House Cats that stay indoors exclusively are safer than outdoor cats that are exposed to many different types of dangers. However, Cristine from Georgia wrote in with an interesting question about Indoor Cats and Indoor/Outdoor Cats.
Is it healthy, safe, etc to have a Indoor Cat and then an Indoor/Outdoor Cat in the same home? We have a 13 yr old Indoor Male Cat (declawed).
Recently a cat found us. We found her family which gave us her history - 2 yr old, female, neutered, indoor/outdoor cat who was chased by a wolf and got lost. She showed up at our house 2 weeks after being lost.
She was scared and won't go to anyone, so I have been helping the family by feeding her and rebuilding her trust. The family has decided they don't want her.
She's been living on our screen porch and in the woods for 6 weeks now. I won't let her inside because of my cat. They both are used to "brothers and sisters" and get along with "others".
After I take her to the vet for tests, shots, etc --
Do I turn her into an Indoor Cat? OR Can you have one Indoor Cat AND an Indoor/Outdoor Cat without endangering each other?
I'm not sure what to do. I have had other stray cats and trained them to be very happy, healthy, spoiled (very loved) indoor cats. I know what to do, But they were all 1 year or younger. She is a little over 2 years and I don't want to break her spirit and joy.
So, what is the best thing for my babies?
Well, there's a couple of choices. All cats are safer indoors. Always test a new cat for FeLV and FIV before exposing your cat to the new cat.
Many outdoor cats become perfectly happy house cats. Some never quite lose that desire to go out, but still seem to be happy.
You can have indoor cats and an indoor/outdoor cat both, but every time the one cat goes outdoors, she can bring back in with her anything she may have picked up outside, which includes parasites (external and intestinal) and viruses, the worst of which are FeLV and FIV. It's a bit risky for your indoor cat and to be honest, I wouldn't do it with my own. Others will argue with me, but I feel my first responsibility is to the cats I already have, the ones who are house cats and have been with me for years. I would try to find a nice, loving home for the other cat or try turning her into an indoor cat once you know she is healthy and negative.
So, you may want to consider an outdoor shelter for any strays that may come your way.
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