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Discussion in 'Cat Behavior' started by LuvMy2Cuties, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. LuvMy2Cuties

    LuvMy2Cuties Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Apr 14, 2018
    Hi everyone! I am the proud step-mom of two little furbabies Thumper and Tigger, who I am madly in love with (and it is mutual!). Tigger is about 7, orange male. Thumper is my little baby girl, was the runt and is still small, gray and white and 2 or 3. I apologize in advance for the "book" I am going to write, lol.

    Had it been up to me, I would have tried to make them indoor only cats, but my fiancé didn't know better and now they are used to being indoor/outdoor cats. My honey's home backs up to 12 acres of woods, and they love it out there.

    My dilemma which is keeping me up nights is we bought a home as his landlord is selling this place, and the closer we get to moving the more worried I get. We are planning not to let them outside at least for a while, but I want to know how I can best protect them.

    So far, I have gotten them used to using a litter box, although they still prefer outside. I bought harnesses and leashes. I am trying to get them used to them, starting by just laying it over them, etc. Tigger lets us put it on him (he's an affectionate rag doll) but Thumper will not, and the one time I managed to get it partway closed on her, she squirmed out and ended up stuck on the rug by the Velcro, lol. I am hoping to get long runs as well as try to walk them around the area. They are also microchipped. I want to get a GPS device in case they get out, but none have ratings that make me feel secure, and Thumper loses collars all the time.

    We are planning to bring a section of our ratty old sectional because it's familiar to them, and I was going to buy a diffuser on Amazon that is supposed to calm cats.

    I am paranoid they will escape before we are ready to let them out. I am concerned about the neighborhood, which is a rural area and we have a very low traffic street, BUT there is a pitty next door that the neighbor walks without a leash. He is cat friendly as they have cats, but my cats will panic big time should he come lumbering over to meet them and I'm scared they will either run into the street or into the woods and get lost.

    When my honey was at the new house doing work on it last week, a neighbor came by looking for her missing cat! She said there is a big mean feral cat that fights with other cats, but I am also concerned maybe someone who doesn't like all the cats does something about it.

    I feel so guilty and worried. They are so, so happy right now, and we're getting ready to turn their world upside down and I can't even warn them. Tigger especially is going to be very depressed I fear. I look at my little girl, she looks so tiny and helpless curled on the couch with her little paw over her eyes, and I feel like I am throwing her to the wolves.

    What else should I be doing? Are there any good devices to keep them from getting out? Has anyone used a GPS tracker on their cats? What should I do about my little Pumpkin losing her collars and i.d.? Anyone had success with leashes and runs?

    Please help me protect me little ones! Thanks everyone and it's nice to be here!
     
    rubysmama purraised this.

  2. javannalynn

    javannalynn TCS Member Adult Cat

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    May 18, 2006
    Tucson, Arizona
    Do you have a fence at the new place. There are options you can install so they (and others) can't jump the fence. You'd have to ask a landlord for permission but some can be removed in case you move in the future.
    You could also start in the yard with them and making them come back in with you. Cats are pretty quick to learn where home is. They know their and your smells. I kept mine in for about a week and he darted out and was over the fence and gone before I could do anything. I walked the whole neighborhood and cried. I gave up and went home. Fearing the worst! He came back about 2 hours later standing at the back door I was shocked. I wouldn't recommend this method of course!
     
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  3. LuvMy2Cuties

    LuvMy2Cuties Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Apr 14, 2018
    Thank you, it makes me feel better that your cat didn't get lost! No we don't have a fence now. I would love one but we have so much work to do on the inside that will have to be down the road a bit. Our home also backs up to a lake, so we wouldn't be able to completely enclose the property in any case. I wish I could put them in a plexiglass bubble! The neighbor whose cat is missing makes me worry a LOT. So does the big feral cat who fights and the dog next door. I feel like I'm plopping them into Jumanji. Your post does make me feel better though, other people told us they would try to find the old house if they got out too soon. Was your cat depressed about the move?
     
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  4. javannalynn

    javannalynn TCS Member Adult Cat

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    May 18, 2006
    Tucson, Arizona
    My cat was given to me by someone who couldn't take him when they moved. He spent the first 3 days hissing at me. But he also moved into a house with 3 other cats from no cats. He adapted quickly but sadly I gave him away as well. He's very happy in his new one cat home. He was just too young for my old kitties. The adopter sends me pics. He has kept him inside with no issues.
     
