I have three cats who have lived indoors all their lives. I’ll be moving to a new house about two miles away from my current home, and would like for them to be yard cats after the relocation.
I’m afraid that once I introduce them to the outdoors, they’ll:
a) freak out, and get lost in the new neighborhood, and never return
b) freak out and use their special kitty GPS system and return to their former home (since it’s pretty close by)
What can I do to reduce the chances of this happening?
Are there any tips for easing the transition from indoors to outdoors?
I am assuming that the cats have their claws, are fully grown and have all of their shots.
You need to keep your cats indoors in the new home for at least 1 month after the move. During this time, you need to check your neighborhood for roaming dogs, out of control kids, cat hating neighbors, traffic, coyotes, raccoons and roaming cats.
Outdoor cats have a much riskier life (obviously) than indoor cats but they also have a more varied and interesting life as well. It is something to weigh. If, however, you have predators or cats that will fight with your cats then you should reconsider. You may be looking at missing cats, dead cats, cats with large vet bills in the future. You may also find dead rodents or pieces of dead rodents and birds around your new home. You might end up with irate neighbors and it may not be worth the bother.
You should always feed them indoors and keep a litter box indoors as well. You should always play with them indoors and groom them as well. This will keep their bond with you and the indoors strong if you decide you want to keep them as inside cats.
Another option is to make an outdoor cat run that they can spend time in.