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Bringing An Outdoor Cat In
October 15, 2023

Have you recently decided to adopt a stray? Many of our feline patients were rescued from the streets. Adjusting to a new home is always a huge change for Fluffy. If she’s moving indoors after having become accustomed to living outdoors, the transition may be purrticularly difficult for her. A Potomac, MD vet offers some tips on making the adjustment in this article.

Start Small

If you have a large house, it may be overwhelming for your kitty to try to adjust to a big space. You’ll also need to keep your furry pal quarantined until your vet gives you the all clear. Start her out in a smaller area, such as a spare room or utility room. If your pet is nervous, win her over slowly. Food, treats, toys, catnip will all help. Talk to Fluffy in a gentle, friendly tone, but don’t force attention on her. Be sure to leave a light and radio on for her: nobody enjoys sitting alone in a dark, quiet room.

Make Indoor Life Fun

Believe it or not, sometimes former strays lose all desire to get outdoors. Some even become frightened of it. You can’t blame Fluffy for that: after all, if she associates being outdoors with being cold, hungry, and scared, it’s not hard to understand why she much prefers the life of a pampered pet. However, you’ll have better luck if you turn your home into a kitty luxury palace. Fortunately, that isn’t hard. Set out lots of beds, and provide things for your furball to climb, explore, and perch on. Toys and playtime are also crucial, as they provide beneficial mental stimulation.

Create A Catio

Catios are a great way to give an indoor cat a taste of the outside while keeping her safe. Pick a sunny spot, and add pet-safe plants and some kitty furniture. You can even build your own enclosure for Fluffy.

Take Precautions

While some cats adjust very well to the indoor life, others will try to get outdoors again. You’ll need to be careful when opening and closing doors. Of course, no matter how vigilant you are, there’s always a chance that Fluffy could dash out. If she hasn’t been microchipped, get that done right away. A GPS tag isn’t a bad idea either, though you may want to use a breakaway collar for safety purposes.

Our Advice on Bringing An Outdoor Cat In

What initial steps should you take when bringing an outdoor cat indoors?

When bringing an outdoor cat indoors, conf them to a small, quiet space like a spare room with necessities. Ensure they’re quarantined until vet-checked. Gradually introduce them to the rest of the home, using treats, toys, and gentle interaction to build trust and comfort.

How can you make the indoor environment appealing and fun for a former stray cat?

To make indoors appealing for a former stray cat, create a stimulating environment with climbing shelves, cozy beds, and window perches for bird watching. Offer a variety of toys and engage in regular playtime. Consider a ‘Catio’ for safe outdoor access. Enrichment keeps them content and active.

What is a ‘Catio,’ and how can it benefit an indoor cat?

A ‘Catio’ is a secure outdoor enclosure or patio for cats, providing them with safe outdoor access. It benefits indoor cats by offering fresh air, sunlight, and mental stimulation from the natural environment, enriching their lives and reducing indoor boredom and stress.

What precautions should you take to ensure the safety of a newly indoor cat?

For a newly indoor cat, ensure all windows and doors are secure. Remove toxic plants and hide electrical cords. Get them microchipped and use breakaway collars for safety. Keep their environment enriching to deter escape attempts, and always supervise when doors are opened. Regular vet check-ups are essential.

How can cat owners in Potomac, MD, get further assistance with their pet’s health and adjustment?

Cat owners in Potomac, MD, can seek further assistance by scheduling a visit with a local veterinarian for personalized advice on health and adjustment. Additionally, they can explore local pet support services and community forums for tips and shared experiences with fellow cat owners.

Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your Potomac, MD animal clinic, anytime!