Advice needed over cat.

Gromit

Über Member
Location
York
Our cat Billa, a few weeks ago got hit by a bike, she wasn't injured or anything. We only found out at 3.30pm when some school children knocked on our door to tell us.

Anyway this is just one of a few incidents, where she has been wandering onto a main road not looking out for traffic any more. She used to go out regular as clockwork in the mornings and evenings (through the front onto a residential street of terraced houses). For years this was fine as she had good road sense.

The bike incident was the last straw so Bikepete and I decided to keep her confined to the house and the back yard.

Ever since then (for a few weeks now) she has been showing signs of stress, meowing till all hours of the morning. Waking us at silly a clock. And urinating where she shouldn't. She keeps on trying to climb out the back (we put netting up so she can't) and begging to be let out the front. We have been fussing her as much as we possibly can but she's obviously not happy. We've sorted out easily accessible 'window seats' for her so she can look out too.

We have taken her to the vets were she got a clean bill of health. Saying that she is in excellent health for a cat her age. She isn't as agile as she once was of course and sometimes looks a bit doddery when jumping off chairs etc.

We are a bit stuck, she is clearly unhappy about being confined to the house, however her failing hearing and her loss of road sense means that if we let her out we fear she will eventually get run over.

One friend suggested we just let her out so at least she goes happy, but it wouldn't be very nice for someone to run her over or have an accident avoiding her.

Should we just keep her in and hope she gets used to it? any tips on making her happier?
 
perhaps you could take her out for walks? Some cats will take to it, others won't.
 

potsy

Rambler
Location
My Armchair
It's certainly not easy trying to limit a cats movements,our boy cat is a real wanderer and I regularly see him quite a distance from home as I'm riding home at 10.30pm,fingers crossed he's come to no harm.
She may get used to her new regime given time,but with the warmer weather they do like to be out more anyway.
 

marinyork

Resting in suspended Animation
Location
Logopolis
It just doesn't work keeping them in completely even if they have no road sense. Let her our a couple of 1-2 times a week and hopefully she'll get a bit more used to it. I don't think they ever like it completely.
 

Globalti

Legendary Member
FFS let her out, it's the best time of the year to be a cat, patrolling your territory and pouncing on mice and birds, hiding in the long grass and pretending you're a tiger. She will be stressing over the fact that while she can't go out some neighbour's cat will be taking her mousing rights, which would be the same as somebody stealing your food every day or worse, stealing from your garden. For cats who have never been outside it's fine to keep them in but for an outdoors cat it is a terrible thing. If she gets killed on the road at least she will die happy, which is better than an anguished lingering death from some stress-related disease. Cheaper for you too.
 

summerdays

Cycling in the sun
Location
Bristol
I start by saying I don't know anything about cats. Could you modify what you are doing and let her out at times when the road outside is quiet... so not school times, perhaps in the night when she could see the light of approaching traffic, the weekend if is quieter then?
 
OP
Gromit

Gromit

Über Member
Location
York
Globalti said:
FFS let her out, it's the best time of the year to be a cat, patrolling your territory and pouncing on mice and birds, hiding in the long grass and pretending you're a tiger. She will be stressing over the fact that while she can't go out some neighbour's cat will be taking her mousing rights, which would be the same as somebody stealing your food every day or worse, stealing from your garden. For cats who have never been outside it's fine to keep them in but for an outdoors cat it is a terrible thing. If she gets killed on the road at least she will die happy, which is better than an anguished lingering death from some stress-related disease. Cheaper for you too.
We live in an area surrounded by terraced houses she has to cross a busy road to get to any grass, plus as well as not looking any more whilst crossing the road she lies in the middle of the one which gets the most traffic, thinking she is outside her own house.
 

snapper_37

Barbara Woodhouse's Love Child
Location
Wolves
Gromit said:
plus as well as not looking any more whilst crossing the road she lies in the middle of the one which gets the most traffic, thinking she is outside her own house.
Cats aren't my fave animals but that brought a lump to my throat.;) Poor bugger.

