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Is it fair to try and change an outdoor cat to an indoor cat? (old and diabetic)

(11 Posts)
Laska5772 Mon 01-Oct-18 10:12:12

My14 yr old cat neutered diabetic tom has started making raids on other houses and its understandingly causing stress with the neighbours. We have had him since he was 1.

I had a phone call from irate neighbour at 6am this morning as he has woken them all up at 3 am ..going through their catflap terrorising their cats im told) and stealing food and butter! (This isnt the first time hes done this they said )

He is diabetic and although getting treatment and medication which i thought were getting it under control as he seems to be much better but it seems that despite having 5 (!) sachets a day of the higher protein food he is still seems to be on the hunt for food all the time.

Its mostly at night , I think but its been proving very hard to keep him in. He eats and has medication at 6pm and then goes out, and we dont usually see him again until morning so we'd have to try and keep him in 12hrs straight

Hes always been a free range cat , my question is ,how successful do you think it would be to try and change him to an indoor cat? I work so there is no one in the house most day and at weekends we are pretty much always out in the garden and the house is usually kept open ( we are in a fairly rural area) so he has been able to come and go at will.

I dont want him to be miserable, and if its going to make his quality of life so much worse, I am wondering if it would just be kinder to go for the inevitable.

Am feeling at my wits end , but of course hes part of the family. He's always been such a gentle cat. (and we thought more likely to be terrorised himself , now he is old with no teeth) but he obviously has developed this other 'side' since hes been ill.

Please be kind .

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HardAsSnails Mon 01-Oct-18 16:12:56

I started keeping my old boy in over night just over a year ago when he got diagnosed with arthritis after his back legs colllapsed (he's now fine and quite spritely for 16+ since going on pain med's). He was a bit grumpy at first but has settled nicely into the routine. We usually shut the flap just after his meds at around 6 and he has a tray for just in case but prefers to wait.

He was a real outdoorsy hunting beast (and six dinner sid) until then.

HardAsSnails Mon 01-Oct-18 16:14:40

Also, over the winter when you're more likely to have doors and windows closed is a good time to establish an overnight curfew!

BackToTheFuschia7 Mon 01-Oct-18 17:00:51

Definitely wouldn’t have him PTS if the only issue is him raiding other people’s houses confused

How about cat proofing your garden or installing a catio? He can still get outside but can’t rampage around other people’s houses.

viccat Mon 01-Oct-18 17:47:07

Keeping a diabetic cat indoors or creating a secure outside space is MUCH safer in any case - eating elsewhere is not good for his diabetes and if he should get shut in anywhere (a shed or something) he is at much greater risk due to his diabetes anyway.

Many older cats naturally start spending almost all of their time indoors anyway and he would adjust.

HoraceWimpIsThisYourLife Mon 01-Oct-18 17:50:27

I wouldn’t make him indoor only as that would be a bit unfair. I’d look at solutions like cat proofing or a catio. Keep him in at night as that’s safer for him anyway.

Vinorosso74 Mon 01-Oct-18 18:00:01

Definitely keep him in overnight.
Have the vets done a fructosamine test to see how his diabetes is doing? It may be his insulin needs tweaking. Our old girl became scavengey when she became diabetic but when the diabetes was better controlled she was less so.

Laska5772 Mon 01-Oct-18 18:56:12

Hello. thanks everyone for your responses . I have to say I've been feeling pretty upset all day, but then 6am calls om unhappy neighbours isn't a great start to the day is it.?

I am going to keep him in at night now, He will hate it . But yes viccat I am also worried that despite us investing in the right food for him he wont be getting stabilised if he is out stealing at night anyway .

hard assnails ours is a Six Dinner Sid also it seems! (we loved that book)

vinorosso (my kind of user name btw!) . hes had regular blood sugar curvesat he vets . and they have recently upped his insulin to 15 units twice a day. vet says he is doing what they would expect on the curver..hes quite newly diagnosed . so hey are still tweaking the dose. Is that the fructosamine test ? should he be less ravenous once the dosage is correct?

'Catio 'or cat proofing garden is an impossible task here sadly as we are lucky enough to have a large garden on the edge of farmland / wood /paddocks..but due to the shape of the garden and access there is no where to build a secure outdoor are adjoining the house .

One of the reasons I am a bit surprised that he is in neighbours down about 10houses away on the other (more built up ) side of the road , is because he has always tended to go out into the 'wilds' but he is it seems. Its also a shame that he has chose that particular house of all others as its one where the occupiers do have a bit of a 'reputation ' for causing a bit of neighbourhood friction.. but that neither here not there , if he is terrorising, but just a shame that of all the houses he has chosen that one . (I actually dont know them so that may be a bit harsh but it s like the 'secret' house , you never see them , only hear them. she wont answer the door to me either.. ) So not ideal to try and ask her to put i a chip cat flap or even chase him out . Anyway there it is..

My next question is if he is goingto be in at night where do I put him?
hes had a few 'accidents' recently also , (urinary infection which has been treated and /is being monitored so not his fault. and although he will use a box, he has also gone on a chair and the bed recently..

Our house is pretty much open plan, the only doors are in the bathroom and bedrooms. I could put him in the conservatory overnight or is that a bad idea? . He has never used a cat bed (hes always rejected one) and has always preferred to sleep on a hard surface rather than a bed or sofa except on the very coldest of winter nights.

At the moment hes had his meds and food and is trying to get out .. sad

OP’s posts: |
Laska5772 Mon 01-Oct-18 18:57:11

That 1.5 units of insulin not 15!!

OP’s posts: |
BackToTheFuschia7 Tue 02-Oct-18 01:28:42

He’s trying to get out because that’s his routine, he will adjust with time. I converted many cats from free roaming and they now express curiosity at an open door but don’t walk out (bar one!).

You don’t need to lock him anywhere and infact that could cause more distress for him. The accidents were more than likely a symptom of his urinary infection. He should be fine to be left loose in the house if that has been treated. Just make sure he has access to a couple of clean litter trays.

Laska5772 Tue 02-Oct-18 09:12:28

I did leave him in the conservatory but he seemed fine this morning no sign of any distress at all he just got up stretched and followd me into kitchen. He had used his box. Tonight I'll give him range of the house as usual but lock catflap. He went out after breakfast but didn't seem to be in much hurry to get out. I made sure he went through catflapthis morning so he knew it was unlocked again. I'm at work now.

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