Attempting to transition an outdoor-indoor kitty to being an indoor-only kitty. Help/tips/suggestions for helping him be happier indoors?
My 3ish-year-old kitty, Magnet
, was a mostly-outdoors cat with his original family, our neighbors across the street. They got a dog, and Magnet [née Socks, but Magnet is a clearly more awesome name] basically started to hang out at our house all the time, and we adopted him with the neighbors' blessing.
He started out life being mostly outdoors. In the year and a half or so that we've had him, we've let him be outdoor-indoor (sleeps indoors at night, comes in often during the day, but likes to be outside and run around the neighborhood too). I am emphatic about wanting him to be indoor-only, for health and safety reasons. Right now, he's recovering from a gastrointestinal infection, which he picked up outside. He's been almost exclusively indoors for about the last 2 weeks, but we had a lot of rain the first week, and he was sick the second, so he hadn't been really excited about going outside anyway. I thought it was the perfect time to start the transition, since he's already gotten through the initial couple weeks without us trying to force him. He's starting to feel better now, so he is often meowing to go out, and is a lot less happy to stay in.
Magnet is neutered. When he meows in the middle of the night, I get up and play with him or snuggle him. I always clean his litterbox pretty swiftly. He has lots of food/water available, he has millions of toys, he has a cat tower positioned where he can look out the front windows into the street, and he has plenty of places to hang out in the house. He is sometimes really upset about being inside though, and I want to help him adjust more comfortably. Ideas, experiences, suggestions, thoughts?
Bonus question: The other two people I live with are supportive of this decision to varying degrees. One supports the indoor move about 85-90% and she shares my concerns about health/safety, and the other is around 0% because he has the idea that cats should live freely and do whatever they want (whether it's harmful or not?). Any support on how to dialogue with the latter would be greatly appreciated.