Anxiety issues relating to cat.

StellaMcCatney

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Hello,
I saw a post earlier about anxiety relating to a cat introduction, and it encouraged me to share my feelings as I’m really struggling. I have posted before about my cat and her need to be outside. Long story short, as we live in the Uk she is an indoor/outdoor cat, but she is obsessed with going outside. She is a rescue, had her for eight months, still young at 2yo but already had two sets of kittens. Now neutered. My theory is that her temper at for the outside will always be there since she spent her kittenhood outside.

When she is let out, which she gets plenty of access to, she will stay out, and often out of site, and cannot be lured. She often tries to bolt outside at nighttime too. She is not a relaxed kitty who lounges. She is an adventurer and I often don’t see her for huge lengths of the day. It stresses me out so much that it’s affecting my work, and even my marriage. I wonder where she is all the time, and call for her.

I have had to change my work status and go back to the office after years happily working from home because if i dont have any windows open she will start following me everywhere and pacing in front of me to get out.

We tried limiting outside time but it got even worse. She became desperate to go out. We tried keeping her in permanently but her anxiety increased tenfold. The compromise is she gets access to the outside all day, and then stays in at night. However she STILL tries to get out at night. She has gone to great lengths to do so including jumping from our first floor bedroom window.

I now live in constant vigilance and have all windows shut all the time even in our current heatwave while we swelter (no a/c in England). When she is inside she is also constantly vigilant. She is in a crouched position and often pacing.
it makes me feel like a huge failure and my mental health is suffering.
 
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StellaMcCatney

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posted too early, basically I feel like I’ve somehow failed . No amount of playing will satiate her need for the outside. I just am at a loss. The last time my anxiety was this bad was when I lost my mother, seriously. What would you do?
 

Furballsmom

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Hi
I reread your post several times to try and get a full sense of things.

Honestly it sounds to me as though this cat, and your home, aren't a good fit at all, at least not as things stand at this point.

It's not even a little bit that you're a failure, I promise.

Can you build an outside enclosure for her so that she can be outside safely, maybe even with access back inside the house if/when she wants, and you can have your life (and open windows) back?
 
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StellaMcCatney

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Thank you, I appreciate you writing back. I know my post was very long and unclear. I didn’t mean to write “temper” In the first post but temperament. She is so unpredictable that she has no routine either, every day is different with her. It’s like her body remembers more about not being neutered than being neutered and she spends her whole life trying to get out. Unless she is sleeping, she is moving. She never sits in one place at one time. She managed to get out in the middle of the night last night, I’ve had about three hours sleep.

I am exploring the idea of an enclosure. It seems like it may work to keep her in but as our garden is an extension of our house she is likely to feel trapped.

I would sadly agree that we are not a good fit.
 

Furballsmom

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I know my post was very long and unclear.
I apologize, I didn't mean to imply that at all, I just meant I was trying to see if there was anything I could think of that would help since I don't very often say that's there's no hope :heartshape:

It seems like it may work to keep her in but as our garden is an extension of our house she is likely to feel trapped.
Maybe see if you can find something where you could test the theory, in other words big enough to give her space to move around, but not something you'd have to put a lot of money into until you know how she'll react. And, give it a little while, since she might be cranky about it at first but may become more relaxed after a little bit of time.
 

Caspers Human

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Our cat, Casper, is a rescued cat that spent a year living outdoors. He's 100% indoor, now, and doesn't even try to go out very often.

There was one time when I came downstairs and found the sliding screen door, leading to the patio open by about two feet. Casper was sitting right there, at the threshold, enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. He had no desire to go outside.

Keep your cat inside. Don't give in. Every time you let the cat out, even for a little bit, it will rekindle the flame and make her go out. Every time you give in, it's like letting the camel put its nose into your tent. She'll push you a little more, each time, until you give in.

Draw your line in the sand and stand on it. When she tries to challenge you, tell her, "Sorry, kitty! The foot is down!"
 
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