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Cat woe

What do you do with a cat who's pining for the fjords?

He got out while I was trying to bring in the mail, and took off down the hallway. The only reason I caught up with him was that the hall ends in a large landing, right before the (open to the outside) stairs, and Jack was distracted by the sudden opening up of space.

He fought me all the way back to the apartment. Then, he paced back and forth before the closed door, wailing, before trying to reach the doorknob with his paws.

Someone who I can only describe as his caseworker called a week or so back to check on how he was doing. She told me he had previously been an outdoor cat. Well, that explains a lot!

I really don't know what to do. This place is all parking lots and identical corridors: I could never let him out on his own. And I've heard horror stories about cats on leashes slipping out of their harnesses. All I can think of is taking him out on the balcony, under supervision.

(Why supervision? Because some of the tree branches are just close enough than an ambitious cat might be able to reach them with a leap. I wouldn't recommend it, but I'm not a desperate cat.)



Mar. 19th, 2010 04:08 am (UTC)
Some harness designs are pretty secure (I don't like the H-style harness, where the neck loop and body loop are just connected by a single strap down the back -- my cats used to back right out of those). Mine looks pretty much like this one (hope the link works) and seems much more secure. I have to get it over Toeffe's head while putting one of his forelegs through a loop, and he dislikes that, but once he's in he's in. I do also make an effort to remain behind Toeffe while we walk, just as a matter of habit. He really enjoys his walks. The only problem is that once he's been out, that whets his appetite for more, and he tries that much harder to get out again. Lots of begging by the door, too. I suspect it might be easier to just keep him inside 100% and hope he forgets that outside is fun... but he enjoys it so much I can't deny him.

Maybe you can look up some stuff online about helping formerly-outdoor cats adapt to indoor life?
Mar. 20th, 2010 12:09 am (UTC)
That's a good idea (the research). Some people I spoke to IRL also suggested setting up an Invisible Fence just inside my door.

Just in case he ever does successfully escape, I'm also going to look into having him microchipped, and getting him a collar with tags. Just in case.