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Can I Keep My Cat?

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  • May 22nd, 2020 5:02 pm
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[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Jul 13, 2012
5770 posts
865 upvotes
Ottawa

Can I Keep My Cat?

I recently (two months ago) got a cat from the Humane Society, and I love her. However, I live in an apartment. A couple of times a day, she's crying at the door to go out. It's not constant, but if I happen to be near the door (which is often, because my apartment's small).
I've been bringing her on walks once or twice a day on a leash, but she's hesitant to come back into the apartment. When I pick her up to bring her back in, she cries, bites and scratches (not really hard like a wild cat, but it's obvious she's expressing she doesn't want to be moved).
If I'm outside the apartment, the second I open the door she'll bolt out, and when I chase after her she runs. When I catch her, she does the above.

She's a female domestic shorthair, about a year/year and a half old. The shelter said that she was a stray cat and didn't have any information on her. She's healthy, and she doesn't seem to really have and tendencies of a feral cat. She can be aggressive if you do something that annoys her, but she's otherwise very affectionate and craves company (as I type this in my bedroom, she's crying on the other side of the door because it's closed).

I want to keep her, but I have to wonder if she's truly meant to be an indoor cat. Right now I move her into my bedroom when I leave the apartment (so she can't get into the hallway when I return), but when COVID-19 ends I can't keep doing that for months or years. Will this get better or do I need to consider giving her up for rehoming/adoption? Opinions?
12 replies
Deal Addict
Apr 25, 2011
1327 posts
971 upvotes
British Columbia
ConsoleWatcher wrote: I've been bringing her on walks once or twice a day on a leash, but she's hesitant to come back into the apartment.
This can aggravate the problem. Once a cat gets used to the outdoors they usually want out all the time, not just on your schedule. This is why I never recommend leash walking a cat, it creates more problems than it's worth.

If you can keep her indoor only for a time (even put a sign on your door so you are mindful of where she is when opening the door), see how it goes. That means don't shut her in a single room when you're gone! She may give up on going out after a few weeks.

Make sure she is in an enriching environment; get a tall cat tree if you can and give her lots of playtime daily (a laser pen is great), get some cat nip, maybe even an electric water bowl.

I did have a cat that lived indoor/outdoor with a cat door she could use 24/7 for her entire life; she had been semi-feral and it was a real process acclimating her to indoor life at all. She was the type where indoor life just wouldn't have worked, if she was shut in she went psycho until you opened a door for her. I currently have two of my cats that door dash; they escape often. They are content indoors though, just seize their opportunities wisely. Sometimes when they get out they try extra hard the rest of the day or the next few days to get out, but it passes fairly quickly.

Good luck. Only you can make the call on if she is truly unhappy. Does the shelter even adopt out cats to people that allow them indoor/outdoor? Some don't. If that's the cases and you think she needs to be an outdoor cat, try rehoming her yourself. Make sure the potential new owners don't live by a busy road.

Sometimes it's quality over quantity of life.
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Jul 13, 2012
5770 posts
865 upvotes
Ottawa
Karala wrote: This can aggravate the problem. Once a cat gets used to the outdoors they usually want out all the time, not just on your schedule. This is why I never recommend leash walking a cat, it creates more problems than it's worth.

If you can keep her indoor only for a time (even put a sign on your door so you are mindful of where she is when opening the door), see how it goes. That means don't shut her in a single room when you're gone! She may give up on going out after a few weeks.

Make sure she is in an enriching environment; get a tall cat tree if you can and give her lots of playtime daily (a laser pen is great), get some cat nip, maybe even an electric water bowl.

I did have a cat that lived indoor/outdoor with a cat door she could use 24/7 for her entire life; she had been semi-feral and it was a real process acclimating her to indoor life at all. She was the type where indoor life just wouldn't have worked, if she was shut in she went psycho until you opened a door for her. I currently have two of my cats that door dash; they escape often. They are content indoors though, just seize their opportunities wisely. Sometimes when they get out they try extra hard the rest of the day or the next few days to get out, but it passes fairly quickly.

Good luck. Only you can make the call on if she is truly unhappy. Does the shelter even adopt out cats to people that allow them indoor/outdoor? Some don't. If that's the cases and you think she needs to be an outdoor cat, try rehoming her yourself. Make sure the potential new owners don't live by a busy road.

Sometimes it's quality over quantity of life.
I should have mentioned that when I bring her on walks, it's only in the hallway of the floor my apartment's on. My hope was that she would eventually get bored of it.
I have a cat tree in the living room, and she seems to enjoy jumping on it and other things in my apartment (bookcase, fridge, etc...).
She's ok with not trying to door dash when I'm leaving the apartment; she only does it when I go back in.
I don't like leaving her in my bedroom when I'm gone, but it's the only way so far to prevent her from getting out of the apartment when I come back. I've tried to set up my bedroom to be as accomodating as I can (there's food, cat toys, a storage cabinet and dresser for her to jump/sleep on, she can look out the window by being on the dresser, etc...

