Attn ATOT Cat lovers

joesmoke

Diamond Member
Nov 2, 2007
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Long story short my gf moved in with me recently and with her came two cats that had previously been indoor-only cats. Now they are outdoor-only cats. Until now they have been sleeping in cardboard boxes with blankets in them, but recently it has really started to get cold (im in sacramento, i think its been about 30 at night). I check on them late at night and early in the morning and even when its reeeeally cold out the cats dont seem cold when i touch them, especially when they "burrow" under the blankets. Are they OK out there? Ive been wanting to build them a "structure" for them to live/play in, but until then does anybody have any good (and hopefully cheap) solutions for outdoor cat housing? keep in mind it tends to rain pretty hard here.

CLIFFS: Need weatherproof outdoor cat housing, suggestions?
 

effowe

Diamond Member
Nov 1, 2004
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Originally posted by: vshah
why can't they stay inside?

This, my neighbor has been letting his cat out in the cold and I feel so bad for the little guy. Give them a room, at least.
 

joesmoke

Diamond Member
Nov 2, 2007
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Originally posted by: vshah
why can't they stay inside?

New leather couch... and cats are dirty... and it was a compromise for them to even be at the house. Im not a huge fan of cats.

Also their demeanor has been better since theyve been outside.
 

CrazyLazy

Platinum Member
Jun 21, 2008
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Outdoor only cats? Depending on where you live there is a decent chance they will either freeze, or get eaten by an owl/fisher cat. This is particularly true if they have lived their entire life indoors and don't know how to defend themselves outside. BTW are they declawed?
 

So

Lifer
Jul 2, 2001
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Originally posted by: joesmoke
Originally posted by: vshah
why can't they stay inside?

New leather couch... and cats are dirty... and it was a compromise for them to even be at the house. Im not a huge fan of cats.

Also their demeanor has been better since theyve been outside.

Cats are dirty? Wtf? Are you a hypochondriac or something?
 

joesmoke

Diamond Member
Nov 2, 2007
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Originally posted by: CrazyLazy
Outdoor only cats? Depending on where you live there is a decent chance they will either freeze, or get eaten by an owl/fisher cat. This is particularly true if they have lived their entire life indoors and don't know how to defend themselves outside. BTW are they declawed?

Neither are declawed, and if their ability to claw a human is any indication they know how to defend themselves. the friskier one has already scrapped with a black cat the size of a racoon and came out untouched. i dont think sacramento has any cat stealing owls or whatever a fisher cat is...
 

spidey07

No Lifer
Aug 4, 2000
65,469
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They should be ok if they have shelter and the blanket helps. It's even better that there are two of them if they sleep together they'll keep each other warm.

I don't really like the idea of them being outside when it's really cold.
 

CrazyLazy

Platinum Member
Jun 21, 2008
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Originally posted by: joesmoke
Originally posted by: CrazyLazy
Outdoor only cats? Depending on where you live there is a decent chance they will either freeze, or get eaten by an owl/fisher cat. This is particularly true if they have lived their entire life indoors and don't know how to defend themselves outside. BTW are they declawed?

Neither are declawed, and if their ability to claw a human is any indication they know how to defend themselves. the friskier one has already scrapped with a black cat the size of a racoon and came out untouched. i dont think sacramento has any cat stealing owls or whatever a fisher cat is...

I don't know what your equivalent cat predator is, but I'm betting you have one. Defending yourself against a human trying to pet your stomach and the primal rage of a hungry animal are two very different things. Before you let them live exclusively outside I would talk to a vet first, at the very least because your girlfriend would pretty pissed if you indirectly killed your cat.

In my experience cats aren't dirty at all, they clean themselves and aren't capable of making any kind of mess beyond that.

 

joesmoke

Diamond Member
Nov 2, 2007
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Originally posted by: So
Originally posted by: joesmoke
Originally posted by: vshah
why can't they stay inside?

New leather couch... and cats are dirty... and it was a compromise for them to even be at the house. Im not a huge fan of cats.

Also their demeanor has been better since theyve been outside.

Cats are dirty? Wtf? Are you a hypochondriac or something?

No. I find between little bits of litter from their feet and the shedding and the scratching of things they shouldnt be scratching when they have a perfectly good scratching post, its all just a little too much for me. like i said, this was more of a compromise, im not a cat person. I totally understand if you disagree. Any housing suggestions though?
 

