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Monday, June 29, 2020

About Laz Going Out

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...