TBT: Laz has been here 7 weeks. He was an indoor cat previously. But he is beginning to understand that Ayla and Marley go out into a bigger world than he has experienced and I am not allowing him to do that.
He joins them now when I approach the deck door to let them out and it is frustrating him when I say "back" and let them out but not him. I am resisting his desire to join Ayla and Marley because he doesn't really have a positive response when I call his name to "come". Ayla and Marley (mostly) come when I call their names (though I suspect they both think their main name is "dinnertime"), and they have demonstrated they generally understand "our yard". Laz surely does not have that understanding.
In the past, I have used a harness to lead new cats around the yard until I thought they understand "our yard" and "not our yard". But they were younger. And Laz is a bit less-socialized than my previous cats. It HAS been a bit of an adventure with him. He had a hard start in life.
He gets a bit better each day, but I suspect he will never quite be the same as a cat raised in a calm household as a kitten. Well, I knew that when I accepted him into the house, but I thought he would adjust faster than he has. I'll be patient. He really does seem to like me, and Ayla and Marley too.
But "outside" is a concern. He desperately wants to go out with Ayla and Marley. If I open the deck door an inch, he is right there sniffing and sticking a paw out. He sits at the deck door waiting for it to open. It grieves me to not let a cat out in a protected yard to experience all of what nature can offer.
I can imagine the first time he catches a mouse and how excited and fulfilled he would feel. On the other hand, I can imagine him jumping the fence just because he can and not remembering where home is.
So I had this idea of getting a small dog cage and letting Laz sit in it in the late afternoon shade of the deck while learning the specific smells of the yard. A few minutes at first, and a little more each day for a week before strapping a harness on him and leading him around the yard a bit at a time.
Does that make sense? I'm trying to be cautious but I don't want to keep him inside forever. He's not the usual new cat. With all the previous ones after harness exploration, there was a time when I felt confident enough to let them out (with me around) . I'm not so sure about Laz.
Any advice/suggestions accepted. Just want some thoughts. Though making Laz a permanent indoor cat is not going to work. He is practically beating down the door already.
Thanks in advance...