Outdoor behavior versus indoor

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-06-1999
Outdoor behavior versus indoor
9
Sun, 06-13-2010 - 8:32pm

We adopted a cat late last summer. We have two other cats who love the outdoors. The story with this one, is that she was an alley cat. Pregnant several times and generally feral. She never knew a loving family. We took her in and she was friendly and loving, but really wants the company of the other cats. She meows constantly if she can't find them. She had *ZERO* interest in the outdoors for the past 10 months. She would run the other way if you opened the door and she was in the same room.

A few weeks back she started showing an interest in the outside. She would get lonely when the others were out. Inside, she is still the friendly, attention seeker of a cat. However, when we let her out, she became very skiddish and distant. We have a hard time getting anywhere near her. She won't come to the door, and she only vaguely shows up when we call her. As in we can see her, but she won't let us near her.

We are really, really afraid she is just going to take off on us if we leave her outside all the time. So we insist she come in, at least at night. But it's getting harder and harder to coax her into letting us get close enough to grab her and bring her in. She struggles the whole time. Once in, she's very hungry and very loving and seems to really like being indoors. But then the next day she's begging (very loudly) to go back out again. Repeat/lather/rinse. Every day is the same pattern.

It's like she is returning to the feral state when she's back outside. All skiddish and afraid of everything, including us.

Help!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Sun, 06-13-2010 - 9:02pm

Welcome to the board. You are seriously risking losing her for good by letting her back outside and yes, she can go back to her "feral ways" if she stays out long enough as you are already seeing her do.

If you are concerned about losing her, I would keep her in no matter what and hopefully she hasn't gone completely back to being feral.

Good luck!

Cat =^..^=
Cat =^..^=
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Mon, 06-14-2010 - 9:30am

I agree with Cat - it may be safer to just keep her inside.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-06-1999
Mon, 06-14-2010 - 11:43am

She is spayed and chipped. The rescue we got her from insists on both. Not cheap, but we agree with their policies as best for the cats overall.

We do have a yard and we could build something. However, I personally think the fun of being a cat is going around investigating things and chasing small critters. Although, our first cat certainly does spend a lot of time hanging out on the porch just watching things. He also brings me at least two presents a day of dead mice and moles.

If I were to keep her inside all the time, I would feel compelled to also keep cat #2 inside all the time to keep her company. It seems unfair to cat #2, but I'm not sure there is a equitable way to keep everyone happy.

Do you think after enough time with a screened in porch or enclosure, that my cat would get used to it enough to not get all skittish when outside?

I'd really love a path to get from here to there.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Mon, 06-14-2010 - 3:43pm

Indoor vs outdoor is always going to create controversy.


In my mind, indoor is always better.

Avatar for cl_lcni
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Wed, 06-16-2010 - 12:11pm

I agree with Cat and Jeanne.


Photobucket

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-06-1999
Tue, 08-31-2010 - 12:23pm

I thought I'd give an update:

We have a screened in section of our porch with direct access from inside via a window. We used that for a chunk of the summer and the cat seemed much happier. She got in the habit of asking to go out and would meow at the window to come back in hours later. Everything was working great. I was even hoping this would be a stepping stone for training her to go outside like a regular cat.

Then we went on vacation for two weeks. We did not tell the cat sitter to let her out, since she was just stopping by a couple times/day. When we came back, our cat had lost all interest in going out. When offered the chance, she just walked away. If I put her out on the porch, she instantly started crying to come back in. Very odd.

That was several weeks ago and it has not changed since. She's still strictly in-doors and shows no desire to go out.

Community Leader
Registered: 03-24-2000
Tue, 08-31-2010 - 3:31pm

That's good.

Photobucket

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Tue, 08-31-2010 - 4:30pm

There is no explanation for cat logic.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-24-2004
Wed, 09-01-2010 - 6:45am
Indoor cats are so much safer.

Christina