Teaching an outdoor cat to live indoors
Converting an outdoor cat into an indoor pet begins with a vet exam and spaying or neutering. †A spayed/neutered feline will be less interested in an outside life because the mating instinct will be reduced.
Provide a good-sized litter box in a private, comfortable area. If the cat has ever used a box, memory will kick in, or his natural inclination to cover his waste will give him the right idea. Offer him a scratching post and opportunities to exercise and play with toys that simulate prey. Ease the catís transition to his new world with plenty of social interaction.
Some formerly outdoor cats, fearful and stressed in their old lives, want nothing to do with the great outdoors after coming inside. Others may long for the wild. If youíre concerned that the cat will miss the sunshine and fresh air, train him to wear a leash and harness (not a collar) and walk him outdoors. Or build a catio, a screened, secured outside space that allows the cat to experience the outdoors while safely confined. Practice patience, and heíll eventually forget an existence spent dodging dogs and cars while looking for his next meal.