Cat Won’t Leave The House: There is usually a sound reason why a cat refuses to go outdoors. I had a question on our FaceBook page about just such a situation:
Rachel’s message: I have a male cat 2 years old. We moved house a month ago and my cat won’t go out side because there’s two other cats sat waiting for him. I feel bad because at our old house he was hardly in, loved being out doors.
What advice would u give? Should I put him out and make him face these cats? He just sits looking out the window all day.
Hi Rachel, poor fellow! He may gain some confidence as he gets more used to his new surroundings. At only a month since the move, he is probably still getting the feel of the area.
But … it sounds as though there are two territorial feline bullies eye-ing him up and who are quite prepared to defend their space. So, no, I definitely wouldn’t force him to go outside.
If you force him to go outside when he is obviously not confident to do so – you may end up with a very badly beaten up cat and a large vet’s bill (or worse). Even a single bite can cause a nasty cat bite abscess which would probably require treatment.
Keep Him Indoors
What I would do is to accept that he wants to stay safely indoors and make it as good as you can for him inside your house. The current trend worldwide is to keep cats indoors, and many local laws are now requiring people to keep their cats inside their own property. There are very good reasons for this, including keeping the cat safe.
To keep him happy, check out some of my tips on keeping indoor cats happy. Make sure he has a great cat tree or two, and loads of interesting toys. Make sure he has lots of “quality time” playing and being loved by you.
And in the future, you may even consider adding a second cat for companionship. Keeping in mind there are always lots of homeless kitties needing rescued and a safe place to live!
Yes, it is sad that your cat won’t go outside, especially as he used to enjoy it. And it is very healthy for them to have fresh air and green grass beneath their feet. But maybe in the future you can set up some kind of cat enclosure where he can get outside, but still feel and be safe.