moving with an outdoor cat?

kellyklump

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I have a two year old cat who has spent all his life outdoors. we live on a 5 acre property and he never ran away or got into much trouble so we never thought to keep him indoors and almost every night he slept in our garage. however, my family is moving closer to the city and will be renting a townhouse. now i am pretty unsure about my options for my cat. would it be cruel to my cat who has had freedom for two years to be suddenly confined to a townhouse? how could i help him get used to it and still keep him happy? how can i make up for the stimulation that he is used to? will he be unhappy? would it be kinder to my cat to rehome him to another family that would be able to afford him that freedom? any advice would be appreciated. thanks!
 

Furballsmom

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sidneykitty

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I don't think it is at all cruel to bring him indoors with you! I absolutely would recommend it :) It can definitely be done but may take him a little time to adjust to the indoor life. Being inside and no longer free roaming, he will probably need lots of different toys to play with and stimulate him and provide exercise. If he doesn't use a litterbox, he may need a little reminder (and patience from you) how to do so but I think they usually figure it out pretty quick!

A common recommendation when bringing a cat into a new environment is (if possible) to give them a quiet "safe" room that has everything they need - litter, food, water, beds/blankets, toys - in order to let them adjust before letting them have the run of an entire new house. Hopefully this way, they gain confidence and comfort in a small, safe space.

My cat Amber live primarily outdoors for most of her life but transitioned to being indoor only in her later years and she absolutely loved getting lavished with attention and cuddles indoors. At first, she cried and cried and scratched at the door to go out but she eventually settled with it and was very happy!
 

Babypaws

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I had a feral cat that had 2 litters while she was outside, long story short I brought her inside almost 2 years ago..it took awhile for her adjust. I had kept her on our enclosed porch til she received all her shots (she had been trapped and was spayed). She now thinks she’s the boss in the house….lol
you just need patience and I’m sure he’ll realize just how lucky he is when he’s indoors. My cats love to sit in front of the window and watch the birds..
it would be more cruel to move and leave him on his own or to find someone else to take over his care than to introduce him to the indoor life…..much safer.
You’re his family……good luck and I hope everything turns out okay for both of you. 🙏🏻😻
 

leeann77

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I agree, I think it would be better to keep him with his family! I know you said you are renting, but maybe there’s a way to make him some kind of catio? My cat is indoor/outdoor and when I bring her inside she has a side patio that has hardware wire all around so it feels like she’s outside but she’s safe. I’d like to move next year and was going to try to find a small fenced in yard. I know they make special cat fencing that’s on a certain angle so they can’t jump out (my cat is too chunky to jump anyway). Oh, what about trying to get him used to a harness and leash? I had an indoor cat that I didn’t try a harness on until he was 10 years old and he loved walking outside! That might be an idea. I think there’s a website called Adventure Cats that recommends harnesses. Good luck, I know it’s very stressful! 😊
 

Alldara

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He might appreciate some leashed walks in his new indoor life or a Catio outside at your townhouse. Not necessary, but we've enjoyed it with ours. It can help if he gets stir crazy.
 
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