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INDOOR/OUTDOOR CATS MIXED WITH INDOOR ONLY IN A MULTIPLE CAT HOUSEHOLD

This is a place to gain some understanding of cat behavior and to assist people in training their cats and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other cat owners and lovers...not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
Samhain

1172733
 
 
Purred: Mon Oct 8, '12 10:35am PST 
Am divided on an issue: we have three indoor cats, all originally ferals, though one has been inside since she was a week old and the other since 5 weeks, while the youngest didn’t get taken in till she was around 3 months. They have a 100 ft cattery for controlled outdoor time, and all get leash time - the older two are fine walkers! We also care for a feral colony which eats (and, in some cases, sleeps on our porch), and who have all been spayed or neutered and re-released (except one and her kittens – working on it…).
One of the ferals - Socks, is a neutered male, rescued from an abandoned building as a kitten and, for lack of a better arrangement at the time, transported to live in the feral shelter we built for the local colony. He has become a very affectionate and personable cat; possibly the most even-tempered cat I’ve ever been acquainted with, including our indoor “fur-children”! Now that winter is just around the corner, there is some thought of letting him come inside. It was out of the question last winter (though we did make an initial attempt); we had to put the welfare of the others ahead of him, plus our own needs in not increasing the stress level in a small house.
These last two thoughts are still of great importance, but the question is this: has anyone ever successfully maintained a household of multiple cats in which some cats were allowed indoor/outdoor status, while others had indoor only? We do not want to force indoor-only status on a feral who has been living outside for over a year now. In truth, he has had a very good life up to this point: 2 meals a day, some limited medical treatment (I have more than a few times given wormer and antibiotics, mixed in their food, as prescribed by a local vet who works with the mobile spay clinic), daily love and attention, and outdoor interaction with his fellow ferals, plus our indoor girls when we walk them on their leashes. If he came inside, he would have all the privileges and extra attention and treatment that they receive, but we would feel obliged to let him come and go. We welcome all thoughts, though we want to point out that we are pretty well maxed-out as far as funds go with these cats. We can’t afford much more than what we’re presently doing.
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Tao

Flopsalot- Extrordinaire
 
 
Purred: Mon Oct 8, '12 5:38pm PST 
I will be watching to see what others say on this.

We have one cat who is a phenomenal mouser. He has been indoor/outdoor for most of the summer and it's worked very well for us and him. We live out in the country and have loads of coyotes so leaving him outside during the night is out of the question. He really has come to enjoy his outside time though so we plan to continue letting him come and go throughout the day as he pleases.

We just picked up Acorn from the shelter little more than a week ago. As much as he seems to want to go outside we really hesitate allowing him to as 1.) he's still very new and 2.) he's declawed. I would worry that he wouldn't know or care to stick around home yet and that he wouldn't have the ability to defend himself from even the bitty critters he might encounter around here.

So as it stands, one boy is allowed to go out and one boy is not. So far that's working fine for them and us, although I am interested to see if anyone see's any cause for concern with that arrangement thinking
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Samhain

1172733
 
 
Purred: Tue Oct 9, '12 5:50am PST 
Thanks for the input, Tao! The coyotes are a concern here, too. We're pretty sure the last cat we had before we took in these three [and adopted a whole freakin' outdoor colony!!! - even longer story smile], was killed by coyotes. This was a good part of the reason why we decided from the beginning not to allow free outdoor access, and our first two kitties had been brought in so early as well, we figured they wouldn't be wise to the ways of survival. The third one was sickly in the beginning and didn't WANT to go out. The declawing would definitely be a handicap for your Acorn, and we're in agreement that a week may not be long enough to make him feel your home is his home. We'd be doing the same as you, I'm sure. Later, you might try introducing him to leash-walking. They make small harnesses that allow a little more security. We probably wouldn't have even considered the leashes if we were in the city, but the country allows for walking in the grass away from cars and other people. We've got lots of pics of us out walking in case that sounds like something you'd like to try. It took a little getting used to, but now we're pretty good.wink
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Jane, Lydia- & Mary- Bennett

1203372
 
 
Purred: Tue Oct 9, '12 8:48am PST 
If it is working, I would say continue to let this one cat outdoors during the day and bring him in at night. I did have a neutered tomcat who went outdoors during the day, and when I came home from work I would call him and he came inside. I lost him to a heart condition in April. I took in a mama cat and her four kittens about two years ago. Mama Cat had been born and lived for at least 13 years outdoors. But she LOVES being an indoor cat, every day when I give them breakfast and dinner, and I put some canned food in a bowl for her, she looks at the food and them me, seems to say "I can't believe I have food all the time"...and she has NEVER gone near either the front or back door. Found a home for one kitten, the rest stayed with me and also adjusted to indoor living without a problem.

Bless you for taking in these cats as well as caring for the feral colony. So far no coyotes in my area (we live in a small town west of New Orleans) But neighbors said they have seen bobcats coming out of the woods nearby. I feel sorry for all of these animals, they are being crowded out of their natural habitat.

The New Orleans Kittieswave
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♥Sam

482321
 
 
Purred: Tue Oct 9, '12 12:16pm PST 
There are cat doors that will work off the micro chip. Only allowing that cat to pass through the door. We are getting one as our fur gang are indoor outdoor kitty's. At present we have one that works off a magnet but it is a pain when they lose it. But then we don't have the problem of wild animals like you guys nor do we have the problem of many of the diseases either.
We are actually waiting for the newer (chip operated) ones to come out. They should be bigger, because the ones on the market at the moment are a little small for D to get through. He has a fat tooshlaugh out loud
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Samhain

1172733
 
 
Purred: Tue Oct 9, '12 12:58pm PST 
We'll have to keep the microchip in mind if we go through with this, though I'd be a little worried about the ingenuity of Samhain and Fearless at getting past it's security! Probably we'd just leave it that he had to ask to go out and come in again. We let him in the door for a brief moment; he took one turn around the room and bolted back to the door. Meanwhile, we're working on new winter cubbyholes for the porch... big grin
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