She seems to be happy inside; she does express the desire to go out, but it's not a constant one. I just don't know if she's a cat that is going to be happy being an indoor cat.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 19, 2012
1859 posts
285 upvotes
Canada
She’s new given her time to adjust
I feel you want to keep her to judging by hour post
I have a shelter cat as well
And live in apt
I use to let him out in the hallway thinking he was bored
He liked but I didn’t
He didn’t door dash but would sometimes sit there hoping I would let him out
He got tired of it and he’s happily content
Keep your cat
Deal Addict
Jan 28, 2014
3187 posts
527 upvotes
Yes, you can. Just do as bluenose2 suggested.
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Jul 13, 2012
5770 posts
865 upvotes
Ottawa
bluenose2 wrote: She’s new given her time to adjust
I feel you want to keep her to judging by hour post
I have a shelter cat as well
And live in apt
I use to let him out in the hallway thinking he was bored
He liked but I didn’t
He didn’t door dash but would sometimes sit there hoping I would let him out
He got tired of it and he’s happily content
Keep your cat
Well, I tried not bringing her out for a week now, hoping she would adjust better to the indoors.
Today I tried for the first time in over a week leaving the apartment without leaving her in my bedroom.
Sure enough, when I returned she dashed out the door and bit me when I chased her down and picked her up to bring her in.
I can't keep leaving her in m bedroom everytime I leave the house, and I can't chase her every time I open the door.
As I've said, I really want to keep her, but I can't help but think that she's an outdoor cat.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 19, 2012
1859 posts
285 upvotes
Canada
ConsoleWatcher wrote: Well, I tried not bringing her out for a week now, hoping she would adjust better to the indoors.
Today I tried for the first time in over a week leaving the apartment without leaving her in my bedroom.
Sure enough, when I returned she dashed out the door and bit me when I chased her down and picked her up to bring her in.
I can't keep leaving her in m bedroom everytime I leave the house, and I can't chase her every time I open the door.
As I've said, I really want to keep her, but I can't help but think that she's an outdoor cat.
you don't leave her locked in the bedroom
no wonder she bit you
she needs access to her food and water
let her roam FREE in the entire apt
when you are out.
Member
May 31, 2007
434 posts
74 upvotes
Toronto
When we lived in an apartment 7 years ago, we adopted a cat from a resident who lived in the first floor. Our cat was always outdoor during the day, greeting the residents and thats how we met her.

The first night we brought her in, we place her bed outside out bedroom. When we closed the door, she’d cry. This went on for 3 days, one of us had to sleep with her in the living room. (Now she sleeps with us)

Just like yours, she loves to be outdoors. She even had another cat friend from the neighborhood house.
She cries or sit by the door when someone is about to open the backyard door. When we entertained her, sometimes she didn’t want to get back home. To us, this becomes normal.. Maybe we get used to it.

She tried to sneak and door dash too. We always tell her that that’s not okay and she seemed to understand xD. We are always cautious when opening the doors. If you’re coming home, try opening the door a bit and gently move your cat inside so she cannot go out as you’re coming in.

When I read your story, I thought it’s similar to ours and we still have our cat despite this behaviour. Maybe because we’ve grown to love her.

I’d say give it some time to adjust. All the best :)
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Jul 13, 2012
5770 posts
865 upvotes
Ottawa
bluenose2 wrote: you don't leave her locked in the bedroom
no wonder she bit you
she needs access to her food and water
let her roam FREE in the entire apt
when you are out.
There's food, water, a litter box, cat toys, a cat bed on a storage unit (where she sleeps when I'm asleep) and a litter box in my bedroom. I let her roam the entire apartment whenever I'm home (which is most of the time when I'm not at work).
Even if she's been out of the room for hours (as in today) she still tries to get out.
Deal Fanatic
Dec 3, 2007
5481 posts
695 upvotes
Calgary
I agree with others you need to let the car roam free in your apartment. Cats are very independent animal, she will be fine and she will enjoy the space.
You are doing a great job walking the cat with a leash, not every cat can be walked with a leash. So keep doing that and maybe expand to outside in the future.
Cats do mellow out as they aged. Your cat is still young.
You are doing a good job.
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Jul 13, 2012
5770 posts
865 upvotes
Ottawa
mucat wrote: I agree with others you need to let the car roam free in your apartment. Cats are very independent animal, she will be fine and she will enjoy the space.
You are doing a great job walking the cat with a leash, not every cat can be walked with a leash. So keep doing that and maybe expand to outside in the future.
Cats do mellow out as they aged. Your cat is still young.
You are doing a good job.
Thanks. The only reason I leave her in my room when I leave the apartment is because if I don't, I can't prevent her from getting out the apartment door when I come home. If it wasn't for that, I'd have no problem letting her roam the apartment when I'm away too.
Deal Fanatic
Dec 3, 2007
5481 posts
695 upvotes
Calgary
ConsoleWatcher wrote: Thanks. The only reason I leave her in my room when I leave the apartment is because if I don't, I can't prevent her from getting out the apartment door when I come home. If it wasn't for that, I'd have no problem letting her roam the apartment when I'm away too.
You can try open a little to peek inside first and try stick one leg in to block her. I think most of us cat owners does this sort of strange things some times in our life :)
I used to let my cat out in the hallway and play with him and he would run until he's tired.
And I've also tried to block my cats when he tried to "escape" outside, sometimes he won, sometimes i won :)
But sounds like you are doing fine. keep walking her with leash.
I have my 3rd and 4th cats now, none of my previous and current cats do walk with leash.
Deal Addict
May 22, 2003
4419 posts
1923 upvotes
Vancouver
Does your apartment have a balcony? If so, maybe look into building a catio for them? One of my cats used to sneak out by opening the screen doors, after I built them a catio, they are content to just sunbathe in the catio now.

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