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thanks for having me.. I hope it's ok to post here.

I was googling my question when I was taken to this website regarding a similar situation. Anyway I have a question about feral/stray cats, a few years ago my estate had a very bad cat problem, to cut a long story short, I organized a tnr program to come and trap the cats, in all over 50 cats were neutered. Since then I have started feeding a few of the strays, some are very friendly others it's taken me a few years to get close to them. I take care of 8 cats now ranging from the ages 2-10 years old. They mainly live out my back garden, I have a cat box and a coal bunker I've turned into a cat hotel as shelter for them plus two sheds so they have places to escape the harsh weather we have. On the wet morning/evenings I feed these cats in my kitchen, I treat them for parasites ect so I know they are clean and healthy. My older cats have taken a liken to my open fire and I've started to think how lovely it would be for them to be able to sleep inside on the cold nights but I'm unsure how I would go around teaching a feral cat to be comfortable sleeping inside without a door open as they tend to freak out if the back door closes and their inside. Would anyone have any experience introducing a outside cat to living Simi indoor? Im sure these cats do fine outside but it's horrible sometimes having to put them back outside on a rainy day and would love to give them the opportunity to part live inside..I would appreciate any tips or advice on this situation.

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  • Welcome to Pets! Please take the tour to see how this site works, it only takes a minute.
    – Elmy
    Jan 10 at 7:03
  • Could a simple solution be to install a cat flap? If you only want unlimited access for a few specific cats, there are models available with microchip readers. Since the reason for the closing door causing panic is their escape route being cut off, removing this association from the equation might be sufficient here.
    – bgse
    Jan 10 at 14:15
  • @bgse I did give serious thought to a cat flap but I suppose my issue there is I own 3 dogs who don't approve of my friendliness towards the strays so I'm a bit reluctant to use a cat flap because I don't want the cats to have assess to the house without my knowledge but as I'm writing this I'm thinking I could block the flap off during the day if I'm not here so maybe it's possible.. I only leave the cats in my kitchen the rest of the house is off limits to them because of my dogs. Will a feral cat ever get use to living inside?
    – Hippy18
    Jan 10 at 18:05

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It would be lovely to have the cats sleep somewhere warm and comfy, for them and for you. But cats persistently do their own thing. How about closer to the house?

We had "barn cats" (but no barn) when we had a farmette. We had a visiting vet for all the animals (milk goats, the cats - 13 at one point - and all manner of fowl) and they got the same care and attention indoor cats would get, and maybe more, as we spent so much of our time outside. A few of the cats were particularly lovely (we'd raised them from the age of a few days because they were orphaned), but when brought into the house, they would be happy for about two minutes then would want out.

They were allowed to live where they wanted, but most lived or would overnight in our garage, which was stocked with plenty of boxes with soft blankets (and a few litter boxes). The garage door was kept open about 8 inches, and we built a wooden structure to go under the door most of the way to keep the heat in, so it ended up that there was an opening of about 7x8 inches where the cats could come and go. It wasn't as warm as the house, but it was a lot warmer than under the sheds. Maybe you can do something similar?

None of our cats ever became (or wanted to become) house cats. We would have liked that; there were a lot of predators on our land and we were only about .1 miles from the road. They lived long for outdoor cats, but their longevity was shorter than that of indoor cats. But they lived quality lives, and when it was milking time, they were all present and accounted for!

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  • What was your experience about the cats drinking milk and lactose intolerance of adult cats?
    – dakini
    Jan 18 at 5:02
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    If they had lactose intolerance, I didn't see it. I never saw them having any symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea; all of the cats were healthy and active. My dogs also hung around for milk, and got some without distress. Jan 18 at 16:40

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