Behavior

January 2008 Issue

How to Convert the Outdoor Cat to Indoor Pet

There are certain things to consider before taking the plunge. Here's some help.

Several years ago I came home to my first apartment and was greeted by my best friend, grinning from ear to ear. "There’s a surprise in your bathroom!" she exclaimed. That surprise turned out to be an adorable stray kitty from her hometown. "Nana" soon revealed herself to be an amazingly adaptive cat that was happy just basking in our love and attention, but the road to domestic bliss was certainly not without its bumps. In hindsight, there were several steps we could have taken to make the transition a bit smoother. In fact, there are several potential problems when bringing an outdoor cat (e.g. a neighborhood stray or barn cat) indoors to live; however, if a new owner anticipates these problems — and addresses them accordingly — they can be greatly minimized.

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