Making my indoor/outdoor cat strictly indoor

Butter Butt

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My cat had been going indoors and out at night for almost a year now, but November 28 I realized she wasn't in my bedroom, I leave my window open so she could jump in and out. So I realized this and the panic began. Long story short she was outside all morning and came back at night which was the first time she'd done this. She no doubt made an outside cat friend(s) and spent all day outside. My dilemma comes from how she is currently acting she is pacing back and forth from the backdoor to the window and just sitting waiting to be let out, it hurts to see because she is visibly upset, this along with her inability to focus on playing with me before just diverting to the window or backdoor is making me feel like a monster. I want her to be happy but she will not survive outside for long dogs and coyotes are my main concern where I live. Anyways I'm happy she came back but now feel as bad as I did when she was gone now that I'm forcing her to stay inside and I'm afraid she won't make the adjustment to indoor only.
 

rubysmama

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ArtNJ

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It can take weeks for them to settle down. Longer if there are escapes. But usually they adapt pretty well and become, for all intents and purposes, a regular indoor cat, as happy as any other.

My cat Clyde is an escape master. Over a year after conversion, he will still always head to the door when you do with optimism in his heart. Its even a bit dangerous, as he ignores foot stomping and I've very nearly closed the door on him hard. But Clyde is an outlier, created by my failure to prevent escapes during a period in our lives where I had to go in and out the front door a lot. I'm just greatful he doesn't whine and is otherwise happy about being an indoor cat.
 

NY cat man

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All of our cats- we currently have 6- were born feral and were brought inside at around 3 to 6 months of age, except for Miss Eleanor, who was about 4 years old. There was an adjustment period, to be sure, but all of them have made the transition to inside only. They now range from nearly 10 years down to around 6 years old, and while they like to look out the windows, they seem to be content right where they are. It is a process, and not always a quick or easy one, but it is doable, given time and (always) patience.
 

fionasmom

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Similar to N NY cat man all of ours were born feral and brought inside under various circumstances ranging from 4 weeks to 2 years and older. They all adjusted eventually. One of them I saved from a coyote attack...if I had not been there he was going to be dinner. It seemed to me that he would have easily put 2+2 together and realize that there were no coyotes in the nice safe house, but he argued. It was like he figured I would be there a second time to save him but he did adjust completely.
 

charlie55

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You can keep your cat inside only to my opinion. It may take a little time and patience to help him through the transition, but it's one of the best things you can do for your cat and yourself!
 
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