My Pet World: Cat mom stressed by a cat who wants to go outside
My wonderful cat Buddy is almost 9 year old. As with all my cats, he is a rescue. Since my husband passed away three years ago, he has been my light each and every day. I will be moving in six months and do not want him outside. He has been an indoor/outdoor cat his whole life. I have had two serious problems in the past year: one, he was bitten by a feral cat and two, he was taken off my front steps as the people thought he was lost. I was reunited with him through 24-hour Pet Watch, which had his ID on his collar. I was frantic though, that people actually took him away from his home.
I have been keeping him inside for eight weeks and the constant meowing and howling going from front door to back door is so upsetting that it is stressing me out. I have bought him new scratching posts, toys and treats. I sing to him and give him extra attention, all to no avail. I ordered composure chews, which he will not tolerate refusing to eat his food when I mix it in. I don't know what to do anymore. Can you help? -- Carol, Plainview, NY
Cats can be quite persistent when they want to go outside and usually outlast humans in getting their way. It can be quite difficult to listen to this howling all day and not want to give in. Here's how to stay strong.
First, this may sound silly, but get some ear plugs at the local drug store or put headphones on and listen to music so you can ignore his pleas. Don't give him any extra attention.
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Next, get some feline pheromone plug-ins for the house and a pheromone collar for him. This may make him feel more content inside.
As for scratching posts, make sure they are near windows where he can see out. Play nature or bird sounds in the house to see if that redirects his attention as well. Finally, introduce a laser toy (hand-held or interactive automatic) to increase his activity and wear him out every day.
Keep me posted.