Transitioning outdoor cat to an indoor cat in a new home

  • Elsa is our beloved 8 year American short hair. She has lived with us all her life and has been free to come and go as she pleases. She has free reign of her current neighbor hood, so much so that we have never had an indoor litter box. We will be moving to a new house where she will need to be an indoor cat. Any and all advice regarding this transition would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. 

  • Hi there, this is Dr Linda, a vet with 10 years of clinical experience.


    If Elsa enjoys being outdoors, she may well find the transition difficult. She will likely have her own little territory and routine outdoors, so will find it challenging to adjust to life inside.

    Some cats can get bored or anxious, so we do need to work harder to keep them content.

    This can mean things like:


    • Having some sort of safe 'catio' or outdoor area
    • Encouraging them to look out windows and having a perch for them to do so
    • Things like cat trees, exercise wheels, scratching mats, scratching posts etc.
    • Spots where she can hide and have alone time
    • Plenty of interaction with things like toys, food puzzles etc.


    She should have 2 litter trays in quiet areas of the home.


    I'd start her on some natural calming supplements a few days prior to the move and would also have a calming plug in (like Feliway) within the home.

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