What's a cute phrase to indicate on my cat's tag that he is indoor-only?
February 3, 2016 11:11 AM   Subscribe

My neighborhood has a lot of outdoor cats, so I would like to add something to my indoor cat's tag to indicate that if someone encounters him alone outdoors it means that he is, indeed, lost. I don't like "Oh no, I'm lost!" since it'll be mostly me or my guests that see the tag the majority of the time, when it's not applicable -- but the only alternative I've come up with is "indoor cat," which is lacking the cute factor. What are some options in the 28 character range?

(Hachi-san will also have his name and our phone number on the tag.)
posted by Pwoink to Pets & Animals (30 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
This sounds like a job for THE KITTY CONVICT PROJECT.
posted by peagood at 11:12 AM on February 3, 2016 [30 favorites]


Help! I belong INside! 123-456-7890 Pwoink
posted by bearwife at 11:13 AM on February 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


A cat in our neighborhood has a tag that reads "If I'm outside, I'm lost! Please call ###-###-####."
posted by kythuen at 11:14 AM on February 3, 2016 [19 favorites]


"I don't like being outside!" or "I'm outside? I'm lost!"
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 11:23 AM on February 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


Approved for Indoor Use Only
If Found Outdoors, Initiate Containment Procedure 123-456-7890
Curiosity Will Kill This Cat - Get Me Inside!
If I'm Outside, It's a CATastrophe!
It's a Wild World - Get Me Inside! (Cat Stevens reference)
posted by melissasaurus at 11:26 AM on February 3, 2016 [12 favorites]


"Your outside world frightens me."
posted by bondcliff at 11:31 AM on February 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


OUT=LOST is what I recommend to adopters. Short and to the point and fits well on a small tag.
posted by Ferrari328 at 11:40 AM on February 3, 2016 [12 favorites]


I don't think anything cute is a good idea. You want it to be understood and acted on. I like kythuen's "If I'm outside, I'm lost!".
posted by hollyholly at 11:52 AM on February 3, 2016 [11 favorites]


"I am not allowed outside. Please call xxx-xxx-xxxx."
posted by JanetLand at 11:54 AM on February 3, 2016 [5 favorites]


I'm thinking of doing this myself, because my cat is FIV-positive. For him to be outside would not only be bad for him, but he would be able to transmit it to other animals. After toying with a cute phrase myself, I'll probably go for something more urgent, such as one of the following:

HELP ME BACK INSIDE
I NEED MEDS DAILY
MEDICAL CONDITION, REQUIRES MEDS

Even if your cat doesn't require meds, adding this might signal to people who think all cats should be allowed outside that it's not just your personal preference. Even if it is due to preference, expressing more urgency on the tag may help speed help getting kitty home.

For cuteness, you could get something like this or this as an auxiliary tag to the ID tag.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 12:07 PM on February 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


If I'm loose, I'm lost :-(
posted by specialagentwebb at 12:13 PM on February 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


To clarify, I am having no trouble coming up with how to indicate that if this cat is outside, he is lost.

I am looking specifically for ideas on how to indicate this while also 1) not implying he is currently lost, and 2) putting a little personality in it.
posted by Pwoink at 12:21 PM on February 3, 2016


"What part of HOUSE cat was unclear?"
posted by Nerd of the North at 12:34 PM on February 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think your guests will know that your cat is not currently lost, and how much time are you all going to spend looking at Kitty's tag? Err on the side of clear and legible for strangers.
posted by cyndigo at 12:34 PM on February 3, 2016 [5 favorites]


INMATE
posted by *s at 12:45 PM on February 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


"If you can read this, I am lost."
posted by terrapin at 12:51 PM on February 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


OK, how's this:

(INside) House Cat. xxx-xxx-xxxx Pwoink
posted by bearwife at 1:03 PM on February 3, 2016


Or: I'm an INsider Cat. xxx xxx xxxx Pwoink
posted by bearwife at 1:05 PM on February 3, 2016


WANTED: INSIDE 123-456-7890
posted by Night_owl at 1:16 PM on February 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


To me, even "Oh no, I'm lost!" would be a little bit hard to understand on a strange cat's tag, and definitely wouldn't make me sure that they were an indoor cat.

Be wary of that - anything cutesy enough that it isn't explicit is a risk you probably don't want to run.
posted by R a c h e l at 1:24 PM on February 3, 2016 [10 favorites]


A piece of information that is important does not warrant "personality" at the expense of clarity. Would you mark a fire exit with something clever? Simple, direct and clear is best.

"If I'm outside, I'm lost!" is as clear as it gets, and the "if" definitely meets the requirement of making it clear that the cat is not currently lost, if he is in fact currently indoors.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 3:03 PM on February 3, 2016 [7 favorites]


'Have your people call my people'
posted by enfa at 3:07 PM on February 3, 2016 [5 favorites]


INDOOR ONLY
123 Main St, 12345
xxx-xxx-xxxx

Also recommend situating the tag so that it's easy to look at. I've found a couple dogs where the tags are hard to get at and read while simultaneously trying to dial a phone.
posted by bookdragoness at 4:23 PM on February 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


CALL MOM
before she freaks out!
xxx-xxx-xxxx
posted by BoscosMom at 4:33 PM on February 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


Lovable house cat. Bring me home!
posted by Toddles at 7:15 PM on February 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


We have:
"ORANGE IS THE NEW CAT (ph number)."
posted by MarchHare at 8:45 PM on February 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Both of our indoor-only cats have "If I'm outside, I'm lost!" on the front of their tags, and our phone numbers on the other.
posted by sarcasticah at 1:28 PM on February 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


My roommate's cat wears this "I'm lost!" tag, and is much cuter for it. Personally I think a graphic is more effective than text – especially if the cat may hesitate to get too near a helpful stranger.
posted by Sfving at 2:34 PM on February 4, 2016


I'm with the "If I'm Outside I am lost. XXX XXX XXXX" Group. I also like the tag.

Please don't put a scarf on your kitty.
posted by mule98J at 7:15 PM on February 4, 2016


My cats tag says:
IF I'M NOT IN APARTMENT 3 THEN I AM LOST
MY NAME IS WIN
PLEASE CALL MY MOM 555-555-5555
posted by pintapicasso at 5:05 AM on February 6, 2016


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