How to persuade your cat to stay indoors

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ATTENTION: Give your cat extra love during this transition period.

IF your cat was originally a stray, or previously an outdoor cat, and you plan to keep it inside from now on, then there are some things that may help you achieve this mammoth task.
Here are a few suggestions to help make the transition easier on both of you. After all, it is not easy for the animal to just switch to not going outside.
• Spay or neuter: spaying or neutering will rid your cat of those hormonal urges to go out and seek a mate. This will result in a calmer, friendlier cat.
• Playtime: schedule playtimes for when your cat would normally be outside. This will distract it from its normal routine and establish another, safer routine.
• Window seat: be sure your cat has a view of the outdoors and a sunny place to lie. Cats like to watch birds, so putting a bird feeder outside the window is likely to make it a favourite spot for your cat.
• Scavenger hunt: give your cat a game to play by hiding bits of dry food around the house. Hide the food in paper bags, boxes and behind open doors. This will be good exercise and keep it busy so it doesn’t think of going outside. This is especially good to do right before the family leaves the house for the day.
• Attention: try to give your cat extra love and attention during this difficult transition period.
• Aversives: if your cat still won’t give up meowing by the door, try an aversive. Leave strong citrus scents by the door or hide behind a wall and shake a drinks can filled with coins to interrupt the behaviour. When the cat is quiet, walk out and give it a food treat and encourage it to play or cuddle.

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