Making a Cat an Outdoor Cat

by Robin
(Charlotte, NC)

I have a cat who is 11 years old. I have 3 cats but this is just about Sly. I've never let my cats outside. I grew up with cats and my dad never let them stay inside and they always got hit by cars so I vowed as a child to never let my cats out....so I haven't.

BUT...Sly urinates on my floor and defecates as well. I've done many things. Multiple litter boxes, separation from other cats, cleaning litter box very often, using products to kill urine odor and traces of urine, everything, but he continues. He uses my tub, my floor, anywhere he wants, and his litter box.

I've had enough and am wondering how I can introduce my cat to outside. I'm very scared. What if he gets lost? What if something happens to him? Is there a way to do it that is best?


Dear Robin,

I’m very sorry, but I cannot give you advice on the best way to begin letting your cat outdoors. I do not advocate for cats going outdoors under any circumstances. I grew up just like you, made that very same vow, and have kept all of my cats indoors since, so can’t in good conscious provide recommendations for letting your cat outdoors.

What I can suggest, though, if you haven’t already done so, is that you should bring your cat to a veterinarian for a urinalysis, fecal analysis, and thorough physical exam to rule out any possible medical causes for your cat’s behavior. Once your cat is cleared medically, you can consult with a veterinarian about options for addressing a feline behavioral problem, including possibly medicating your cat.

All the best,
Dr. Neely

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