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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.

9 Responses to “How do I acclimate indoor cats to live in the outdoors?”

  1. rescue member says:

    You need to keep them indoors in your new home, at the very least until they get used to that as home.

    You are right about them running away and trying to return to your old home.

    It would be very cruel to throw indoor cats outside, they likely would not survive.
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  2. Dark814 says:

    WEll…….. try luring them with Cat food,tuna, and fish…..Then when theyre outside eating their food try petting them repeatadly…….. HOPE THIS HELP=)
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  3. melissa k says:

    Why do you want them to be outdoor cats? Depending on how old they are and what their histories are, this could be quite dangerous for them. If they are not used to defending themselves against predators and those trying to encroach on their territory, they won’t last very long. At the very least, they should be confined to an outdoor cat enclosure.
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  4. Angie C says:

    I don’t know your situation so that being said, I can’t imagine a good reason for your cats to be outdoor cats. Not only could they get lost or go back home like you mentioned, but there are predators, diseases, thiefs that like to torture cats, cars, etc that your cats would have to deal with. On top of that is the weather. Cats are pretty resiliant but I have a kitten that absolutely can’t tolerate the heat. She loves to go out in our fenced back yard but if the temperature is over 90, she can only last about 30 seconds before she starts panting and has to go back inside. Plus in the winter is the cold and the potential for frostbite. If you can keep your cats indoors, that’s what would be best for them, especially since that is all they have known.
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  5. blkmiss says:

    You need to keep these cats as indoor cats. My sibling just put HIS cat to sleep. Shortly after he got it he gave it to my mother. She didn’t care about it. When my mother got sick & my sibling moved into her house he decided he couldn’t take care of it so instead of taking it to the no kill shelter he took it to the vet & put it to sleep.

    Don’t take an animal into your home if you don’t want to care for it properly. Outdoor cats don’t live as long as indoor cats. IF you had an enterly fenced in yard then I MIGHT say it would be OK to let them to out there for short periods but even then other cats & animals could get in & harm them.

    Your cats are your responsiblity. Take care of them properly or give them to someone who will.
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  6. draecoiram says:

    not only could they freak out & get lost, likely they will be attacked by animals that they know nothing about & be severlly hurt or killed. keep them inside or you’ll lose them.
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  7. Kim J says:

    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.
    References :

  8. Melissa B says:

    Get them used to being outdoors .Bring them outside when you have yard work to do.
    References :

  9. Marlou says:

    I think it would be horribly cruel to throw these cats outside and can’t imagine why you would want to do it. Please keep them inside where it’s safe.
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