My happy indoor/outdoor pair.

by Hilary
(Melbourne, Australia)

Our first cat Nifty disappeared out a window the first night we got him. I was so, so sad, as I'd already grown quite attached, and he's a friendly fellow so I thought that he might like me too!

It was late at night and we searched for hours and could not find him anywhere! The next day I went for a walk around the block, asking neighbours in their gardens if they'd seen him. I got back from my walk, and my housemate was sitting the garden, with a calm and happy Nifty on his lap!

I know you're supposed to keep cats indoors at least for the first couple of weeks, but Nifty had his own ideas, but we quickly learned not to worry - he always came home for dinner, and never went further than the fence.

When I moved house to an upstairs apartment, Nifty became an indoor cat. The apartment was on a main road - one time he bolted out the front door, took 2 steps and ran back inside and hid under the couch for 2 hours!

Anyway, now we're in a little unit with a little courtyard, and Nifty has learned not to be afraid of the outdoors again, and it's fantastic. He loves nothing more than to bask in the sun!

Another bonus: He does all of his business out there. His new little sister is a bit more attached to the indoors, but she too has learned to do her business outside! It's great - no more emptying the litter box!

Both cats know that if they want dinner they have to come home, and we make sure we keep them in from dusk til dawn - for their own safety and the safety of native wildlife.

Having lived as both an indoor and outdoor cat, I'd say Nifty seems a lot happier when he's free to roam, but also a lot more aloof, I guess it comes from the independence. Just a little observation haha.

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by: Hilary (again!)

Yes, Nifty is the Bi-colour one. The black one is called Sunny - I realise I hardy wrote about her, we've only had her a couple of months. We adopted her from the local pound about 2 months ago, so I'm realy still getting to know her! She's very much attached to one of the housemates and just follows her 'mummy' around everywhere - indoor or outdoor! She's gone on a couple of adventures - the scariest one being a few nights ago she managed to catch a possum (a protected species in Australia). Since then we've really been keeping an eye on her movements outside and making sure she doesn't get out at night!!

Lovely pair of cats.
by: Larry (editor)

Hi Hilary,

Thank you very much for sharing your story and photographs with us. You have a lovely pair of cats.

Thank goodness that you got Nifty back after his escape. Many years ago I had a similar experience with a delightful black kitten, sadly we never got her back.

Although I'm an indoor only cat person, I can agree with your point about the reduced need of a litter box, saves a chore :)

You don't tell us anything about your other cat, and we don't know which one is Nifty. I'm going to guess he is the bi-colored? :)

Thank you once again Hilary.

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No More Outdoor Cats.

by Stanley Christopherson
(Worthing, U.K.)

Living as I do in a suburban area, with plenty of green spaces and not too much in the way of traffic, I’ve thought nothing at all about letting a cat come and go as he pleased. In fact I do not know of anybody around here who keeps their cats indoors.

This is the way Charlton, my previous cat, lived his life and lived it happily. Unless it was raining, snowing or very cold, he would most likely be out. But he would always come in for his meals, unfailingly. Often he would consume the contents of his dish, give me a quick glance and disappear out through the cat flap. Other times he was in the mood to spend a little time with me, allow me to pick him up and talk to him before he resumed his interest in the outdoors.

I said goodbye to Charlton two years ago. Just when I started to entertain thoughts of another cat, friends of mine ended their relationship and, although they argued about their chattels and who would have what, neither one wanted their cat as part of their new beginnings.

So Rollo became the new cat of the house. At first he acted pretty much the same as Charlton had, except he spent a little more time inside in the evenings.

Two months ago things changed. He stopped regularly coming indoors for his food and was missing for one, two even three days at a time. Several times he would show up after an absence but have no interest in his food, just sniff at it, prowl around the house a bit, refuse to let me near him and make his exit.

Sometimes when I arrived home I would see him near the house, once he was sitting on the front lawn, but he would bolt for it if I approached him. I even left the front door open when I knew he was around so he could wander in that way as well as the cat flap at the back. But no.

Someone is feeding him; it is obvious he has a new home. Last I saw Rollo, he was still wearing his bright blue collar so whoever has him now must have known he had a home. I’ve asked around with no success but I do feel that he is not too far away.

Next cat of mine, if there is a next cat, stays indoors.

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Abandoned his home?
by: Larry (editor)

Hi Stanley,

I’m sorry to read that your cat Rollo seems to have abandoned his home.

Some well meaning people will feed a strange cat that turns up on their property. The food may be new and exciting for the cat so he, or she, returns again and again for more. Eventually this can sometimes mean the cat abandons his home and adopts the person who is feeding him all this tasty new food.

There may be other factors involved.

For example, I’m assuming from your post that you have to be away from home every day to earn your income? It’s got to be done unfortunately.

Although it’s clear that your cat enjoys the outdoors there may be times that he wants to be indoors, with human company. Perhaps his new human can provide that.

You mention that Rollo is wearing a collar but you don’t indicate that it has an ID tag? This would give whoever is feeding him the means to contact you.

Asking around locally probably isn’t enough to find out where Rollo wanders off. Sometimes cats can roam quite a distance, you may get some ideas from this page.

Good luck, I would not give up all hope of Rollo’s return just yet. If you do manage to get him indoors you may want to keep him there as you say that you would not have another outdoor cat.

Of course, having known the outdoors Rollo may protest at first, but with patience he should adapt.

Larry (editor)

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