I have a cat who is going on 10 years old. He has been free to move inside and outside as he pleases for his entire life. Last September, I moved to the middle of Portland, Oregon, into a small studio apartment. Unfortunately, my cat did not come with me, but he was able to maintain some sort of indoor-outdoor existence living with my mother. My mother ended up moving in with her partner, who already had two cats, shortly after I left home.
Last night, she told me that things haven't been going well (as in my alpha-male cat doesn't like her partner's alpha-male cat...shocking!), and she is getting rid of my cat. What that boils down to is, either I bring my kitty to my studio apartment in downtown Portland, or surrender him to a stranger. I just can't bring myself to give him up.
Have any of you transitioned a (very happy) indoor-outdoor cat to an indoor-only cat? What was the process like? What should I expect, in terms of the cat crying through the night, scratching at the front door, etc.? What were some things that made it easier for both you and your kitty? Do you recommend any kind of special food for indoor-only kitties? What about ways to make sure my kitty gets enough exercise and doesn't go stir crazy? Should I invest in little box liners, or do cat's normally just tear through the plastic with their claws? Ad nauseum.
I am having some huge anxiety about all of this, because I know that it's going to be hard on my poor cat. And I can't deny that I am frustrated that I basically have a baby to take care of now, because I am a college student, living alone, and was looking forward to traveling some this summer (yes, that is semi-selfish, but it's also human).
I am desperate for advice, and really appreciate anything! (Also, I x-posted like crazy, for that exact reason...I apologize if some of you read this post several times.)
Pictures of my babeh: