Our difficult child kitty

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Californiablonde, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Well we have a new cat in the house. She's not really new. We've had her since April. She is seven months old but still a baby in my eyes. Her name is Lily and she is really sweet but the only problem is she won't stay in the house! I want a strictly indoor cat like our last cat Tigger was. Tigger had no problems staying inside. He hated the thought of going outside, so much so that he used to run and hide every time someone would open the door. I liked the fact that he was a totally indoor cat. We didn't have fleas because he never went outside. I didn't have to worry about him getting hit by a car. I've been a cat owner almost all my life, and I've had a cat die by getting hit by a car, so I'm extra cautious when it comes to my cats.

    This new cat Lily just isn't happy indoors. Every chance she gets, she sneaks out the door every time it is opened. The kids and I have to chase her down the sidewalk, and most of the time she hides in the bushes. The bushes are very thick and it is almost impossible to get her out of them. We eventually catch her, but I'm getting really tired of having to chase her down. She used to sneak out every time we would leave for school in the morning. A few times I was late to work because I had to try and catch her and bring her back in the house. Finally my son came up with a technique where he picks her up in the morning and walks out the door holding her. Once we all get safely outside, he gently tosses her into the kitchen and shuts the door really fast so she doesn't run out. This technique has worked so far, but we still have a problem when we walk IN the door.

    This cat continues to run outside every time we come inside the house. I am getting really sick of chasing her down. Plus, everytime one of the kids and I walk out the door, she sits right by the door and cries nonstop to be let outside. She really isn't happy being indoors, but I don't know what else to do. She is still a kitten and I don't want her to get hit by a car. We live in a very large apartment complex and there is heavy traffic inside the parking lots. Also, I'm afraid she won't be able to find her way back to our apartment once she gets out. We have several hundred apartments. How is she going to know which one is ours? Will she get lost? I don't know what to do with her anymore. Should I just break down and get her a collar and tag and let her be outside? Should I take the risk? We adopted her as a stray from an animal shelter and I really think this cat is just not happy unless she's outside. Should I force her to remain indoors or give in and let her outside, fleas and all?
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Invest in the flea medicine from the vet that you put on the back of her neck, and let her go outside at approved times. Use a very tempting treat like tuna to get her inside when you want her in. She has very powerful senses that will tell her which home is yours and she will find her way home.

    You want coming home to be a good thing, and chasing her when you are upset will do exactly the opposite. She needs LOTS of praise and treats for coming to you and coming inside in order to reinforce this behavior. By making it okay to go outside at a certain time, you are allowing her to have what she needs to be happy. Not every cat is able to be happy as an indoor only cat.

    What does she have to entertain herself at home during the day? Is she home all alone wth no other animal companions? Captain Morgan yells his head off when he thinks he is alone. If I am home with my door shut and husband and the kids go out, he gets the most sheepish look when he realizes I have heard his yelling. He isn't unhappy, he is just yelling to yell pretty much. But if we leave the tv on for him then he is perfectly happy. Bizarre cat that he is, he HATES animal planet and LOVES any station with reruns of law and order, csi, psychiatric, etc... type shows. He seems rather addicted to psychiatric, which cracks me up. Of course he also likes Red Green, but that is mostly because husband shares tortilla chips with him during that show only.

    Some cats really like videos of fish swimming around (we had one who LOVED shark week) or of birds. Going outside does provide a risk for the cat, but the whole chasing thing is just making it more fun and more tempting for her to do it. Get the tuna, or bits of liver or whatever treats she truly goes bonkers over (one of my aunt's cats wouldn't touch fish but went NUTs for turkey or chicken, once dragging a 15lb turkey off the table right before we all sat down for Thanksgiving, lol! It was the infamous Spaghetti Thanksgiving in our family history!) and us that instead of the keep away game she is now playing when you are trying to get her inside.

    I hope this helps. The flea medication you put on their neck is super effective, and will take care of that problem with going outside. Make sure she has a collar and a microchip or else if she gets picked up they won't be able to find you.
  3. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately the Advantage I use helps the fleas for her but do nothing for poor difficult child 2, who gets bit up like crazy. The fleas are still in the carpet and they jump all over him and bite him. For some reason they love his blood. difficult child 1 and I are never touched by the fleas. They don't like us. Now that it's cooler weather the fleas should be disappearing soon anyway so we won't have to worry about it for awhile. As for a companion, I am planning on adopting a male cat in January when I get my big tax check. Hopefully having another animal there with her will make her feel better about being home all alone. I am going to get her a collar and tag just in case she gets lost if she ever does get stuck outside and we are unable to chase her down.
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Revolution in my opinion works better on fleas, plus kills a ton of other nasties such as worms ect all in one deal. Vacuum twice a day to keep fleas out of the main house and off difficult child. You'd be stunned at how much that helps.

    I'm not a cat person, although I've had them for quite a few years now. I'm going to guess this kitty was probably born/raised outdoors before she wound up in the pound. I doubt you're going to make her a purely inside kitty.

    Now I have Bruce, the stray Darrin conned me into keeping several years ago, used to be no way in holy hades was he going outside, he didn't even want to LOOK outside. He was a bit traumatized when his owner threw him out as a kitten to fend for himself. (common around here) This year? He goes out about every day. Short jaunts to nap in the sun or chew some greens or talk to the 2 female outdoor cats, maybe visit with the outdoor dog. Never leaves the yard.

    I use revolution on him and there are no issues with fleas, even with 3 dogs (also protected). :)
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Does she have lots of cat climbing toys like a cat house and the cat window sill? Cats love to climb and jump. Have you watched that show on Animal Planet about My Cat from Hell? He has some wonderful ideas. You can even teach your cat to walk on a leash and take her for walks every day. How the heck you do that I dont know. I do know its a halter though.