Questiom:Moving to a condo, take the cat or not?
I have a dilemma. I will soon be buying my first condo and moving out of my parent's house. I will be taking my 15 y/o girl cat Panther with me, but am torn about taking the 11 y/o male, O'Malley.
At home, he is allowed to go outside. He doesn't go far, and only stays out for 30 min tops at a time. He loves it. I don't think I could let him go outside at the condo; he's unfamiliar with the area, and being on the 2nd floor means I won't hear him when he comes back. Do I take him and make him quit going outside cold turkey? Or miss him terribly and let him stay with my parents... Anyone have experience with converting a cat to indoor only who once could go out?
He gets very loud when he wants out; worried that'll bug the neighbors. I also worry he'll take out frustration about not getting to go out on Panther, who is very submissive to him. Plus, the condo will be much smaller than my parent's house.
How well can a cat adjust to becoming indoor only? What would you do?
Yes, a cat can adjust, and I would give him every opportunity in the world to do so. The truth is, each cat is a little different, and you don't know how he's going to do until you try.
If I were you, I would go to the pet supply store and buy one of those cat window seats, the little platforms that attach to a ridge of the window sill, and then have a little leg on the bottom that braces against the wall and holds the seat vertical. They are fleece covered (a removable, washable fleece). You put them in a screened window where there is activity outside -- birds & squirrels, or people, but lots of stuff to watch. Leave the window open just a little so he can sniff the breeze.
If he just goes outside and sits for 30 or so minutes, this may very well do the trick. You might just want to install the window seat when you move to your condo and wait until O'Malley asks to go outside. Then open the window wide, and set him on his seat, and see what happens. This may very well do the trick.
If he likes to sit in the sun when he goes outside, try and put it in a window with activity, but equally as important, a window where there is sun. I used to put a little tray of wheatgrass on the windowsill too. But you know what makes him happy -- sun or shade or birds or people. I would, though, set up the seat and wait for the demand to open the door, then open the window wide (regardless of temperature, this first time) and set him on his seat.
I'll bet he'll love it.
Two of my cats are indoor/outdoor cats that, because of where I've moved to in my city, are now indoor cats only. They're both fine. In fact, my male cat, who is now nine, used to make the biggest stink about not going outside, but at my last apartment (where he could have gone outside because of the neighborhood) I couldn't get him out the door. Remy has become such a housecat it's laughable.
Really, don't worry about it. He'll adjust. Just make sure you've got lots of things to entertain him. I have a huge 6+ foot cat "tree" in my loft with little cubbies for the cats to hide in and lots of scratching posts and platforms. You can find them fairly cheap on eBay. As long as he's got stuff to keep him active you should be fine.