14
   

Do I need to ground my cat?

 
 
roger
 
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2009 04:54 pm
This is not an electrical problem involving static electricity, or anything like that.

Now, Nerm has been an indoor/outdoor cat for the past year or so, but he's beening overdoing the outdoor part lately. Like, last night, he went out for a prowl around 10:00 p.m. Came back today around 2:00 p.m. In other words, he's almost homeless, except he's got a convenient place to stop for naps and meals.

It used to be that he would go out around 10:00 and come back a few hours later. Now, when he's out all night and most of the day, I start worrying that he's gone for good. And you never know; indoor cats have a longer life span, but not necessairly happier. I don't want him to be a prisoner, but I don't agree that his judgement is better than mine.

By the way, Nermal is a neutered male. He's still insistant about getting out when it suits him.
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Type: Question • Score: 14 • Views: 5,396 • Replies: 79
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KiwiChic
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2009 05:03 pm
Mine do the disappearing act as well. But they always come home at feed time.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2009 05:07 pm
@KiwiChic,
You know, I think I would be okay with that, if only he had a regular feed time. I mean, if he always dropped in at nine, I wouldn't start worrying till ten. Now, well, I just don't do well with uncertainty.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2009 05:13 pm
@roger,
I guess we argue here that owners have a responsibility to keep cats in at night because that's when they do most of their hunting...which has meant the decimation or extinction of many native species in Oz. Not sure if that is a consideration where you are.

Other than that, I am damned if I know what to say.

I do think it is mean to keep any cats that aren't perfectly happy with it indoors all the time... (Miranda is, Oscar was miserable, and I never meant to move him to an apartment with me, but the people who had offered to take him reneged).

Of course, your cat has much more chance of being hurt when he is outside (personally, I can never bear to find one of my cats severely injured and in agony on the road, as I did one of them) but he IS living a natural cat sort of life.

I dunno Roger...mebbe next time get one of the breeds of cat which attach themselves passionately to their owner, and WANT to be with you most of the time... and tend to thrive indoors?


As for nermal, all I can do is express empathy with your problem.

roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2009 05:26 pm
@dlowan,
Let me tell you what kind of hunters I have, here. They'll gaze raptly at a bug crawling on the floor. If it lingers too long, they might discuss it, and give it a little nudge with a paw. A fluttering moth does bring out the savage beast, of course.

Nerm's the most deadpan cat I ever knew, but when he's denied the use of the door, he looks absolutely heartbroken. I seriously wish I had never let him out the first time.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2009 05:49 pm
@roger,
Oh dear.


And he won't respond if you try to call him in at a reasonable time?

I wonder if he's two-timing you. Lots of cats do that apparently...and sometimes move themselves to a new home.


I guess we know it's not lust calling to him.


Cat-cams suggest cats really do have quite a social life out there.....I wonder if he's just hangin'out with the boys?
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2009 06:02 pm
@dlowan,
I will certainly suggest he come when called.

There's another part to the problem. Sometimes I plan to be away overnight, sometimes even two nights. He is still unwilling to substitute my judgement for his.

You might be right about his being a two timing cat. If I could afford to set him up with a cat cam, I would probably find out. If he comes back without the cam, he trusts strangers more than I suppose.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2009 06:10 pm
@roger,
roger wrote:
You know, I think I would be okay with that, if only he had a regular feed time. I mean, if he always dropped in at nine, I wouldn't start worrying till ten. Now, well, I just don't do well with uncertainty.


Would a timed feeder help with that? There are some electronic feeders that dispense the food at the time of your choosing, and maybe he'd come home early if his food always became available only between midnight and when you wake up.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2009 06:40 pm
@Robert Gentel,
I don't know. I could just lock up the bowl at some certain time, and release it at another. If he found out there were no food when he finally showed up, he might get more regular. Then again, if someone else is feeding him, as Deb suggests, maybe he would move in with them. The bad part of that is that I wouldn't know if he chose to go, or if something happened to him. That would leave me back where I am right now.