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  5. javannalynn

    javannalynn TCS Member Adult Cat

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    May 18, 2006
    Tucson, Arizona
    My George and Princess moved 2,200 miles with me. We drove across country together. And have moved since we got to Arizona. It does take a few days for them to get used to a new place but once they rub on all the new walls they realize it's home.
     

  6. LuvMy2Cuties

    LuvMy2Cuties Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Apr 14, 2018
    Oh, that makes me feel so much better. I know they love it here, and with good reason, it's cat heaven. I was worried that especially Tigger who is older would fall into a depression. Hissing and pooping in our shoes I can live with, but looking at giant sad eyes I can't!

    What about protecting them from going outside? I wanted to put baby gates in all the outside doorways to at least delay an escape but my fiancé thinks I'm overreacting. Did your cats go outside at your new homes? The fact a neighbors cat is missing is very concerning. This is actually my first home, at age 56, and I should be excited about moving in but my fears about being able to protect them are center stage in my mind. Where we live now is rather isolated from other people, the new place is not. I wish I could give them the Stranger Danger talk, lol.
     
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  7. rubysmama

    rubysmama Forum Helper Staff Member Forum Helper

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    Nov 25, 2013
    Canada
    Hello and welcome to TCS. :wave2: Would love to see pics of your Thumper and Tigger. :camera:
    How To Add A Picture To Your Forum Post

    Also, congrats on your first new house! :bouquet:

    From what I've read, you will have to, or should, keep your cats inside for up to 6 weeks after you move them to the new house, otherwise there is a chance they might try to find their way back to their old home. So during that transitional period, perhaps they will get used to being indoor only cats.

    The missing neighbour's cat, the feral cat, and the pitbull dog, all make me think they'd be safer inside. Of course, I am very biased, and as a protective "kitty mama" I keep my Ruby girl inside, and thankfully she doesn't have any desire to go outside.

    TCS has some articles that might help with some of your concerns.

    How To Move With Your Cat To A New Home In A Safe Way
    How To Keep Your Cat Safe Outdoors
    How To Make Your Home And Garden Safe For Your Cat

    The Five Golden Rules To Bringing An Outdoor Cat Inside

    Harness And Leash Training For Cats

    Plus a couple recent threads:
    Concerns/questions About Walking A Cat
    Leash Training
     

  8. basscat

    basscat TCS Member Top Cat

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    Dec 29, 2015
    We have 40 acres and a cat that loves outside. However, a little over a year ago he used up all of his 9 lives (as far as I'm concerned). And has since been an indoor only cat.
    It wasn't a "like it or leave it" deal.
    It WAS a "you live inside now" deal.
    Sure he want's go out. Every time a door is opened he's right there. But, he doesn't try to dart out or anything.
    It's just the way it is now. He lives inside, and seems content.
     
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  9. maggiedemi

    maggiedemi TCS Member Top Cat

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    Mar 26, 2017
    Upstate NY
    I would see if you can trap and neuter the feral cat. That's probably why he's fighting and attacking other cats...Do the doors to your new house lead directly to the outdoors? I'm lucky that we have 2 sets of doors, so if the cats get through one, they aren't to the great outdoors yet. I wish they would think to make all doors like that or come up with a solution that people could easily install a second door somehow. If I ever had to live in an apartment, I would be so scared that the cats would escape.
     
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  10. Desertmouse

    Desertmouse TCS Member Adult Cat

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    Feb 28, 2018
    I would say the very first thing to do is get them microchipped if they aren’t already and if they are to update the chip with your new address. These days if a cat is picked up the first thing animal control will do is check for a chip. That said, for me it would be more of a backup or safety net. I would try and use this chance to make see the wonders of being a indoor cat :p. How far is your new house from your current place? Would a outdoor cattery be a option?
     
    rubysmama purraised this.

  11. LuvMy2Cuties

    LuvMy2Cuties Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Apr 14, 2018
    I never heard of an outdoor cattery, sounds interesting! The new home is about a 20-30 minute drive from the old. Nothing between the door and outside. I would love to make them indoor only. I think it'd be easier with my girl, because she's already inside a lot more than Tigger. He will be very upset though, and I am afraid my fiancé will give in. It would be so much easier if we had been able to move in the winter.

    We do have them microchipped. Has anyone tried the GPS collars?

    Thanks so much for all those links!
     
