Is my stray cat happy living outside?

A stray cat adpoted my house about 2 years ago. He is fixed so I assume he may have belonged to someone that moved away. We live in So. California so winter is not too harsh. Last winter I decided he needed to become part of our family. We have 3 mostly inside cats and 3 rescue dogs. I trapped him and brought him into a room in my home. He was having none of it. Somehow during the night he was able to escape out the screened window. I didn't see him for a few weeks but I continued to leave food out for him daily. He came back eventually and now we have an understanding - he is our outside cat. He lets us get about a foot from him but if you cross the line he will hiss and stratch you if he can. Sometimes he looks likes he wants to cuddle and other times he looks likes he wants to strach your eyes out. I worry about him constantly and wonder if he is truly happy with this arrangement. I bought an insulated dog house to sleep in but he will sleep next to it. Any thoughts?

Asked by Member 665550 on Aug 2nd 2008 Tagged straycat in Health & Wellness
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)

This cat is obviously at least part feral (wild) and seems happy living outside. You've tried to rehabilitate him and it hasn't worked. Some people specialize in rehabbing feral cats but it takes a LOT of time and dedication. It doesn't work to just trap them and put them in a room. It's a real experience and sometimes it just doesn't work, depending on the age of the cat and how long it's been on it's own. If this arrangement is working for the cat, if he seems healthy and he's not out there making more kittens, I'd just leave it status quo. Keep putting out food for him as long as you aren't attracting wildlife or other cats. When he wants loving, give it to him and then go your separate ways. He sounds like he's never going to be a lapcat and you will have to accept that.

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 8/2/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


He chose you to live with/around, I think he probably very happy! Having someone caring about him- providing food, shelter (even if he sleeps beside it he is probably feeling cared for), & some attention is a great improvement in his situation. It's great you're caring for this little life.
Maybe someday his curiosity will overcome his caution & need for independence, & he'll come inside. He's probably checking you-all out still, (esp. the dogs).
In meowmie's experience, some stray/ferel cats take a loooooong time to tame-up. One here took 2 yrs before you could pet him, now a lap cat. Another was living under the porch a few yrs. & would run away when he saw anyone. An injury & being elderly neccesitated bringing him in & stepping-up his delayed socialization. He's come a long way- now comes over to be petted & hops on laps. But he'll still swat after a few pets sometimes. His tattered ears & soul are healing, his eyes are very deep. She trys some gentle "no"s.
Has he been to Vet?

Skuya answered on 8/2/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


He is happy with his outside life!! It's all he has ever known. Imagine growing up outside with freedom and no boundaries, then imagine after years of this freedom, being brought indoors. If you will notice, or have an opportunity to, he will crouch and slink if indoors. this is because he doesn't understand the ceiling, it's frightening to him. he won't let you near him now because you, in a way, violated his trust. out of concern for him, but still a violation to him. outside life for cats is tricky, but they still can live normal lives and cats are suited to that environment. keep the arrangement you have with him and he will learn to trust you again and then there will be a little cuddle time for the both of you. you sound like a fabulous mom to all of your house!! I also prefer my cats stay indoors, but I have had outside cats and they lived to be 16, 18, and 19 years old. they were healthy and happy. cheers and kudos to you for being a good mom!!

Kitten answered on 8/2/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer