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Discussion Starter #1
We've been without a cat for the past 2 years. First time in 22 years to be without. After Mikka wandered off during our move in 2005 we just couldn't get past the ache of missing her. All the dogs loved her, she loved all the dogs.

Finally we're ready but I think we've got a logistics problem. I worry about there being so many feral/stray cats in the 'hood. Would "Fluffy" get torn apart by some wild-eyed tom? Then there's the issue of the doggie door. Mikka was a very small cat and even she figured out how to use it. And she used it at will, going outside at bedtime and coming back in around 3:00 AM every morning. She also liked going into the RHG with the dogs to play around them. What if "Fluffy" decides to patrol the 'hood? Would she come back? I'm not opposed to making her an indoor cat, but I don't want to deny the dogs free access to their yard by closing off the doggie door just to keep her indoors.

We've never really trained cats for behaviours, (oh, Lewis and Clark learned to retrieve and loved that game) and we're a bit at sea here. I'd hate to bring a kitty home just to have it wander off or be critically injured within a few months.

Thoughts? Ideas?
 

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I have four kitties myself. 3 come and go in and out as they please and little Ruby, who I think must be 13 weeks now, has at least another month before she is allowed out. Which leads me onto my question: how old is the kitty in question? adult or kitten?
 

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Nance, my two come in and out as they please. Mostly out though. The only "training" they needed was to be kept INSIDE ONLY for the first couple of weeks. That shows them where "home" is and they don't want to wander too far from home. As long as they're spayed/neutered of course. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Trickster said:
I have four kitties myself. 3 come and go in and out as they please and little Ruby, who I think must be 13 weeks now, has at least another month before she is allowed out. Which leads me onto my question: how old is the kitty in question? adult or kitten?
Don't know age at this point, but more than likely we will go the kitten (rescue) route.

Amy - that's how we've always done with the cats in the past... I'd forgotten about keeping them indoors until they are certain it is their home... their safe place. After that we've always been comfortable letting them come and go as they please like you do with your guys.
 

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Don't know age at this point, but more than likely we will go the kitten (rescue) route.
Ah, ok. ;)

We have always waited AT LEAST 8 weeks before we let the kittens out for the first time. Can't say we have ever had problem with them wandering off. They spend most of the time in the backyard or curled up on the sofas/beds.
 

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We adopted Griffin Brat from the shelter when he was a wee kitten. He was 8 weeks old I believe. We kept him inside for 2 weeks (which was HARD, he wanted out bad!) and he's been fine ever since.
 
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I would like a cat, but Kyle is deathly allergic to them. :(
You must show us lots of pics Nance when you get one.
 

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We kept him inside for 2 weeks (which was HARD, he wanted out bad!) and he's been fine ever since.
Wow, that is pretty young...I would be concerned about the cats physical size leaving them open to danger. My girl is only 3lbs at 13 weeks...like I said, she won't be going out for at least another month.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks, you guys. All your reminders are helping. We've overcome greater obstacles than a doggie door before! Like living right on the 12 lanes of Santa Monica Blvd. in L.A., no yard, and having to walk the cat on a leash. That was Polly... she would even go get the leash herself when I asked, "Walkies?" :D
 

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Actually Rosie, I think he was a bit older than that.
 

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Colin, out of interest (I know you have a house full of cats! ;)), what age have you let your cats out for the first time?
 
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