Bringing An Outdoor Cat In

Does your cat go outdoors? Are you considering taking in a cute stray? Cats are very independent, and often like going outside. However, they are definitely much safer inside, where they aren’t at risk from cars, weather, predators, or other hazards. However, it can take time for kitties to get used to the indoor life. Here, a Happy Valley, OR vet discusses helping outdoor cats transition to indoor living.

Start In One Area

If you’re adopting a new kitty, you may want to keep her in one specific area at first. Your pet will need bedding, toys, food and water, and a litterbox. Kitty furniture is also beneficial. Put these things in a quiet spot, like a laundry room or a spare bedroom, and let her get used to both you and her new surroundings.


Kitties are often very focused on hunting when they are outdoors. Playing with your cat will let her indulge her inner predator without hurting any wild animals. This will also tire her out, which is beneficial in and of itself. If your cat is tired, she’ll be more interested in napping than in trying to sneak out.


Give your feline buddy a taste of nature by setting out lots of pet-safe plants for her to nibble on and hide behind. There is a complete list of safe and unsafe plants online at the ASPCA website here.


If your cat has previously been able to go in and out at will, it may take time for her to stop meowing at the door. One thing you can do is make the door a bit less appealing. When your kitty goes near it, squirt her with water or make a loud noise. This won’t hurt your pet, but it will startle and annoy her.

Purr Activation

It isn’t very hard to turn your home into a luxury kitty palace. Offer lots of toys and comfy beds, as well as a window with a good view. Pay lots of attention to your cat, and make sure she feels loved and safe. If your furry friend likes being petted and cuddled, give her lots of ear scritches, and let her snooze on your lap. With time, even former strays learn to enjoy staying inside.

As your Happy Valley, OR vet clinic, we’re dedicated to offering great veterinary care. Contact us anytime!

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