You are here:

Cats/reorienting an indoor/outdoor cat


We have a 4 year old mixed breed cat whose mother was a feral from a rural
area.  Our cat joined our family as an 8 wk old kitten, already spayed, and
bonded with our teenage daughter who claims him as her pet.  Our other cat
(a aged long hair calico) and our 5 yr old black lab tolerate this cat, but are
not friendly.  In fact, the problem cat is not especially friendly to people,
though he warms up to our daughter.  He has always been an outdoor/indoor
cat, and never adjusted to our attempts to keep him inside although we live
in a city. Problem is that Cat is reportedly attaching other cats in the
neighborhood, including in their yards and has been reported to enter other
peoples homes and attack their cats. We have not seen this behavior, but
know him to be an active hunter of birds and rodents, and he has even
brought in a killed squirrel. Last week, he came in with an abyss that required
very expensive surgery. During his hospitalization, he unlatched his crate and
ransacked the vet clinic (they have it on video).  One on one, he is gentle, but
I think we have to find a way to keep this cat indoors. The neighbors are
claiming they will call animal control, and want compensation for their own
vet bills. The vet suggests prozac, but that is more radical than we like.  I am
trying rescue remedy now, but he still cries all night long, trying to get out,
even though he is still injured.  Any suggestions?  Many thanks.

this is a difficult one and I'm not sure that there is necessarily and easy answer if at all.

i have had experience of this myself as my sister rescued a feral kitten  and his whole life he hated everyone and everything except my sister. visits to the vets were terrible and some vets even refused to see him. Luckily for her he had sight issues because he had cat flue when he was a kitten, which meant he was too frightened to go out so stayed in all the time.

Unfortunately feral cats once they know freedom outside will always crave that and I don't think there is much you can do to persuade them other wise.

i think the rescue remedy is worth a go for a while at the same time you will have to make his home life as entertaining as possible, please see my web page about this here

However in the long term if you need to keep in in all the time you may have to revert to some more drastic measures such as the prozac 9although I have had no experience of this drug with cats, so find out from your vet what he hopes from the drug and if there are any side effects etc)

My heart goes out to you as you are in a difficult situation. Hopefully as he gets older he will calm down and not be so territorial.

best wishes Kate


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Kate Tilmouth


I can answer most day to day cat problems encountered by owners. I have a good understanding of cat behaviour and problems which may arise from changes to their daily routine. I can advise on cat training including litter training and general day to day cat care issues. I am not a vet and therefore cannot answer medical questions.


I run my own cat website at and have been a dedicated cat owner for over 20 years. I have encountered many different cat problems and situations and feel that i have a good understanding of cats and cat ownership.

I am a platinum member of Ezinearticles where i write mainly cat related articles.

Educated to High School level and have since worked for many years in a customer support based environment, gaining vocational qualifications.

©2017 All rights reserved.