Advice needed on moving with my indoor/outdoor stray cat
(Glenwood Springs, CO ,USA)
Last winter, I noticed a couple of “feral” cats eating the suet I had put out for the large birds. I felt sorry for these two hungry kitties, and bought them cat food.
They would run if they caught me looking out the window, except one became friendly realizing I represented food and loving voice tones.
I started inviting him inside to eat, created bedding for him outside my back door, even my sleeping bag if he wanted to crawl in.
Finally, he came in for a minute, looked around and went out wanting to eat outside. He became friendlier, one evening came in out of a snow storm, ate, and went straight up onto my bed.
First night, he stayed until 1:00 a.m., I woke up to his request to depart. Next night he came in to stay, snuggling up to me in bed, totally matted long hair and all — I fell in love.
Within a week, he was fully cared for by a vet who works with C.A.R.E. Since his ear was tipped, C.A.R.E. footed the bill to have this neutered cat given a loving home. He insisted on spending nights and parts of the day outside as the season warmed to summer, and comes when he’s called.
My other cat is an indoor, trained to stay within a few feet of the door only when the door is open. For their own safety and longevity, cats should be kept indoors. My concern now is that I am moving away from this apt complex, into the country.
I worry about over-stressing Raggs taking him out of his neighborhood, especially into a place teaming with wildlife. I simply cannot let him outside once I move. He is already being treated for reoccurring non-bacterial lower urinary bladder inflammation, vet says from stress, but he appears to be totally “unstressed.”
Long story, sorry, but I need advice.
Hi Robin… Thanks for visiting and asking. I can sense the problem. You move and your stray cat becomes confused and stressed indoors and if he goes out he disappears and gets killed.
A better person than me can give better advice. But I also sense that this is a case where a really nice cat enclosure is the best compromise provided you have the facilities.
If you are going to the country I hope that you are buying a freehold house in which case you can add a functional cat enclosure. That would give space, some outdoor activity and also safety.
Of course even that might not be enough for a cat used to going out. He will need to train himself to live in a more limited environment. I think it can be done.
If a cat enclosure is a no go then plenty of play indoors is the only other solution or the last resort rehoming (sorry that is probably out of the question).
Your vet might advise how to reduce stress. Play must be a factor and things like Bachs Rescue Remedy comes to mind but these are rather feeble suggestions.
I will hope one of the regulars can come up with something better. I’ll ask.
You may get something from these pages:
Cat Drugs of Catnip and Matatabi
Our New Cat Enclosure or Catio
Advice needed on moving with my indoor/outdoor stray cat to Feral cats