Cat’s entire energy focused on bolting outside

StellaMcCatney

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Our cat is a 2 year old rescue. We’ve had her for six months. Her previous owners didn’t spay her so she has had two sets of kittens already and before coming to us was in a foster home with many other cats. It’s safe to say she’s used to being outdoors, which is fine, she loves it. Indoors she acts agitated and paces. She also “crouches” a lot, and stares. Playing with her doesn’t solve this. over time the crouching has gone down in frequency (vet gave all clear), but she definitely doesn’t act “relaxed.” And that’s the problem. She acts like she’s trapped when she’s inside. Her usual routine was to be let out around 8am and come in about 6pm, willingly, but over time she has lengthened this time so that we are barely seeing her. And when we do eventually open the door she takes one look at us and bolts as if she’s breaking the rules! At times, if we do leave a window open by accident she will “escape” in the night (we hear her bell) and we’ve had to lure her back in, staying up till midnight, sometimes to do so. I am just wondering if this cat would be better suited out in the countryside somewhere. We live in an urban area and it’s not safe to be out that late. Plus, there’s the bonding issue. She’s only been with us 6 months and I barely spend time with her. I will go outside with her and she is happy as Larry, but then runs off exploring, often going into other peoples homes for a nosey acting super friendly.
She does play, although it takes a bit to get her going, and when she first arrived she would really run around, but she’s not even giving me a chance to play with her because she’s so obsessed with bolting outside.
I honestly feel like she’s an acquaintance and I do feel sad that she insists on going out so much. Is this what she’ll be like forever?
 

verna davies

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Are you able to build a catio for her where she can be outside but safe. Maybe you can harness train her and take her for long walks that will satisfy her need to be outside.
 
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StellaMcCatney

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Thank you for your responses. Strangely the best bonding experience we have happened by accident - when I go out to work she follows me for a few blocks. She will literally come when called outside and acts like a dog so I started taking her for a walk every afternoon but it only lasts ten mins then she wants to flop down. Any tips on how to put a harness on? We have one but she hates it.
 
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StellaMcCatney

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Can you play videos of birds, chipmunks ect on a screen for her to watch? I know its a cheap substitute, but my indoor/outdoor cats delighted for hours watching such videos initially. Just google "cat videos". Make sure the video has sound.
I will give It a go thank you !!!
 

verna davies

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Put it on for a couple of minutes in the house and gradually increase the time until she gets used to it. I would think that once outside on a lead she will forget she is wearing it.
 

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Hi maybe try a different style harness? Although, thinking about it my boy didn't like his at all either at first, but then he realized it meant outside time and he would wait for me to put it on him :)
This has some extra info regarding types of harnesses;

Harness And Leash Training For Cats – TheCatSite Articles
 
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StellaMcCatney

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Thanks everyone for your feedback.
I will try the harness.
The main issue is that even when she’s been “walked” she disappears all day and am always left wondering where she is. I’m used to my previous cats staying close to home so it’s disconcerting. But perhaps this is just her personality? Aloof and independent!
 
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StellaMcCatney

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Can you play videos of birds, chipmunks ect on a screen for her to watch? I know its a cheap substitute, but my indoor/outdoor cats delighted for hours watching such videos initially. Just google "cat videos". Make sure the video has sound.
I just saw the photo 😂 adorable
 
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StellaMcCatney

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Hi guys, I am still at a loss with my cat. She is spending so much time ouraide that we are now not even able to play with her let alone put a harness on to go for a walk. She is a rescue and she’s been with us for six months. She has a cat tree, many places to sleep, and so many toys. I know this can’t compete with outside but Is it possible we are just not a good fit ? She seems to really dislike being at home!
 
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StellaMcCatney

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Hi guys, I am still at a loss with my cat. She is spending so much time ouraide that we are now not even able to play with her let alone put a harness on to go for a walk. She is a rescue and she’s been with us for six months. She has a cat tree, many places to sleep, and so many toys. I know this can’t compete with outside but Is it possible we are just not a good fit ? She seems to really dislike being at home!
Just to elaborate my main issue, she won’t even sit with us at any point during the day. It’s a constant need to be outside. She will only come in to eat and then immediately wants out. She’s always been like this but it is getting worse.
she is currently in for the night and pacing frantically trying to get out. She will not play.
 

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I think what needs to happen is that you bring her in and keep her in, and be prepared to really hear about it, be ignored, be rebuffed for a couple weeks. You might consider a couple of calming products during and even after this transition period.

Once that's over, and you perhaps have something similar to maggie101 maggie101 's cat room, --it sounds as though you may already, you should have a kitty who is much more comfortable with the indoors.

Keep in mind that cats are quite adaptable once they put their mind to it. But if you let her out even once you'll be right back where you and she were.
 
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StellaMcCatney

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I think what needs to happen is that you bring her in and keep her in, and be prepared to really hear about it, be ignored, be rebuffed for a couple weeks. You might consider a couple of calming products during and even after this transition period.

Once that's over, and you perhaps have something similar to maggie101 maggie101 's cat room, --it sounds as though you may already, you should have a kitty who is much more comfortable with the indoors.

Keep in mind that cats are quite adaptable once they put their mind to it. But if you let her out even once you'll be right back where you and she were.
Thank you, my instinct was to keep her in longer. So now we shut her in until 8am, then in from 7pm. But are you suggesting full time indoors? I feel she’s be miserable…
 

Furballsmom

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full time indoors? I feel she’s be miserable…
She will be, and she'll work on trying to ensure you join her in her misery by yelling and shouting to the heavens about how horribly you're torturing her, but once she discovers that outside isn't an option and accepts it (here's where the calming products can help) she'll be just fine :)
 

IndyJones

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Where do you think?
She will be, and she'll work on trying to ensure you join her in her misery by yelling and shouting to the heavens about how horribly you're torturing her, but once she discovers that outside isn't an option and accepts it (here's where the calming products can help) she'll be just fine :)
It's like a child who throws themselves on the floor and starts having a temper tantrum. Ignore and don't give them what they want. They get over it and learn throwing a tantrum doesn't do anything.
 
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StellaMcCatney

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Hello everyone,
Thank you so much for this advice!
Not sure if you guys are in the States? We are in the UK so indoor cats are pretty unusual and only occur if the cat is unwell or has FIV etc.
However, I completely agree that indoors needs to be a more appealing place. I’ve ramped up playtime and we have decided on a compromise (for now). She goes out into the garden in the morning before getting her wet food breakfast and then comes in for the day until the afternoon before having another go outside. After dinner she is shut in again.
we have done this once before but she gradually spent more and more time outside. So I appreciate that probably we should go cold turkey, it’s just difficult to keep all windows shut at all times.
 
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