It's easy for folks to say 'let it out, it can die happy' blah blah. Different when it's your own pet. I don't have any experience with cats and I hope you find a way to work this out Groms.

I've got friends with 'house' cats. The only reason they are kept in is because they are pedigree and I think it's terrible. However, it's all they've ever known, whereas your cat has had its freedom up until now. One thing my aunty does, who's got mankoons (sp?) is to attach them to the washing line on like elastic things. That's all well and good until you take you eyes off them and they are tangled in trees etc.

Good luck!!!
 

tordis

New Member
Location
London
It's hard for a once-outdoor cat to get used to being kept indoors, so she may feel stressed. It's good you managed to cat-proof the garden - let her have the full run of it, but if I were you, I wouldn't let her out to roam. She will eventually get used to the new situation. Feliway could be a good solution, you might also want to consider getting another cat to keep Billa company :sad:
 

wafflycat

New Member
+1 for Feliway. The diffuser can be got from a vet and it's plugged into a socket just like a 'normal' air freshener. Feliway mimics cat hormones and does de-stress them.

If you have a garden - any chance of a small enclosure in there for her - so she can be 'out' but safely so? It doesn't have to be anything hugely expensive, but somewhere where she can still be out in the fresh air, but in a safe enclosure may do the trick.
 

Twenty Inch

New Member
Location
Behind a desk
Friend of mine had a cat that started doing this. Vet diagnosed cat dementia, given its age.

I must admit when we had cats we let them just get on with it, they don't take well to being restricted. We lost two on the road, I think.
 

bikepete

Veteran
Location
York, UK
wafflycat said:
+1 for Feliway. The diffuser can be got from a vet and it's plugged into a socket just like a 'normal' air freshener. Feliway mimics cat hormones and does de-stress them.
Yes we looked at Feliway - looked it up online too - as many say it makes no difference as say it does. There seems to be no actual evidence that it works beyond the vague pseudosciency guff about hormones from the manufacturer - though there may well be a placebo effect in that it makes owners feel better which passes on to the cats. See e.g.

http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/feliway/page1.aspx

It also makes little sense to me that a generic 'hormone' can reassure cats more than their own personal smell. Billa has ensured that there's plenty of her own wee smell around :-( not to mention fur...

Could give it a try anyway I suppose - doubt it'll do any harm except to the bank balance.

wafflycat said:
If you have a garden - any chance of a small enclosure in there for her - so she can be 'out' but safely so? It doesn't have to be anything hugely expensive, but somewhere where she can still be out in the fresh air, but in a safe enclosure may do the trick.
We've made the entire 'garden' (actually a small concrete yard approx 3 x 3 m) into a safe enclosure with netting etc and she does spend quite a bit of time sitting out in it. She has a second litter tray out there too which she occasionally uses.
 

wafflycat

New Member
bikepete said:
Yes we looked at Feliway - looked it up online too - as many say it makes no difference as say it does. There seems to be no actual evidence that it works beyond the vague pseudosciency guff about hormones from the manufacturer - though there may well be a placebo effect in that it makes owners feel better which passes on to the cats. See e.g.

http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/feliway/page1.aspx

It also makes little sense to me that a generic 'hormone' can reassure cats more than their own personal smell. Billa has ensured that there's plenty of her own wee smell around :-( not to mention fur...

Could give it a try anyway I suppose - doubt it'll do any harm except to the bank balance.
Well, having one upstairs & one downstairs, there was a noticeable drop in stress to Waffles when Marble calmed down a lot within a day of Feliway being used. Take what you will about that, but I don't think the immediate drop in inappropriate peeing, reduction in vomiting and reduction in clawing at furniture can be down to the placebo effect on me - it wasn't me doing the peeing, vomiting and clawing :sad:
 
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