Maybe I could just keep both cats in, and set up a regular schedule. That might get him to return at feeding time, but I guarantee I would have to put up with some serious consumer resistance for several weeks. As you probably know, it's hard to be more stubborn than a cat.

I'm going to go on as usual for a day or so, and then try to come up with a decision.
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2009 06:51 pm
@roger,
roger, as you know I have "garage cat" I only fill her food bowl first thing in the morning and many days that's that only time I see her. I don't think it matters re the time just that it's always about the same time, In the last 2 years I think I've only gone 2 days of not seeing her.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2009 06:56 pm
I like the last idea(s) re time training with involuntary capture for a while... despite the potential resistance. And then door shut..

Our cats (Cinque, Spackle, Rascal) were all indoor outdoor cats, but perhaps Cinque (mom) taught them all the delights of being inside at night. So, I've not had the problem, but sympathize.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2009 07:09 pm
@roger,
If it worries you so much, maybe the capture and withstanding of consumer resistance is the way to go.

I had to do that with one of mine who wanted to be in and out all night, and we had no cat door.

If I let him out, he learned that grabbing some of the fly mesh (metal) on my bedroom window and twanging it would wear down my resistance to letting him in again.

Eventually, although I beat the twanging thing by squirting him through the window, I got worried about him being out all night, so he was given no choice....come bedtime he was IN.

I had to pretend not to hear or feel or see any number of begging looks, walkings all over my attempting to sleep body, noses in my face, pathetic mews etc....but he adjusted in the end.

The disappearing bowl thing might well be worth a try a couple of times?????




dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2009 07:23 pm
@roger,
roger wrote:

I will certainly suggest he come when called.



That's very witty!!!!

I forget many cats don't come when called!!!

Ours always have......I guess they and I are weird, right?


Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2009 07:26 pm
@dlowan,
therein lies the problem.

speaking to the cats and getting them to talk back is essential to understanding your role as their human.

Roger needs to learn to speak cat.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2009 07:45 pm
Hmm, we only put the bowls (dogs and cats) out at certain times. That might have been part of the staying in for our cats. Also, they liked the dog, who was by late at night inside.

On the other hand, my business partner had two cats, one mostly indoor and one primarily outdoor. The way of the Cat World..
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2009 07:51 pm
Cats are gatos. 'sabout all I know.
0 Replies
 
margo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2009 09:18 pm
As Deb said, cats here are expected to be inside at night. Cats are big hunters of native species.

Inside at night is not usually a problem. Possum-cat is very motivated by food - he knows that, when he comes in, the food goes out and the cat door is closed. As his belly guides him, there is seldom a problem in getting him in (unless he thinks he's for the vet!). He gets out when I get up in the morning - and this is usually prompted by close examination of my eyes or other body parts by a furry critter. I feed him and then he goes outside. He feels the cold a fair bit, so he's mostly inside in winter during the day.

Recently, I came home from work, parked the car out the front, rather than in the garage as usual, came in picked him up, got the cage out, and off to the vet. Since then, almost any time I park the car in front, he runs, just in case. Usually he just hides under the old furniture in the garage, where I can't reach him, but occasionally he runs outside.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2009 10:23 pm
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:

If it worries you so much, maybe the capture and withstanding of consumer resistance is the way to go.

I had to do that with one of mine who wanted to be in and out all night, and we had no cat door.

Most of the time, that's the way it goes; in and out all night. Last night, though, it was just out and I was seriously worried.

If I let him out, he learned that grabbing some of the fly mesh (metal) on my bedroom window and twanging it would wear down my resistance to letting him in again.

He can do that from the inside.


I'll probably end up sequestering the food bowl, but it will be tough. Cats can be like erosion, though. They never give up.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jul, 2009 10:28 pm
@margo,
Everybody is probably right. Maybe the only reason my guys fail to be motivated by food is because it's always there.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jul, 2009 05:50 pm
@roger,
Any decisions????
 

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