayed and still has claws, let him/her outside. Yes, yes, it's more dangerous for said cat to go outside. They're at more risk.

    But they're happy.

    Edgie on
  • ReznikReznik Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    We let my cat out sometimes, but we don't leave her out. We sit on the front steps with her and she rolls around and stuff, and she's usually only out for maybe 15 minutes at the most.

    This might be an option for you if you don't mind sitting out with the cat for a little while to make sure it's not getting in to trouble and running off. Also if this doesn't violate the landlord's policy

    Reznik on
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  • TL DRTL DR Not at all confident in his reflexive opinions of thingsRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Edgie wrote: »
    That 'one month to get used to being indoors' thing is absolute nonsense. Once a cat knows the freedom and joy of happy outside land, I'm pretty sure that's all they will ever want.

    If your cat is spayed and still has claws, let him/her outside. Yes, yes, it's more dangerous for said cat to go outside. They're at more risk.

    But they're happy.

    You should re-read the OP.

    Show the cat some sympathy, but it will need to just come around to the idea that it is an indoor cat now. Be strong. Remember who is alpha (unless it's the cat, then pretend you are alpha).

    TL DR on
  • radroadkillradroadkill MDRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    She is spayed and has her shots and everything. As for giving her attention, she gets a lot I would say, but if she is sitting at the door and whining she will just get more whiny if somebody pets her or grabs her.

    We tried a harness once, and that didn't go too well. She flipped out, ripped the leash right out of my gf's hand and ran up a tree. She came back an hour or so later without harness.

    She seams to be a bit better today. We'll get her some more toys and some of that grass and hopefully that will do the trick.

    I live in Moose Jaw, btw.

    If you want to give the harness thing another go, the best way to do it is to put that harness on the cat and then distract her intensely. I had to do this with my cat and his collar and tried with the harness but it was going to take more than a few days. (My kitty isn't here right now; I'm waiting for him to come form Florida. )

    Put it on her inside, then play with her. Give her treats. Give her attention. Don't leave her alone for a few hours. She'll get pissed, but don't worry; she'll get over it eventually. Let her wear the harness inside for a while before taking her out of adding the leash.

    It might be best to put it on her for maybe an hour the first day while distracting her, and then build up to more time wearing it inside until she's more used to it and doesn't fuss as much. Then try letting her wear it inside on her own and just check on her on and off and make sure she's not stuck or attacking it.

    Then, if she gets used to it, try a short walk.

    radroadkill on
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