CrazyLazy

Platinum Member
Jun 21, 2008
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Originally posted by: joesmoke
Originally posted by: So
Originally posted by: joesmoke
Originally posted by: vshah
why can't they stay inside?

New leather couch... and cats are dirty... and it was a compromise for them to even be at the house. Im not a huge fan of cats.

Also their demeanor has been better since theyve been outside.

Cats are dirty? Wtf? Are you a hypochondriac or something?

No. I find between little bits of litter from their feet and the shedding and the scratching of things they shouldnt be scratching when they have a perfectly good scratching post, its all just a little too much for me. like i said, this was more of a compromise, im not a cat person. I totally understand if you disagree. Any housing suggestions though?

Unless you build them a legit house/significant structure outside, something I wouldn't have the patience or time for, I think you run a decent chance of them getting killed. Again, I would ask a vet/professional in your area about this type of thing before I went making any decisions. I can totally understand the issue with cats scratching anything they see to shreds.
 

So

Lifer
Jul 2, 2001
25,921
14
81
Originally posted by: CrazyLazy
Originally posted by: joesmoke
Originally posted by: So
Originally posted by: joesmoke
Originally posted by: vshah
why can't they stay inside?

New leather couch... and cats are dirty... and it was a compromise for them to even be at the house. Im not a huge fan of cats.

Also their demeanor has been better since theyve been outside.

Cats are dirty? Wtf? Are you a hypochondriac or something?

No. I find between little bits of litter from their feet and the shedding and the scratching of things they shouldnt be scratching when they have a perfectly good scratching post, its all just a little too much for me. like i said, this was more of a compromise, im not a cat person. I totally understand if you disagree. Any housing suggestions though?

Unless you build them a legit house/significant structure outside, something I wouldn't have the patience or time for, I think you run a decent chance of them getting killed. Again, I would ask a vet/professional in your area about this type of thing before I went making any decisions. I can totally understand the issue with cats scratching anything they see to shreds.

I guess it depends on the cat. I haven't had a cat that didn't learn not to scratch stuff after a few solid scoldings.
 

joesmoke

Diamond Member
Nov 2, 2007
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Originally posted by: CrazyLazy
Unless you build them a legit house/significant structure outside, something I wouldn't have the patience or time for, I think you run a decent chance of them getting killed. Again, I would ask a vet/professional in your area about this type of thing before I went making any decisions. I can totally understand the issue with cats scratching anything they see to shreds.


Where do you live CL? I understand your issues about predators, though my instinct says there really isnt anything dangerous in my area (just outside major downtown area) i cant say i know for sure. Though they dont stray from the backyard much i would hate if they did get killed, so i guess ill have to keep that in mind.

I really am gonna build them two raised little houses with carpet leftovers inside, and dont mind taking the time or effort, it just hasnt happened yet. just thought someone might have some easy idea for temp housing. i was thinking of cutting a hole in a large rubbermaid tote flipped upside down, but it seemed like it would pool water on top.
 

CRXican

Diamond Member
Jun 9, 2004
9,062
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People talk like cats haven't been living outside for hundreds if not thousands of years.

They will be fine. We have an inside cat that started to wander outside and is now out there quite often. She is declawed and has yet to have an issue. She's been out in the cold, rain, wind etc.

Cats are versitile and will find a safe spot. Don't trip. Blankets in boxes will be fine.
 

CRXican

Diamond Member
Jun 9, 2004
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but if you want to get them weatherproof housing, get one of those igloos made for dogs

they can both fit, nice and cozy
 

joesmoke

Diamond Member
Nov 2, 2007
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Originally posted by: CRXican
People talk like cats haven't been living outside for hundreds if not thousands of years.
They will be fine. We have an inside cat that started to wander outside and is not out there quite often. She is declawed and has yet to have an issue. She's been out in the cold, rain, wind etc.

Cats are versitile and will find a safe spot. Don't trip. Blankets in boxes will be fine.

Thanks for giving me the other side of the argument... honestly the bold part was my knee-jerk response when my gf and i started discussing it.

that said... i know im gonna have to build one still.

considered the igloo things, i just figured for less money in lumber would net them a nicer structure.
 

BurnItDwn

Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
26,069
1,552
126
If they have a DRY place to stay, then 30 really isn't cold for most cats.
If their coat gets wet, then even in the 40s they are in danger of hypothermia. (maybe even the 50s, not sure?)
 

