Agoraphobic kittens?(11 Posts)
In June I found myself with two little scraps of 2-month-old kittens who had had An Unfortunate Time Of Things before coming to live with me.
Despite having been quasi-feral felines for their first two months my little bundles of fluff took to me with alacrity & appear to have decided I am Mummy Cat The Second. (Please note, I do not carry them about in my mouth & grooming is done using appropriate tools not my tongue. Just so we're clear. Yes.)
They were chipped&snipped at just over 6 months old & once they'd got over that one (they are sensitive souls) decided to introduce them to Outside. It has not been a success. They do not want to know & think I am obviously utterly mental for ever voluntarily leaving our snuggly warm home to venture into a space that is Big and Noisy and Full Of Smells & Sometimes Soggy & generally just Wrong.
Because of our living arrangements the kittens have harnesses & leads so that they can be introduced to Outside gradually&safely. Perfectly content to bop about in the harnesses inside. Intrigued by the addition of the lead, still happy. Open the back door & you'd think we'd created a portal to hell in front of them.
On our most recent try, Black!kitten simply bolted back into the house & yowled at us to come back inside where it was safe; whilst Blonde!kitten shivered miserably in my arms & tried to tunnel into my ribcage until I took him back inside too.
Anyone have any genius plans? I'd been worrying about them hightailing it into the distance & losing them. Now it seems that I should have been worrying about them never wanting to go outside EVER.
Apart from The Lodger, ZebraOwl, my cats have been totally indoor cats for many years and are quite happy. They think that outside is a nasty cruel, cold, wet place and much prefer to be inside with the central heating, sunshine coming through the windows and carpet on the floor. And a self-cleaning (Hah!) litter tray that's dry and safe to use.
If mine see the outside through an open door, a look of horror comes over their face and they bolt upstairs. Admittedly, I have an old largeish house with plenty of room to scamper up and down stairs and around the place, lots of toys - and my routine has me at home most of the time so any singleton cats have plenty of attention.
Is their being inside causing you or them any problems? If so, why not just relax with it?
PS - even The Lodger, who brought himself up as a semi-feral on the streets, started, by the end of his stay, to decide that indoors was much the better place to be. From spending most of his time outside and using the garden for littering, he started to spend most of his time inside and using an indoor tray. Just went out once or twice a day for 10 or 20 minutes to get the craic.
Ah yes, the magically emptying & refilling & cleaning litter tray. Black!kitten adores Just Changed Litter & likes to tapdance in it & chuck it about to show his appreciation of it.
The Zebra Kittens being indoor kitties isn't causing any problems, no: I'm home lots - and indeed in bed lots, which the kittens think is SPLENDID because their idea of bliss is being squirled up in a snuggle bundle on my bed with me - due to Being Broken & while the house is not huge it is Big Enough & they've a good selection of toys. They also get on very well together, which is a plus.
I suppose I just feel they should be encouraged to do The Outside Thing because they are cats. Hmmm...
They'll let you know soon enough if they want to go out. If they're happy as things are, I'd just relax into it.
They might get braver as they get older.
when we had cats, they were all exactly the same when confronted wiht the great outdoors! Put some litter in a tray outside the door, they might venture out for that, then you can gradually move it further away.
They might indeed, msrisotto. I'd let them dictate their own pace.
On the other hand you wont ever be woken by your OH at 4am to be told that the cat isnt back yet and what do I think we ought to do about it?.
There are upsides to a cat who doesnt want to go out.
Plenty of upsides on a dark wet, sleety or snowbound winter's night!
Thank you lovely people, this is all v helpful-reassuring
It is v helpful to get perspectives of/advice from Cat People - I've never had cats (or, er, any pets for that matter!) before & my Insane Perfectionist Streak makes me a wee bit paranoid about the Zebra Kittens. Hence - as well as them getting the Proper Pure Meat sorts of foods - them taking a multivitamin & my cleaning their teeth as well as brushing them/cleaning round their eyes etc. They let me do without me needing to wear armour or anything*. They're not overkeen on the teeth cleaning, but they submit, grumpily, to having them done once a week - and rather more happily gromph down the daily squidge of gel stuff they can Just Eat.
If I can persuade them they might like to explore Outside they will not be allowed out in The Dark because I would have an actual nervy b every single time until they were safely home. If they should ever not reappear well before dark I will be out looking for them, fully embracing my Inner Crazy Cat Lady.
* I am horribly aware of tempting fate by telling you this. I am rather fond of my fingers, so I do hope that they don't change their minds about letting me do their teeth...
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