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Cats/Cat & the outdoors


Hi Ali, my cat Junior is 8 1/2 years old. He's always wanted to go out so I always put him out in a big dog cage in the yard. This was fine for many years. About a year ago I moved to a house that had a backyard so I decided to let him enjoy grass/leaves and such so I fitted him with a harness and I tethered him outside, always under supervision. This caused some annoyances, such as his always wanting to go outside now, crying at the door, clawing at the doorjamb, the cage not being good enough. In the last couple of months and especially the last couple of weeks, he is crying at night! I get home from work and he starts crying at the door all evening, then I go to bed and he's crying at night to go out, and then again at the break of dawn. I can't always be outside with him. Now please know that Junior and I are very very close. He was an orphan kitten whose mother and siblings died in child birth. I fed him formula with a baby bottle from the age of 3 days. I love him dearly and would and have done anything for him. But I can't take this incessant crying. I've a good mind to cut him off completely from the outdoors, as much as it breaks my heart. Maybe eventually he would stop - but how long can I go without sleep/relaxation? I'm telling you, it's really bad. I'm afraid also to get evicted from my new place because I'm sure the neighbours hear him. Please help, I don't know what to do!!!


Perhaps the reason that Junior is so intent on going outside is because he feels that his territory is threatened by other animals... If you have one or more neighborhood kitties this may be his issue. I would suggest that you consider maybe seeing if Junior will go for walks through the neighborhood with you - it should help him to burn some energy and allow him to mark various surfaces with his scent around your home.

Another option would be to consider investing in a pet stroller - this is a great way for Junior to go for walks with you without risking his safety around dogs and other cats. Our cats have a stroller and once the weather is nice we take them on regular walks - it's good enrichment for them because they love the smells and sights of the outdoors.

If you are in a house you could ask your landlord's permission to build Junior a catio and put in a cat door so that he's able to go outside when he wants, but he's contained, safe and gets to feel the grass under his feet.

One question I do have to ask is whether or not Junior is neutered, if he's not neutered having him altered would certainly change his drive to go outside... After all, it is springtime and kitten season is upon us - an unneutered tom would certainly be wanting to go and spread the wild oats amongst the female felines of the neighborhood.

If you have the resources you can always put out a live humane trap to trap, neuter and return neighborhood kitties since they aren't usually likely to have large territories once they've been spayed/neutered. This is the humane solution to neighborhood stray and feral cat populations. Some animal shelters will spay/neuter these guys for free if you sign paperwork stating that you manage their colony which essentially means that you feed them and if necessary trap them for medical reasons.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me again at any time - I'm more than happy to help in any way that I can.

Kind regards,



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I am the proud guardian of 5 mixed breed cats ranging from 12 weeks to 13 years old and one purebred ragdoll. I have 20+ years experience working with mixed breed cats from a variety of different situations. I have fostered cats/kittens with special needs/behavioral issues. I have rescued/rehabilitated/re-homed a variety of stray/abused cats. I can offer advice on managing feral cat colonies, rehabilitating strays and finding them forever homes. I can help you to determine whether a cat is stray or feral, there IS a significant difference. Improperly introducing a new cat/kitten can result in aggression between newly introduced cats because cats are territorial by nature and they don't like sudden changes in their environment. To learn more about a peaceful way to introduce a new cat into a home with other cats please check out my previous answers on this subject. Proper nutrition for cats can be confusing, I recommend checking out which was created by a veterinarian (Dr. Lisa Pierson) who takes a common sense approach to explaining feline nutrition. Cat behavior and instincts are different from those of humans, I can help you understand your cat's needs so that you can meet them adequately and have a balanced, psychologically and physically sound kitty. Cats vary in personality, energy level and intelligence, different approaches may be required to achieve results in terms of training and interaction with your feline companion. An intelligent, high energy cat must be kept busy or they will make their own fun. I am NOT a licensed veterinarian and I can't offer medical advice. If your cat is ill/injured my advice is always the same: get prompt medical treatment provided by a veterinarian. If finances are an issue I will try to find resources in your area that can help with medical costs or make other choices to ensure the welfare of your cat.


I have fostered feral and stray cats, rehabilitated and homed cats that many people recommended euthanasia for. I am willing to make an effort to do the research and ask questions because I care enough to find solutions to behavioral problems rather than giving up. I have an interest in the use of alternative therapies to help provide the best possible care for all cats and I can say in all honesty that I've seen some incredible things happen for some incredible cats and their human caregivers when the right alternative therapeutic modality is used by a qualified veterinarian with expertise and experience in the field.

I've earned my diploma as a veterinary assistant with honors.

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