|Purred: Thu Oct 17, '13 11:03am PST |
|Last August I made Midas an indoor only cat when I took him to college with me. It was easier because I moved with him to a new location. It made him MUCH more attached to me and my dogs. What also helped was having literally 5 cat trees of various sizes. The largest is 5 ft tall and about 3 ft wide. It is a beast, and he sleeps on it most afternoons. I want to make him another one that is wall mounted, but I just don't have room at the moment. I went home over the summer to where he formerly live, and he hated it. He really doesn't like other cats (my parents have 4), and had to be kept in only one room. He did always try to escape there. You got some great advice above, and now I will try to share my experience. Sorry if I repeat anything already said!
Now I have moved again to an actual house, and I have done some things to try to make him even happier!
First, curtains on all the windows. If you have metal blinds, they are going to get destroyed by the cat (probably). If you want to maintain your privacy while letting the cat enjoy seeing the outdoors, curtains are a must have (vertical blinds also work for really big windows). Midas is small enough to sit on most windowsills, though a cat perch on one or two favorites to encourage him to sit in particular windows certainly does not hurt either. Just make sure that if you do have blinds you tie up the cord so he doesn't run the risk of getting tangled in it.
I second the above poster who recommends an enclosed patio. I built one out of a gazebo and some lattice. It cost about $600. Eventually we want to put in a real patio cover, but we don't have the $2000 for that currently, plus we would need more lattice to enclose more space. There is some question as to if a cat can squeeze through the lattice, and while Midas has not, there is no guarantee that another cat won't.
They sell screen that is cat claw proof. It is great, and could be used on either your windows or if you chose to build an enclosure. I really recommend it for the windows though, as you really cannot tell much of a difference between screens, so even if you are renting, switching them out should not be a problem. It gives me peace of mind when I leave a window open, and Midas loves to smell all the things outside!
Another thing to do is attract local birds to your yard for him to watch from a window. Just a feeder will do, but I have found I just love having the birds around, and plan on adding a bird bath and some bird houses in the coming years. Of course other cats in the neighborhood might be a problem. Try to keep everything high and away from fences and easily climbable trees.
I think the last thing I want to add to this list is metal security doors. They are great to have on any home to help deter theft, but they also can be left open without worry of either the cat going out or people coming in. They are a great way to get a breeze during the summer too.
Of course, even with all of this, he has gotten out a few times (before I fixed the screens, doors accidentally left open, etc), and instead of running, he finds the nearest patch of dirt and rolls in it like a man who has been on a ship for the last year and just made land. It does help that he does not know the area because we moved, but I also think that dirt might be the only thing he is not getting being an indoor cat. That's fine with me though, as he sleeps on my pillow.
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