By Nan Talleno

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – If your cat has spent a lot of time outdoors, is it possible to transition him/her to an indoor life?

Many cats have made the transition to indoor living quite easily. According to the Humane Society of the United States, the key is to make the change from outdoors to indoors gradually, until the new way of life becomes routine. It just requires planning, persistence, and patience.

First, be sure to take your cat to the vet for a thorough checkup and be sure all shots are up to date. If you’re always feeding your cat outside, start feeding him inside. Instead of letting your cat back out as soon as he’s finished eating, keep him indoors for gradually longer periods of time. Provide extra treats and quality playtime so he/she will associate the indoors with something positive and motivating.

A warm comfortable environment is always extremely inviting. Give your cat easy access to the litter box and provide a scratching post where it is readily available to him. Window perches attached to a windowsill provide a safe view.

When his/her needs are met, most cats can adapt to the new environment extremely well. If any problems develop, first check with your veterinarian to rule out any medical conditions, then just provide patience, guidance, consistency and affection.

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