How to Train an Outdoor Cat to Use a Litter Box

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Get an open litter box instead of a closed one.,
Make sure that the box is big enough.,
Experiment with litter types.,
Make sure you have enough litter boxes.,
Put the box in the right place.,
Know how to accommodate kittens.,
Make sure you clean the litter box at least every other day.,
Be sure to change the litter once a month.,
Show the box to your cat and let your cat smell it.,
Give your cat a reward when he or she uses the box.,
Know what to do if your cat doesn’t use the box.,
Never punish your cat.,
Consider using a litter attractant.,
Be aware that this can take some time.,
Try moving the box to the place where the cat is eliminating.,
Consider taking the cat to a vet.,
Be sure that your cat isn’t just marking his territory.

A closed liter box may look nicer and be better at keeping the smells in, but an outdoor cat may not like it. Outdoor cats are used to the open, and a covered box may make them feel closed-in., The box needs to be large enough for the cat to be able to move around in. Look for something that is the same length as your cat, plus another half.If you can’t find a box that is large enough, use a plastic bin instead. Make sure that you cut a hole in the side so that the cat can go in and out. Be sure to leave the lid off., Different cats prefer different types of litter. Most outdoor cats are used to soil, so it might be a good idea to start with something that is similar in texture. Start with something that is fine, sand-like, and unscented. Over the next few weeks, mix in a little bit of litter. After a few weeks, you will be using just litter.

Keep an eye on your cat whenever you add more litter to the soil. If your cat refuses to use the litter box, he or she might not be ready for the change. Add in a little bit more soil.
If you don’t know what sort of litter to use, consider buying a few different types and placing each one in a separate box. Choose the one that the cat uses.Consider using a natural litter, such as wood bark pellet, ground corn, or walnut shell pellet. These may appeal more to an outdoor cat.

, You need to have at least one litter box, but you may consider getting an extra one while your cat is learning to use it. If you have more than one cat, you will need one litter box per cat.

, The best places are quiet, such as a bathroom or laundry room. If you place the box in a busy, noisy area, the cat may feel stressed or anxious, and go to the bathroom elsewhere. If you notice that the cat has been going to the bathroom in a certain area, try to place the litter box there.

Never place the litter box in the same room as the cat’s food and water. Cats are clean animals, and may refuse to eat if their food is too close to their bathroom area.
Avoid placing the litter box near “scary” areas. If a cat has to pass a dog’s kennel or a noisy washing machine in order to get to the litter box, he or she may find some other place to go.
Consider placing the box near the door. That way, if your cat tries to go outside to go to the bathroom, he or she will see the litter box and may try to use it instead., If you cannot find a small enough litter box or plastic bin, you may use several sheets of newspaper instead. Keep the newspaper in the same spot and throw away the paper right after it gets dirty. If the kitten starts to go to the bathroom elsewhere, pick the kitten up and move him or her to the newspaper.

, Cats won’t use a dirty litter box, so you want to make things as appealing as possible. Use a litter scooper to lift the feces and clumped urine out of the litter.

, Simply scooping out the poop and urine is not enough. Overtime, the litter itself will absorb odors and become stinky. This won’t be appealing to your cat, and he or she may find some place else to go to the bathroom. To prevent this from happening, you will need to toss the old litter out once a month, and fill the box up with fresh litter.

, Some cats will understand that this is their new bathroom, while others will need more help. Try lifting your cat up and gently setting him or her down onto the litter. If your cat jumps out, do not force him or her back into it. The cat may need more time to get used to the texture.

, If you see your cat using the box, wait until the cat is done before giving it a reward. Praise the cat, and pet it where it likes to be petted. Be sure to give your cat a treat as well.

, If you see your cat going to the bathroom else where, but still close to the box, pick your cat up and carry him or her to the box. If the cat is too far away, wait until the cat is done, then move the poop into the box. Let your cat see the poop in the box. If you cat went pee, see if you can cut the pee out of the item and move the scrap to the box. If the cat went pee on the carpet or on something that cannot be cut, clean the area immediately using an enzyme cleaner. This will break down the cat urine.

Do not use an ammonia-based product to clean cat urine. Ammonia smells similar to urine to a cat’s nose. If you use that to clean, your cat may return to the same spot the next time it needs to go.

, If you punish your cat, he or she may start to grow afraid of you. If you try to force it into the litter box, the cat may also grow afraid of the box and try to avoid it.

, It’s a powder that looks a little bit like dried catnip. You add it to the litter box; it helps attract cats to it. You can find litter attractant in the litter or medical section of a pet store.

, Some cats will start using the litter box almost right away, but others will need more time to figure what it is for and how to use it. This can take a few days to a few weeks.

, If the cat is avoiding the litter box, he or she may have a reason. Maybe the area is too noisy, too dark/bright, or too drafty. If your cat keeps going to the bathroom in the same spot, try moving the litter box to that spot.

Make sure that you are cleaning up the places where the cat eliminates. Any trace smell of feces or urine will tell the cat that this is a bathroom spot, and the cat is more likely to return to it.

, Sometimes, cats avoid litter boxes for medical reasons. For example, if the cat has a urinary tract infection, he or she may try to seek out a softer surface to urinate on. Cats are also attracted to their owners, and will seek out their smell when sick, hurt, or frightened. If you find that your cat has been going to the bathroom on your bedding or clothes, there could be an underlying health problem.

If your cat keeps avoiding the box, study its urine and feces. A red or pink tint to the urine usually signifies an infection. If the poop is tarry, or has black or red streaks in it, your cat could be very sick. You should take your cat to the vet immediately.

, If you have a male cat who is not neutered, he may be spraying your house to mark his territory. Neutered male cats do not do this. Ask your vet about getting your male cat fixed; this may help resolve the spraying problem.

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