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  12. Desertmouse

    Desertmouse TCS Member Adult Cat

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    Feb 28, 2018
    A outdoor cattery can be something as simple as a wooden frame wrapped in wire fencing connected to your window to something like
    . The foster couple in the video have set up kind of a cat heaven for their cats though so don’t feel back if you don’t want to go that far (by the way, they also run a live stream which is great for melting stress away and they have a no sads policy so it’s kind of a ecaspe).

    With your old house within running distance I definitely suggest keeping them in as long as you can. I haven’t tried one of the gps collars myself.
     
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  13. LuvMy2Cuties

    LuvMy2Cuties Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Apr 14, 2018
     

  14. LuvMy2Cuties

    LuvMy2Cuties Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Apr 14, 2018
    I would definitely do that lol! 30 minutes drive is running distance for a cat? Ugh. I am definitely planning to keep them in as long as possible. The first times they go out I won't be able to breathe till they come back. Is there anything I can do to help keep them from dashing out? Also, has anyone's cat ever broken through a window screen to get out?
     
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  15. maggiedemi

    maggiedemi TCS Member Top Cat

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    Mar 26, 2017
    Upstate NY
    Maggie fell out the window once. She took a flying leap onto her window seat, hit the screen, and the screen fell out with her on it. I don't think I would leave them alone with the windows open. Both cats have put holes in the screens with their claws too. You can buy pet safe screens at Home Depot.
     

  16. Desertmouse

    Desertmouse TCS Member Adult Cat

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    Feb 28, 2018
    Honestly 30 ride is a long run for a cat but I do think it’s doable.

    As far something to keep them from dashing out, my first thought is th baby gate, but you mentioned your fiancé might have trouble with that one. Of course a covered porch would work but that would take a lot of work. It might help, at least until you get all unpacked, to store your boxes in such a way as to make a bit of entry room around the door, if that makes sense? Anything that will make it harder to get to the door for the cat should help. I would also suggest a screen door so if someone knocks on the door you can answer without worrying about a cat escape.

    Would it help your fiancé any to show her some of why it can be important to keep cats indoors? Don’t get me wrong, before my current cat all my cats were indoor outdoor cats and I do get it. I choose to keep Sadie indoors because for one she had always been a indoor cat, so it was much easier to keep her that way, but more importantly I had lost 3 cats in under a year and a half before getting her. Two cats we believe were victims of wild animals (at the time I was living in a rural area in southern Utah, which means mountain loins, coyotes, and raptors to name a few) and the last one was ran over. I was very much like your fiancé in that I had a hard time listening to them cry and always felt guilty so I let them out. Now I will let Sadie come with me into the backyard if someone is with her watching to make sure she doesn’t go out of the fenced area, but she’s one of those cats that follows me everywhere and she doesn’t tend to care to be out long (she even runs to the door crying to get in after about 5 to 10 mins lol). Just in case it might help I’m going to throw this out there. Why You Should Never Let Your Cat Hunt

    One thing you can do if you feel bad for you cats being indoors is to bring some of the outdoors in with you. By that I mean picking up a couple of rocks on your way in each day (and bring the old ones back out of course lol unless you want a rock pill in your house), maybe picking up a couple of twigs or branches, maybe even giving them some cat grass in the house (they make some great cat grass kits for indoors).
     
    rubysmama purraised this.

  17. LuvMy2Cuties

    LuvMy2Cuties Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Apr 14, 2018
    I am definite;y going to look into those screens, thanks!
     
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  18. LuvMy2Cuties

    LuvMy2Cuties Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Apr 14, 2018
    I don't know if we can make them totally indoor cats, especially Tigger who is older and it's all he has ever known. I want to try to keep them in for at least several weeks though. One problem is the nest door neighbor told my fiancé he let his cats out only 3 days after they moved in and they were fine, so now my fiancé thinks I'm being overly protective. I'm worried he won't be as careful as I am about not letting them dash. I am planning to make a room for them upstairs so we can put them up there when we have workmen around. That's where we'll put the things we are bringing from home that we really don't want to keep but they find familiar and comforting.
     
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  19. LuvMy2Cuties

    LuvMy2Cuties Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Apr 14, 2018
    Thumper in tub.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

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  20. LuvMy2Cuties

    LuvMy2Cuties Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Apr 14, 2018
    I don't know why one came out as a thumbnail and one not, but the little cutie peeking out from the tub is my pretty baby girl, Thumper. The pudgy cutie exposing his belly is Tigger. He's my lap cat, whether I want him there or not, lol.
     

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