Legendary

Diamond Member
Jan 22, 2002
7,020
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if you give them shelter they should be alright. friend of mine has a year round outdoor cat who retreats to their garage in the ubercold
 

Modelworks

Lifer
Feb 22, 2007
16,240
7
76
I'm not sure how cats cope with being an indoor only cat , then being made an outdoor cat during winter.
I know here in NC, it was about 17F the other night and the outdoor cats I have were fine, actually outside playing with each other.
These cats did develop a winter coat of really thick long hair though when it turned cold, not sure if indoor cats do that .
These cats use the woods for shelter and I know growing up we had cats that did the same and were fine, even in the snow.

 

CrazyLazy

Platinum Member
Jun 21, 2008
2,124
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Originally posted by: joesmoke
Originally posted by: CrazyLazy
Unless you build them a legit house/significant structure outside, something I wouldn't have the patience or time for, I think you run a decent chance of them getting killed. Again, I would ask a vet/professional in your area about this type of thing before I went making any decisions. I can totally understand the issue with cats scratching anything they see to shreds.


Where do you live CL? I understand your issues about predators, though my instinct says there really isnt anything dangerous in my area (just outside major downtown area) i cant say i know for sure. Though they dont stray from the backyard much i would hate if they did get killed, so i guess ill have to keep that in mind.

I really am gonna build them two raised little houses with carpet leftovers inside, and dont mind taking the time or effort, it just hasnt happened yet. just thought someone might have some easy idea for temp housing. i was thinking of cutting a hole in a large rubbermaid tote flipped upside down, but it seemed like it would pool water on top.

Where I live my neighbor had a outdoor cat eaten by a fisher cat, now he has a gun by his door for the sole purpose of shooting any fishers that come around. We get a lot of snow and sub zero temps as well. This is why, at least where I live, I would tend to stay on the side of caution.

As for cats living outside for hundreds of years, this is true for your basic lion, tigers etc, but not as true for your average breed of house cat. The ancestors of most house cats spent their time in barns/houses eating rats for their owners in exchange for food and shelter. The fact that your cats have had absolutely no experience living outside doesn't help.
 

compman25

Diamond Member
Jan 12, 2006
3,767
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81
The only predator around Sacramento the need to worry about are the Chinese restaurants.
 

Perknose

Forum Director & Omnipotent Overlord
Forum Director
Oct 9, 1999
46,033
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Originally posted by: joesmoke
considered the igloo things, i just figured for less money in lumber would net them a nicer structure.

What tools do you own, how handy are you and WHAT have you "built" in the last two years?

Just be honest with yourself. If you're not gonna' get to this project this week, let it go. An igloo is truly weatherproof, it will most likely serve the cats better than anything you might build, even if an igloo does look ugly to you.

It's Winter. Man up and go buy them them one this weekend, please.

At least do that.
 

AlienCraft

Lifer
Nov 23, 2002
10,539
0
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I'm in Sacramento as well, and our cats come and go as they like.
We have a several cats in the neighborhood that are abandoned foreclosure victims.
The neighbor across the court has taken two in and we feed the other.
They have covered shelter on a table under the patio at her place and on our side, there is an outdoor shed he's got a little bed in.
They seem to do ok. as long as they're out of the elements and can stay dry and can burrow into something.

As for your leather couch, it's already dead. Better your cats sleep like kings on it than suffer outside because of your attachment to some material posession. Every creature responds better to nice treatment thanill.
But that's just me.
 

joesmoke

Diamond Member
Nov 2, 2007
5,423
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Originally posted by: Perknose
Originally posted by: joesmoke
considered the igloo things, i just figured for less money in lumber would net them a nicer structure.

What tools do you own, how handy are you and WHAT have you "built" in the last two years?

Just be honest with yourself. If you're not gonna' get to this project this week, let it go. An igloo is truly weatherproof, it will most likely serve the cats better than anything you might build, even if an igloo does look ugly to you.

It's Winter. Man up and go buy them them one this weekend, please.

At least do that.

Heh, lol... a fair enough question. In my garage is an ass load of dewalt powertools borrowed from a friend for this job. circular saw, drill, impact, etc. Im more handy with cars, since you want me to be honest, but i can work any of the tools just fine. Since i havent built anything (as you correctly guessed) Ive been discussing the actual design of the thing with my father (who has built a shit load of stuff in his day).

I give you my OT pinkie-swear that theyll have something within a week. :)