Welcome to The Cat Site
your cat community
Interact with our community

Housecat Turned Barn Cat, Can He Still Be A Housecat?

Mishka123

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
3
Reaction score
4
Hello!
Last year, I raised a kitten from 7weeks old til about 9months last year. Everything was going great. He was the most pampered housecat on the block. Then he started going through puberty and sprayed everywhere and meowed his lungs off. I was in school at the time so my friend took him to live on her family's ranch where he roams outside freely with other cats (those cats are all spayed so he didn't knock any up). He is a little over a year old now, is it possible to get him fixed so he would no longer spray? Or is it too late? My boyfriend thinks I should leave him to his freedom outside with his male dignity. My friend says my cat still tries to run inside the home. Thoughts?
 

Furballsmom

Cat Fan especially Black Cats
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Messages
20,544
Reaction score
26,191
Location
Colorado USA
Hi! What do you want to do?

I'd suggest that you talk it over with your vet, and have your boyfriend there with you when you do:)
 

lutece

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 8, 2018
Messages
2,459
Reaction score
2,982
Most males stop spraying after they are neutered... it's definitely worth a try. Even if he remains an outdoor ranch cat, it would probably improve his quality of life to be neutered... un-neutered male cats can become very frustrated and unhappy if they don't get to mate often enough, which is one of the reasons male cats spray and howl so much.
 

BlueJay

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Joined
Sep 26, 2018
Messages
152
Reaction score
218
If it still tries to run inside, I think it sounds like it would work. It might miss being outside, so I would consider harness and leash training or a catio, so he can have the best of both worlds. Getting him fixed should help with the spraying, although sometimes once they have already formed the habit it can be harder to break it. I don't know much about that part, though. If it is in a new area where it hasn't ever sprayed, it would probably be less likely to, I would think. There's a post about bringing outdoor cats inside around here somewhere...
 

gitabooks

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Joined
Sep 26, 2015
Messages
518
Reaction score
517
Location
USA
Teenage/young adult cats (especially males) can be a real pain. They often go through this stage where they need to feel independent. Our kitty did, he wanted to be outside all the time, still does. However, neutering helps A LOT! It might not stop the spraying since he is mature, but it greatly decreases the urge to do it. It also decreases the chance of getting in fights (and possibly getting diseases from it), getting other unfixed cats pregnant (I work at a shelter and have seen too many stray kittens die despite best efforts because a stray momma cat got pregnant) and also helps them not want to roam as much.

However, it may take a while for him to settle back down. Our cat was fixed at 6 or so months old and he still wants to be out all evening. He also is a little grumpy towards other cats, but so far is doing pretty well in our new home. Our two female cats are both spayed and are happily indoors, but one of them is older and has settled down, for the first few years she loved being outside.

In the end, it is really up to you and the cat. I'm sure he could do great in your home (Definitely suggest neutering him before that though, really cuts down on the smell for one thing), but he may ask to go outside for a while and he may need extra attention with toys and places to climb to keep him busy as he is use to all the physical and mental stimuli he gets from being outdoors.

I hope this helps! Best of luck!
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6

Mishka123

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
3
Reaction score
4
Hi everyone! Thanks for the responses. Another thing, will he remember how to use the literbox or do I have to train him all over again?
I also tried leash training him when he was younger. Lol he was like no thx.
My fear is getting caught smuggling my cat back in (landlord said no pets even though the previous tenants were allowed pets. I think there might be a bias who knows) and after fixing him will have to put him back on the ranch. Then I will feel bad for taking away his evolutionary purpose :(
 

Willowy

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 1, 2009
Messages
23,995
Reaction score
14,858
Location
South Dakota
The world doesn't need any more unwanted cats. And he's probably already knocked up a few lady cats.

I'd have him neutered now and let him stay on the ranch for another month or so. THEN you can try to bring him inside. I wouldn't try bringing him back before he's neutered, especially if the landlord is cranky.
 

Furballsmom

Cat Fan especially Black Cats
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Messages
20,544
Reaction score
26,191
Location
Colorado USA
W Willowy is right.
He probably will remember the litter box, and there is a litter called Cat Attract, along with lots of other litter choices.
His evolutionary purpose doesn't mean anything since didn't you say the ranch owners were responsible cat people and got everyone fixed?
Plus, do you really want more unwanted kittens running around?
Ok there's my soapbox. Anyway, he'll probably remember a lot :)
 

rubysmama

Forum Helper
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
12,014
Reaction score
18,936
Location
Canada
Hello and welcome to TCS. I think it's great that you are considering bringing the cat back home with you.

People trap, neuter and socialize feral cats and they often become wonderful house pets. They also learn to use the litter box. So the fact that your cat was in a home for the first 9 months of his life, means he knows what it is like to be around people, and use a litter box, so he should re-adjust without too much difficulty.

Even if you leave him a barn cat, neutering him is a kind thing to do. Intact male cats have the urge to roam and mate, and can become territorial and fight with other cats. Neutering should make him a happier cat.

Here's a couple TCS articles with more info:
The Five Golden Rules To Bringing An Outdoor Cat Inside
Why You Should Spay And Neuter Your Cats

Let us know what you decide to do.
 

talkingpeanut

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Oct 12, 2015
Messages
11,705
Reaction score
3,533
Yes, it's the responsible choice for both his health and the cat population to have him neutered, even if he's outside.

Don't let your boyfriend's attachment to his manhood impact your opinion; your cat doesn't care whether he is neutered or not.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #11

Mishka123

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
3
Reaction score
4
Update:
So my friend's mother who feeds all the cats that wander the ranch is attached to my cat now. My cat was always a people's person and loves to follow and talk to people. Now I'm stuck because I feel like a messed up person if I repay the lady who cared for my cat by breaking her heart. Thoughts? :(
 

Willowy

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 1, 2009
Messages
23,995
Reaction score
14,858
Location
South Dakota
Ask her how she feels. There's always an expectation that farm cats will meet an early and usually violent end. She may be glad to see him have a good indoor life. Especially if you send pictures :D. So just have that conversation.
 

gitabooks

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Joined
Sep 26, 2015
Messages
518
Reaction score
517
Location
USA
Update:
So my friend's mother who feeds all the cats that wander the ranch is attached to my cat now. My cat was always a people's person and loves to follow and talk to people. Now I'm stuck because I feel like a messed up person if I repay the lady who cared for my cat by breaking her heart. Thoughts? :(
Talking to her is a good idea. It can be hard to figure out what is right for the kitty and for you guys. I would still get him neutered (and if he isn't, microchipped. Outdoor cats are sometimes taken in as strays) and let him heal on the farm while you guys come to a decision.
You said that your landlord doesn't allow pets? It might be best to wait and find out if there is a way to legally keep a cat before bringing one in. I've unfortunately seen too many loving pets have to be rehomed because they weren't allowed in a home that was rented.

Either way, your cat is with someone who loves him. Both of you have given him a wonderful life, don't forget that, no matter the out-come.
 

Hellenww

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Joined
Mar 5, 2018
Messages
612
Reaction score
830
Location
South Jersey, USA
Since you know the previous tenant had pets, go over your whole place with a a blacklight and thoroughly clean and spots that glow with and enzimatic cleaner.
 
Top