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Terri
Terri, Feline Healthcare Expert
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 32082
Experience:  Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
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About 5 yrs. ago a small, skinny but beautiful little male

Customer Question

about 5 yrs. ago a small, skinny but beautiful little male wandered up on our front porch when we were sitting there. We slowly coaxed him with food, soft talk, gentle approaches until he would let us pet him. We decided to keep him and gradually coaxed him inside, slowly introducing him to our other two inside cats. He is now healthy and beautiful; sthe vet describes him as "mostly Bengal". Our other two cats are "inside only" and we have tried to force our little adoptee to accustom himself to strictly indoor living. Two problems: Even though he had been neutered when he came to us, he has some aggressive social tendencies, especially towards our little alley cat calico; not as much towards our indoor Norwegian Forest cat (male). The little "bengal" we adopted was litter box trained, and uses it, but he seems heartbreakingly frustrated at not being able to go outside - has started spraying furniture and cries pitifully to be let out, even though we spent $5000 on screening our 50 ft. long front porch - the other two cats love being there but it's not enough for our new one. We tried letting him go in and out for awhile but couldln't keep up w/ the $2-300 vet bills for patching him up after a fight every 3-4 mos. Our vet says she will not put him down; he's only about 7 and is really a beautiful animal. My biggest concern is his psychological state - the spraying and pitiful crying. I think he is frustrated and unhappy at being kept in the house despite the screened front porch which he can access any time via cat door and many open, screened windows in the house, which all have tables w/cushions so he can just lie there and observe the outside activity. I'm miserable not knowing what the "right"thing to do is - let him go in and out and put a significant dent in our fixed-income, or just try to ignore the crying and clean after the spraying. Can you tell me what's best for HIM?
Diann, Delta, CO
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Terri replied 6 months ago.

Hi Diann,

Bless you for taking in this sweet boy. I understand your dilemma.Once a cat gets a taste of the outdoors he wants to get out there. He does not understand about fights, predators, cars or diseases.

However, you should not have to pt up with spraying, crying and psychological trauma.

I suggest you train him to walk with a leash and harness. Then you can take him out twice a day, let him spray the bushes, climb a little and get some exercise.

http://www.wikihow.com/Leash-Train-a-Cat

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Gdj4Gn2U3c

In addition, catify your home and the outside catio by placing shelves in various places to allow for vertical climbing.

I would also put him on amitriptyline to stop the spraying.

Please let me know how this works out for you.

Please be so kind as to rate my answer with positive feedback; that is the only way I receive credit for my assistance. Thank you very much!

Providing a positive rating will not end our conversation, should you need me for any follow-up. Simply click 'Reply' for clarification or additional information, if needed, at no additional charge.

Kind regards,

Terri