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Unread 08-06-2009   #1 (permalink)
yellville
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Default Transitioning an outdoor/indoor cat to being a one-room cat again?

Hello! I originally tried to post this in "cat advice," but it hasn't been posted yet so I think I chose the wrong sub-forum. This one seems more appropriate. I'm sorry to send it twice! Hopefully I got it right this time, ha.

I'm going back to school soon, which means that my cat Egypt will need to stay with me in one room. It's the same room where she used to live with me, but over the summer we've been staying at my family's house, where she can roam all over the house and even go outside. When I'm at school, she won't be able to roam around the entire building, or go outside whenever she wants to.

Egypt is a very vocal cat, who whines loudly and unceasingly when she wants to leave my bedroom (which is the the main place where she stays during the summer.) If she does this when I'm at school, the neighbors would get very upset. How do I transition Egypt from the life she's become accustomed to this summer, to being a one-room cat again? I'll still take her out to play several times a day, but they'll have to be at times that I choose. At home, my family can let her out if I'm not around, but now, if I'm in class or out with friends, no one will be around to let her out and supervise her if she yowls to be let out of the room.

I read some articles on this site, and I have a plan: Since I have about a month left until I go back to school, I'll start keeping Egypt in my bedroom more and more. I'll go out and play with her a few times a day, but if she whines to be let out I will put on my headphones and ignore her, or even leave the room with her still in it. Hopefully, before long she will learn that whining gets her nowhere, and she will be content to stay inside more often.

Is this a good plan? Does anyone have a better one? I'm very concerned that nothing will get Egypt to stop whining to be let out, which means that she may not be able to live with me anymore! Luckily I have a friend nearby who could keep her, but I'd rather have Egypt stay with me (she loves me, and I'd miss her) and even if she stays with my friend, the whining may be a problem!
 
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Unread 08-06-2009   #2 (permalink)
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Your plans sound excellent! Egypt is very fortunate to have such a loving caring mama!

I'd like to add one thing to it.

How about training her to harness and leash? I wasn't sure what you meant about taking her out when you are at school, but you don't want her wandering on a college campus!

Start training her on it now, and once she gets used to your school routine and learns that she will be taken out with you at certain times, it may make her settle in and adjust better.

Somewhere here there's a step by step on how I harness train my cats....I'll try to find the thread for you.

You might also consider some rescue remedy and/or feliway plug in diffuser to help her remain calm, too.

<in edit> Never mind it would take forever to find the post. If you are interested, I will be happy to write it all out for you!


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Last edited by acerlt; 08-06-2009 at 07:03 PM. Reason: to add
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Unread 08-06-2009   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you for the reassurance and additional advice!

I'm definitely planning on getting a cat harness before I get back to school, and starting the process of getting Egypt accustomed to it. The thread you mentioned would be helpful, and in fact I think I saw it earlier today somewhere on the forum.

I'll definitely get something to keep her calm, such as the products you recommended. I grow my own catnip, so maybe I can dry some and make homemade cat toys to keep her happy. (She is also usually calm when I play opera music for her, hehe!)

Rachel
 
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Unread 08-06-2009   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yellville View Post
Thank you for the reassurance and additional advice!

I'm definitely planning on getting a cat harness before I get back to school, and starting the process of getting Egypt accustomed to it. The thread you mentioned would be helpful, and in fact I think I saw it earlier today somewhere on the forum.

I'll definitely get something to keep her calm, such as the products you recommended. I grow my own catnip, so maybe I can dry some and make homemade cat toys to keep her happy. (She is also usually calm when I play opera music for her, hehe!)

Rachel
You're welcome!

Here's a quick outline of what I recommend for harness training:

To train a cat to the harness, I start by leaving the harnesses lying around the house until they became familiar objects. for a week or two.

Then I begin draping the harness over the cat.

After a few more days I put the harness on kitty then take it off again, each time leaving it on a little longer.

Oh, first I practiced putting the harness on and off a stuffed animal cat, until I could do it quickly. My hands don't work too well at the best of times and practice made it a little easier to manage on a live cat.

Once I am sure the cat is comfortable in the harness I attach the "string" to it, and let kitty get used to feeling the drag.

When I am sure kitty is comfortable with it all, I introduce the outside.

One caution, never tether a cat on a leash. She could hurt herself very badly if something was to come by and scare her , or worse, if she couldn't get away at all.


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Originally Posted by yellville View Post
I grow my own catnip, so maybe I can dry some and make homemade cat toys to keep her happy. (She is also usually calm when I play opera music for her, hehe!)

Rachel
Me too! I grow it, harvest it, dry it, and make catnip toys out of my retired wool hiking socks.

Great minds think alike, eh?

Do you have a picture of Egypt? She's got an intriguing name, how did she get it?


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Unread 08-08-2009   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yellville View Post
Thank you for the reassurance and additional advice!

I'm definitely planning on getting a cat harness before I get back to school, and starting the process of getting Egypt accustomed to it. The thread you mentioned would be helpful, and in fact I think I saw it earlier today somewhere on the forum.

I'll definitely get something to keep her calm, such as the products you recommended. I grow my own catnip, so maybe I can dry some and make homemade cat toys to keep her happy. (She is also usually calm when I play opera music for her, hehe!)

Rachel
Hi Rachel, I'm glad that you've planned everything properly, and especially glad that our experienced member, Acer is giving you good advices. I know Egypt will be fine and adapt purrfectly to her new environment. Indoor cats (or one room cat) can be happy too. Due to some reasons (like moving furniture, workers come to work in the house...), sometimes I also keep my cats in a room full of toys too- and they are just fine. I'm glad that you managed to get her lots of toys to keep her happy. Soon she will become a content, satisfied and joyful kitty again ! Keep up the awesome work !
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Last edited by Irene Jims; 08-08-2009 at 01:25 AM.
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