I have a question, but have looked at some of the flaming that seems to go on here, so I am trying to quell any issues with a little background.

My wife, myself and our two cats are moving into my parent's house. However, we're moving into the basement. It's a partially finished basement that has heat and A/C. We will be living and sleeping down there, coming up only to eat and use the bathroom. We're going to install a door to the laundry room to keep them from the sump pump and washer/dryer.

Now on to the issue.My parents are not "cat people" and would prefer that the cats stay in the basement with us. We have no issues with that, but we are trying to figure out the best way to keep them there. My thought is to try and have some "two door" system...meaning they would have to get past two doors to get upstairs. I thought of this because I know how they get sometimes when in a smaller room and bolt past when a door is opened.

They did have a door at the top of the stairs that was removed while remodeling. I believe the door will be going back on. So our thought is to find or construct something to put at the bottom of the stairs that we could easily move...something w/wheels perhaps? The stairs have walls on both sides, so I guess you could say it's less of a basement and more of a "lower level" of what would be a two level house.
Any thoughts? Please, please do not flame or ask us to get rid of the pets. We are just trying to find a happy compromise.
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My parents are not "cat people" and would prefer that the cats stay in the basement with us. We have ... do not flame or ask us to get rid of thepets. We are just trying to find a happy compromise.

What about using a baby-gate at the bottom of the stairs? If using a baby-gate, I would probably put it a step or two up from the bottom step, since it seems it would be harder for a cat to jump over the gate that way. Or you might consider a bi-fold closet door the type that accordian when you open them, but you wouldn't be able to move that one.

If you don't already have plans to, you might also want to consider getting harnesses and leashes for your cats so you can take them outside sometimes. Just carry them upstairs so they don't get used to climbing up and down themselves (so they don't think it's "OK" to do so). Cats need fresh air sometimes, too :-).
rona

***For e-mail, replace .com with .ca Sorry for the inconvenience!***
We thought about the baby-gate too, but we did have the concern of them jumping over. I guess we could do a trial run with TWO baby-gates...I'm a sorta new uncle...so they're sorta new grandparents who just got done babysitting for a weekend.
We could probably set them close to eachother and up a few steps. Maybe we could set them close, but one step apart? That way we'd be able to remove it going up or down. Has anyone tried this?
And I'll keep in mind the fresh air. They are indoor cats, one will just sit by an open door, the other runs away from the door. The one that runs away was abandoned by it's mom outside my wife's (then girlfriend) house. It meowed so much that she took him in and nursed him back to health. So I think he has issues with going outside.
We thought about the baby-gate too, but we did have the concern of them jumping over. I guess we could do a trial run with TWO baby-gates...I'm a sorta new uncle...so they're sorta new grandparents who just got done babysitting for a weekend.

rona

My sister installed a gate (two, actually) that she ordered online from Drs. Foster and Smith. They are extra tall, and she mounted one above the other (fastened together so they can be moved as a single unit). The two completely fill her doorway. They are made of mesh, so the cats see through it but can not leave the room.
MaryL
(take out the litter to reply)
Photos of Duffy and Holly: >'o'<
(Introducing Duffy to Holly) (Duffy and Holly "settle in")
>
I would only feel bad that they won't be able to see outside very well and most cats like to sit in windows. Do you have those little windows that are in some basements with the window wells outside them? If you do, maybe you could get a couple high cat trees so they would be able to sort of see out those windows a little. Maybe you could get an aquarium or something for them to watch for entertainment. I would make sure you have lots of toys and cat trees for them so they won't get bored. Do your parents have a screened in porch or anything that you could let the cats go to when your parents go out? Just so they could see the outdoors and feel fresh air sometimes.
Candace
(take the litter out before replying by e-mail)
See my cats:

"One does not meet oneself until one catches the reflection from an eye other than human." (Loren Eisely)
Um...I don't see why you'd feel bad about my cats. I'm sorry, but we don't have the money to purchase cat trees, etc. That's the main reason we're moving in with my parents is because we can no longer afford our rent and both are out of work. They're not outside cats, but we'll see what we can do about sunlight and such.
They have plenty of toys and one cat cave type thingy...you know the kind that's about thigh high, round with two holes in the side and a shelf on the top hole? If those aren't good enough, then I'm sorry. But hey, if you want to send me money or the cat towers that I've seen (that run $100-200) feel free, you won't get any argument from me.
I will apologize in advance for any "snippiness" in my writing. This isn't easy for us, let alone the cats too. There are MANY places we could rent for cheaper, but all of them don't allow pets. So we have to make due with what we have. Again, I apologize.
I have a question, but have looked at some of the flaming that seems to go on here, so I ... not flame or ask us to get rid of the pets. We are just trying to find a happy compromise.

Sorry about your situation.
Get a folding (accordian style) vinyl door for the bottom of the stairs. The kind that is normally used sometimes on closets. You should be able to get something fairly cheap.

"Its the bugs that keep it running."
-Joe Canuck
No1,
The question of whether or not cats need sunlight has been asked repeatedly. I found the most logically sound post regarding the question. So don't feel bad by not having any windows in the basement. They are not necessary.
Animals get vitamin D from the sun as it is synthesized when UV rays react with the precursors in the skin. D is also needed for efficient Calcium absorption, and to prevent rickets. Most cat foods should have enough Vitamin D supplements that sunlight is not necessary. Very little D is necessary to be healthy. You can supplement with a few drops of fish oil mixed in the cat food once a week. Too much can be toxic (as with too much of many vitamins). Indoor cats are likely not synthesizing any of their own vitamin D as UV is blocked by standard window glass. So ultimately, cats do not need sunlight to survive although most cats do like sunlight. You can supplement not having windows with flood lights. The cats won't know the difference.
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