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Can you turn an outside/inside cat back into an inside only cat?

My friend has a cat that used to be mine. He had to stay with my friend because when I moved, I couldn't have him. Now she says I can have him back now that I have a house and my daughter wants a cat. I LOOOOOOVE this cat, he's so awesome...problem is, my friend has been letting him outside in the last couple years. He is free to go in and out as he pleases. He still has a great personality like he did before, but I do not want an outside cat. Is it possible to make him an inside cat again? How much work would it be?

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metalcowgirl34

Asked by metalcowgirl34 at 8:25 PM on Nov. 8, 2009 in Pets

Level 12 (864 Credits)
Answers (14)
  • Yes Just dont let him out anymore. He wont like it but and will beg to go out and try to run out every open door but if you just sick to not leting him out he will eventualy just give up or at least not try so hard to get out.
    purplecraze579

    Answer by purplecraze579 at 8:27 PM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • In MN, both my cats were outdoor/indoor kitties. Then in 2004, we moved to TX. You always hear about moving pets and them running back to where they were moved from. So, I refused to let them out. Now, they look at an open door, think about it, look at me and walk away. LOL.
    specialwingz

    Answer by specialwingz at 8:31 PM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • my inside cat escaped and stayed gone for a week...then came back but i guess he got a taste of the outside world and he would cry at the door every evening to get out and i would have to let him out. I would just stick my head out and call for him and he would come running home.
    shay1130

    Answer by shay1130 at 8:32 PM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • There is a feral cat problem in my neighborhood...I live on an island, so I think that's why there's more loose cats...they can't spread out. I think there's a big mean tom cat that lives under our porch! I hear cat fights all the time in summer. That's why I don't want my cat outside.
    metalcowgirl34

    Answer by metalcowgirl34 at 8:35 PM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • I have had both experiences. We currently have a cat (Fiona) that my parents had rescued and was mostly outside, due to my mother's allergies. Eventually, they couldn't keep her anymore and we agreed to take her in. She is strictly indoors and is perfectly happy with it. She never even attempts to slip out.
    We also took in a cat a few years ago who was wandering around outside. We allowed him to come inside when it was either too hot or too cold outside, but mostly he stayed out. Due to some unforeseen circumstances, we had to bring him inside permanently. It didn't work out. We kept him inside for 13 months, hoping he'd adjust, but he stayed miserable. He ran around howling at the windows and tried to escape every time any of us opened a door. It was a terrible situation. We kept hoping he'd settle in, but he didn't. We finally had to find him a new home where he could go both indoors and out. He is doing well now. Cont'd
    vicesix

    Answer by vicesix at 8:51 PM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • The only conclusion I can come to is that it really just depends on that individual cat's personality. If I had to guess though, I'd say that the majority of cats would have a difficult time adjusting to life strictly indoors if they'd been allowed outside for an extended period of time. I feel like the first cat I talked about is the exception rather than the rule. But your kitty you're getting back could be like that too, and I don't guess you'll know until you try (unless your friend had already tried this). I completely understand about not wanting an outdoor cat.; I don't either. I like my kitties safe inside with me. I felt bad that our former outdoor cat could never adjust, but he obviously wasn't going to and nothing we did helped at all. I hope your kitty does well with it.
    vicesix

    Answer by vicesix at 8:54 PM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • our indoor cats we have now are happy when we open the windows so they can hear all the noises...maybe your cat would like that
    shay1130

    Answer by shay1130 at 9:06 PM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • C makes some good points there. All I can say is I have done it 4.5 times now with great over-all success, and also at one time fairly successfully had one cat be full-time inside only while two others were allowed to come and go as they wanted. I fully support inside-only Feline-Americans, and the current crop are 100% indoor-only. (and 2.5 of them were among the 4.) Well, Connor and Chase both were so young when we got them inside, it's not the same, and they are my .5. Tiggy became indoor only when she got to be close to 18. Roxanne became indoor only when we combined households with my mom and 1) Roach was not going to live full time with someone allowed in and out while his mean mother made him stay in and 2) damn road out front was the unofficial US extension of the Autobahn.
    roachiesmom

    Answer by roachiesmom at 9:12 PM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • Roachie, of course was the one who was indoor-only but had to watch his aunts go in and out every day at Grandma's for several years. Gabby had been mostly outdoors for about 6 months (her whole life at the time) when that old woman baited our yard with cat food trying to get us to take her (okay, maybe not, but she orchestrated it somehow; I KNOW she did) and she adjusted well with only one notable exception, during an ice storm, which is where the quints came from. And finally, RJ was raised basically feral for the four months between catching Chase and finally catching him. The twins are just past two now, and neither has so much as looked at the door to go outside.
    roachiesmom

    Answer by roachiesmom at 9:19 PM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • I forgot about Sam. Sam was my failure. After his twin sister, Janet got hit outside our house, we catnapped Sam and tried to take him in. He seemed to be adjusting okay, but we (Ryan, Roachie, and I) came home one night to find young Sam outside greeting us. WTF? No one had been home all day. Come to find out, Mr. Sam had pulled all the newspaper out of the chimney (it came with the house) and climbed up and out the chimney onto the roof and, presumably, down an overgrown bush. The last thing I needed was EITHER of my too-smart-for-their-own-good boys trying that stunt, so clearly Sam could not be a house cat. But before we could find him somewhere else, he disappeared.
    roachiesmom

    Answer by roachiesmom at 9:30 PM on Nov. 8, 2009

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