Annette from Catnip and Coffee asked:
“How do you retrain a cat to indoor only after being outdoors in the daytime for years?”
I was going to comment a response, but realized I probably had enough to blog mine.
Spooky was 8 1/2 years old when he came to live in my house – he belonged to my then-roommate, Geoffrey. Spooky had come and gone as he pleased his entire life (G came from a big family and there was always someone around to let him in or out), but I knew I couldn’t take not knowing where the cat was, particularly after dark. This was a dealbreaker for me, so Spooky became an indoor cat.
Mostly, we re-trained him by not letting him out. This sounds ridiculous, but really, I didn’t have a better plan. And it was a poor plan, because we also had two dogs in the house and Spooky could plot a mean jailbreak.
They happened, those jailbreaks. He would watch us let the dogs out, and slooowwly position himself somewhere out of sight such that when the door was opened to let the dogs in..he was gone. There were at least two occassions when he was gone all night.
Obviously, I am a dog person.
Side Note: Spooky gained some weight in those first couple of years being indoor-only. The vet was not concerned and the weight eventually came off, but I think we went from 11 pounds to 13 pounds during that transition.