Taking in stray cat?

deeinohioSeptember 21, 2011

About two weeks ago we found a lovely grey long-haired female stray cat living in the yard of the vacant home next door. My 7-year old grandson found her, along with the "corpse" of a mouse, as he put it. He was concerned and named her "Whiskers", putting a note on my refrigerator which said "Feed Whiskers".

So, I have (much to DH's distaste). She is now living on our front porch, napping on the cushion of the wrought iron bench during most of the day and night, waiting for her 3 daily meals.

She is a real sweetheart, friendly and greets us when we come home and follows us around the front yard.

I put a litter box on the porch and she has used it a few times, but not consistently. Our neighbor today complained about a cat in the neighborhood urinating in his bushes. Ours is not a neighborhood with stray animals.

I'd like to bring her in to the house (she has come in a few times) permanently. We have another cat and two dogs so another is not a big deal. But, how easy is it to transition an outside cat to inside? And, how can I be sure she'll learn to use the litter box? I can't live with the smell of cat urine. I'd like this to work.

Any advice?

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I found my first cat and transitioned him from outdoors to indoors with no problems. He took to the litter box with no issues. Just show her where it is and she'll go there. It is recommended that you have one for each cat, plus one. But we have four cats and three boxes. Before you bring her in, though, I would suggest that you take her to your vet and have her checked out thoroughly before you let her be around your first cat. Also, unless #1 cat is really laid back, it is a good idea to keep her in a room by herself at least for a day and let them get acquainted in the beginning with a door between them. Bringing in a new cat can cause litter box issues with the first cat, too. Just depends on how territorial #1 is. Bless you for taking care of her. There are so many homeless pets out there.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 11:26PM
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I have three cats that were all strays living outside. They adjusted to being indoor only cats and using a litter box no problem. I have three boxes for three cats (well I have added another box on the main floor recently for a geriatric cat). All these cats also had to adjust to new cats coming into the household. I've only had one that really did not like a newcomer but she tolerates him and it's not a problem. She just doesn't play with him, sleep by him, etc. and she hisses at him if he tried to play with her.

Definitely get the new cat checked out before bringing into the house to confirm she doesn't have anything contagious.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 11:42PM
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If she has found you this way, you are meant to be together! I am currently doing the same (adopting an outside stray as an indoor pet). Like any new cat, start her in a small room alone and gradually increase the size of her world as she becomes more comfortable. Hopefully she will get the hang of the kitty litter. Also, it's possible your other well trained cat would end up teaching her how to use litter correctly.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 8:28AM
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Thank you all so much. You're making me feel much better and easing my concerns. Every time I open the door, she's right there wanting to come in. And phish, we lost our 22-year-old female cat in March and I've never seen a stray cat in our neighborhood before. Just saying....

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 11:29AM
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Dee, she was sent to you, Kismet might be a great name for her! What a kind soul you have. We just adopted a kitten that the stray abandoned last month, she is about 4 months and tho our eldest cat isn't overly thrilled about it I caught her sleeping with him last week. LOL! She will adapt to the box just fine once she is an indoor cat, we have an older kitten of the stray (about a year old) that comes and goes, he uses the boxes well when he is in.

We are trying to cage the prolific stray that we call Mama so that we can get her spayed. She currently has a litter of 3 kittens, (we have found homes for all of them) and as soon as they are weaned she is off to the vet.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 11:39AM
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