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Advice - considering cat in urban area

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    Posted: 21 May 2011 at 4:50am
Hi all!

My partner and I have both grown up with cats, and we're now living together in a suburban area. We have a terraced house on a fairly well-trafficked street. The house has a small garden, but as it is rented, our landlord had the whole area covered in gravel to reduce maintenance issues.

We've been given permission to get a cat, as long as it's an 'outside' cat, and (obviously after kittenhood) will not be left in the house unsupervised for any significant length of time. The house is lovely and I don't want to disobey his rules as it was hard enough getting permission at all!

I grew up in deep countryside, and my childhood cats had a five-acre field and large wooded areas and hedgerows to do their business in. However, any cat that my partner and I get now will only have a small gravel yard, which clearly won't be very attractive for it to dig in! I don't want to encourage it to roam too far,and I also want to make house-training as easy as possible for a young cat.

I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for measures we could take to provide a safe, clean outside area for our cat to toilet in? Various friends and relatives have suggested a child's sand-pit or a large flat tub of soft soil, but I'm worried about both keeping these clean, and not attracting every neighbourhood cat in the area. How practical are these options, or is there another way?

Does anyone have any ideas or advice?

Thank you so much!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote scratch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2011 at 5:44pm
I use the kiddy pools full of stall dry which is better than cat litter IMO. Nothing wrong with putting an outside litter box area as long as it is protected from the elements. That being said, it would be easier to get a puppy who can adapt to being an outside dog provided that it is supposed to be an outside dog and not a pocket pet. You won't be able to keep the kitty in the yard and what are you going to do when the kitty is crying pitifully at your back door wanting in? Ask the landlord why he doesn't want the cat inside and then launch effective arguements to poke holes in his fears.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seventh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2011 at 2:12am
It's an absolute 'no' on a dog from the landlord, besides which, my partner doesn't like them and as he's the one home all day and I'm at work all day, it'd be very unfair to get one.

When the cat is mewing to come in, one of us will get up and let him in. This is how it's worked my entire life and my parents' three cats are very happy and content. On the rare times that neither of us are home, there will be a cat flap into a warm, rainproof garden shed, which is empty except for a wide shelving unit screwed securely to the wall, with the shelves covered in old carpet, and there will be a couple of cosy kitty beds. So it's not like the cat will have nowhere to go in the cold and rain, if no one's home for a few hours.

I've been googling 'Stall Dry'. can it be used outside (i.e., open to the rain) to does it have to be under cover?

Thank you for your help!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote scratch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2011 at 9:35pm
It needs to be under cover. But just to let you know, you should keep this kitten or cat inside the house at least 6 weeks before letting him/her outside otherwise, the cat or kitten will just run away. That's what they do if they don't feel connected to the home.  When you go to put him/her outside for the first time, spread enough food around and provide several bowls of water and even sprinkle some of the grass with some catnip to put kitty at ease. IF there is no grass- then get some cat grass and plant it so kitty can have her own garden.
 
Good luck
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seventh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2011 at 10:20am
Thank you!

I'll see what we can come up with with providing a covered area.

And yes, of course any cat we may (we haven't decided yet!) get would be kept in and very slowly and calmly introduced to the outside when it's ready.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote scratch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2011 at 8:34pm
Just something that I do here. I buy those big rubber water tanks for horses (you can sometimes buy them used fairly cheaply. I cut holes in each end for the cats to come and go, and then put a large rubbermaid container under the trough. I flip it upside down to form a sort of housing for the box. I haven't used litter pans in years- I always go to wal mart or the like and buy those big containers that slide under your bed. They make great litter pans.

Edited by scratch - 23 May 2011 at 8:35pm
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