How to get my cats indoors

Last winter we adopted two cats who are siblings. They stayed in the house all winter and were good house cats. In the late spring one of them was able to open a sliding screen door and got outside, the other followed. I brought them back in a couple of times but at the first chance they went back out. They stay around the house and we feed them outside. They let us pet them and even put frontline on them, when we were on the deck or out by the pool they were always around. With the cold weather coming I want to get them back inside, they can't be coaxed in and when I physically put Albert inside all he did was stay at the door meowing to get out.
How can I get them in for the winter?

Asked by Member 1068767 on Nov 6th 2011 Tagged howcanigetmycatsinsideforthewinter in Other Behavior & Training
Report this question Get this question's RSS feed Send this question to a friend


  • Cast your vote for which answer you think is best!


Izadore (Izzie)

Unfortunately, once cats get a taste of the Great Outdoors, it's nearly impossible to turn them back into "housecats". My late Lily Rose chewed through our screens and caused about $400 in damage trying to get back out (she succeeded). If you have a very cold, nasty winter, you might want to go as far as building a shelter outside for them. There are instructions for these shelters that can be found through google. If you are determined to get them back in the house, you may have to keep them isolated in a large dog cage or in a room with food/water/litter/toys. You will have to be extra vigilant when you open doors and windows. And, when the nice weather returns, they will most likely wind up outside again. People will say to make the inside more interestiing that outside, but I know from experience that this is nearly impossible to do.

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 11/7/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Izzy is right, once they've explored outside a house is too boring and stale.
We have a wild cat that lives under my porch and I feed it outside. In the past Winters I have made a tunnel into one of the windows in my heated cellar so she could go in and out that way and I feed her in the cellar all Winter.
IF you have a cellar you could perhaps make some sort of arrangement like that. I used a furnace duct about four feet long and connected it to a hole cut into a board that I used to replace the cellar window. The tunnel was to prevent the cold air from blowing directly into the cellar. Both this cat and one previous to her readily used it and would go out during warmer days and come back into the cellar for meals. The duct was small enough to keep skunks and raccoons out, but allowed the cat to comfortably go in or out.

Member 641257 answered on 11/7/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer