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Can you make a house cat an outdoor cat?

(18 Posts)
PineappleExpress Wed 08-Mar-17 10:37:38

Or will she be completely useless?

She's 3 1/2.
When I first got her, I planned to let her out, but there were a few things that happened that made me keep her indoors.

I have 2 dogs she plays out in the garden with, but she never tries to jump the fence and always comes in either when we call or once she's had her fill of sniffing around. She never goes out when it's raining, and doesn't like the snow very much - guessing because she hasn't roughed up her pads enough and is a wimp?

She play fights with our dogs all the time, will she know to run away from other dogs, or will she think they want to play with her too?

She loves chasing flies and ants, and chirrups at birds on the fence or on top of houses - the dogs always scare them away, so I have no idea if she would actually chase them, but I'm guessing she would - so I'm hoping that her going out whenever she wants and not just when the dogs need a wee, would tempt her to jump more and go exploring...?

She's pretty lazy, though, and prefers not to jump up very high if she can help it - she jumps onto the sofa, then dining chair, then the table to get her food - will she learn to jump the high fences, or do they need to learn it at a young age? She's also overweight because she doesn't play with any of her toys unless we do most of the work for her, and just lies down to play fight with the dogs.

I'll be moving soon, to a quiet estate, away from any main roads. Would it be ok for her to start going out properly? And how do I go about encouraging her to explore?

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 08-Mar-17 12:57:15

It sounds like a perfect life to me. What's to change?.

EachandEveryone Wed 08-Mar-17 14:12:40

Why do you want her to go further afield? Mines indoor but i let her out when im at home and shes back in after 15 minutes its tedious having to keep opening the door for her but i wouldnt want it any other way. If shes not interested why rock the boat?

HermioneJeanGranger Wed 08-Mar-17 18:16:00

She should only go out if she wants to.

PineappleExpress Wed 08-Mar-17 23:49:37

I would never force her to stay out if she wasn't happy, but she's so fat and lazy, and changing her diet hasn't helped.
The vet said she needs more exercise, and I think that if she ventured off a bit she would prob like it because she's so interested in everything in the garden (only patio, so really nothing exciting going on) and I think she's just too bloody lazy to get up over the fence and give it a go grin
I'd have a cat flap, so she could still come in whenever she wanted, but I'm constantly opening the door for the dogs anyway, so that's not much of an issue.

Any ideas for getting her more active without trying to get her exploring? I've tried numerous toys and things, but she will only chase a ball for a little while and can't be bothered with stringy things unless you wiggle them right in front of her face, but she loses interest as soon as she grabs it

PineappleExpress Wed 08-Mar-17 23:57:57

I guess it's more that I want to give her the freedom to go out if she wants to, by installing a cat flap, but worry that she'll be a bit useless and will get hurt or lost or something

Trustyourself2 Thu 09-Mar-17 00:39:33

When you move house she might be more interested in the great outdoors. Cats are fickle creatures, who love to keep us guessing, so she might change her habits in a new environment. Sounds like you've tried everything to get her moving. Have you tried the red laser?

PineappleExpress Thu 09-Mar-17 00:54:09

Yeh, different surroundings might be more appealing. I guess I'll just have to wait and see what she does.
Not a laser, no. She often chases light patches reflecting from a watch and that seems to get her a bit more excited. Thanks. I'll have a look for one tomorrow

EachandEveryone Thu 09-Mar-17 08:47:11

There's loads of cheap things mine loves jumping on the bed. Pets had home do silver and gold wands she loves them

ememem84 Thu 09-Mar-17 08:56:34

Mine was born in a house then dumped in a park when she was 6 months old with her kittens. She was trapped about 8 months later and wen to a shelter then came to us. Since she's been with us she's been a house cat. We haven't got an outdoor space (first floor flat) but she's made no moves to get outside.

She likes looking out the windows and shouting at the birds, she sits on the window sills and suns herself.

She is slightly on the chunky side but she has a couple of hours a day where she is tearing around the flat like a mad thing chasing her mousies and jingly balls. When we move eventually we want a garden and want to be able to let her out if she wants to go.

But for now she seems happy.

One of my mums cats was only interested in being outside in the summer. In the winter she much preferred snuggling on the beds.

EachandEveryone Thu 09-Mar-17 09:49:36

Can ypu get a cat tree for the garden? I would love a garden especially if she didnt want to leave it. Mine runs up and down the fire escape and comes back in! I will say though to get her to exercise takes alot of one to one playing. The dabird really gets them jumping have you tried it? I find imitations wont do. She likes it over the bed and it really knackers her. Mines not interested in the laser since it clicked theres nothing there. I have loads knocking about but she went off them over night.

PineappleExpress Thu 09-Mar-17 14:17:00

She's had loads of different wands and dangly things, with feathers and bells and cat nip, I haven't tried the da bird yet, but she gets bored after a few days, once she realises she can catch them and they don't do actually do anything like scream and die a horrible death, I imagine. She just looks at me as if to say 'is that it?'.

I've got an indoor cat tree, but she's not interested in any part except the scratching post - although she prefers to scratch my stair carpets angry - I'll have a look around for an outdoor one though. I hadn't thought about it before.

I sometimes wonder if I should get her a catty friend to run around with, but I worry she'd just teach it to be fat and lazy, too grin

PineappleExpress Thu 09-Mar-17 14:19:37

This is her, by the way smile

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 09-Mar-17 14:24:51

She's a beautiful girl.

I'd worry a dog will chase her and she won't be able to get over a fence to escape. She sounds happy with her life.

If a tortie wants to do something they'll let you know.

ememem84 Thu 09-Mar-17 14:28:12

Beautiful girl!! Such a pretty face!!

EachandEveryone Thu 09-Mar-17 14:40:13

She is gorgeous. D be worried shes not street enough to be going out now. Dabird is ptetty realistic you can drag it along the floor and then go up with it. The fluffy ones with bells dont do anything for mine either. I do think they get bored with toys im trying to alternate mine but im running out of storage. Ive thought of getting a friend but what if they didnt like each other? It would worry me incase they had a fight whilst inwas at work.

Ive just bought cat bubbles from Wilko for £2 i dont know what they will be like.

PineappleExpress Thu 09-Mar-17 14:57:05

She's a beaut, isn't she smile

Other dogs are my main worry. She and my girl dog "fight" all the time and she only ever hisses to tell the dog she's had enough. She never runs away, even if she gets pounced on and her head shoved in the dog's mouth.

I'll keep trying with different toys and won't bother trying to encourage her to go exploring. I know some people think keeping cats indoors is cruel, which is partly what prompted me to think maybe I should encourage her to venture off, but she's very happy as she is, so I'll keep doing what we're doing.

Thanks for all the toy suggestions

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 09-Mar-17 15:37:05

Pets at home do a mouse with a very realistic squeak. We had an indoor by choice cat and she was quite happy with her lot.

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