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Cats/Can my indoor cat be introduced to the outdoors?

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Question
Reilly is a 4 year old short haired who came to me in October. He showed up one night begging to be let in both the front and back door. I put out food and water for him but later when he was still waiting at the door I decided to let him in and he's been with me since. He had an upper respiratory infection, was  very thin, malnourished, and exhausted, he also wore a flea collar (he had fleas, since taken care of). He slept for almost 4 days straight. All this lead me to believe he was an indoor cat that had escaped. I put up found cat fliers on community boards but didn't hear from anyone.

Now that he's healthy and at an ideal weight he is extremely active, loves to run. At night he has free reign of the building and runs up and down the steps but during the day he has to stay on the third floor (the first two are offices). I play with him as much as I can (at least an hour a day) and he has plenty of toys but I still think he is under-stimulated. I used to bring him outside with me on the porch but one time he was startled, ran off and acted like he didn't know me, it took me three hours to find him. Is there anyway I can introduce him to the outdoors without losing him? He wont tolerate a leash, he tries to run away from it and i stopped trying it because I was afraid he'd injure himself. If it matters, I live in a quiet suburban area, but next to fairly busy road

Answer
Hi Mike,

You can do what lots of people do. Build him an outdoor enclosure. Here's a link that shows what you can do. The only thing that limits you is your imagination.

http://www.catsofaustralia.com/cat-enclosures.htm

This will keep him safe and allow him taste the outside safely. Hope this helped. Good luck and take care.

Ciao, Karen

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Karen Craft

Expertise

I can give advice on cat behavior. I can help about newborn kitten care. I can help with senior cat care. I can answer questions about cat proofing a home or making it cat friendly. I can answer diet questions. I can answer home treatments questions for cats. At present I have 13 cats in home and two ferals outside. And there's always room for one more!

Experience

I have over 40 year's experience with cats. Father was a veterinarian and I assisted him in his work. I have 15 cats at present. Most are shelter or feral rescues. I have one purebred cat. I have done cat rescues and foster care. Some thoughts to carry with you. A Cat's 10 Commandments My life is likely to last 15-20 years. Any separation from you is likely to be painful. Give me time to understand what you want of me. Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my well-being. Don't be angry with me for long and don't lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainments. But I have only you. Talk to me. Even if I don't understand your words, I do understand your voice when speaking to me. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it. Before you swat me, before you strike me, remember that I have teeth that could draw blood. And claws to strike back. And yet I choose not to attack you. If I don't act right then have me checked to see what is wrong. Please take care of me when I grow old. You too will grow old. On the difficult journey, on the ultimate difficult journey, go with me please. Never say you can't bear to watch. Don't make me face this alone. Everything is easier for me if you are there. Because I love you so. Take a moment today to thank God for your pets. Enjoy and take good care of them. Life would be a much duller, less joyful thing without God's critters. Pass this on.

Education/Credentials
I have an A.A.S.

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