See How Easy Outdoor Cat Litter Box Training Can Be: 5 Simple Steps to Follow
Sometimes, you will find a cat that will fill your heart with love. But other times, it’s the cat that finds you.
If you have been fortunate to establish a strong bond with an outdoor cat and are hoping to make her a permanent part of your family and home, then the first thing you need to do is get her familiar with the cat litter box.
How Do You Train an Outdoor Cat to Use a Litter Box?
Outdoor cats are used to eliminating almost anywhere. With the great outdoors as their home, they can easily mark a huge plot of land as their bathroom, the area around that massive oak tree as their dining and play rooms, and that flowery bush by the road as their entertainment deck.
Of course, the day won’t be complete without paying you a visit, but they probably remain outside throughout your rendezvous. So how will it be possible to make her fall in love with the litter box that’s oh so essential to living as an indoor cat? Here’s what you need to do:
Step 1: Choose Your Cat Litter Wisely
You have to make sure that the litter you use looks as close to what your outdoor cat friend has been using for years. Yes, that means no natural-but-weird-feeling wood shavings and certainly no crystals. Because we bet you, she won’t be using any of those for her private business.
The best choice for outdoor cat litter is a combination of unscented sand-type litter and some plain ‘ol soil. The first few times she hovers around and use the box, you have to limit the cat litter at roughly 20%. As time goes by, you can slowly increase it to 40% and so on until the whole box is filled with nothing but your litter of choice.
Step 2: Consider Your Outdoor Cat Litter Box Placement and Setup
It’s vital that your friend sees the box every time she visits. So place your outdoor cat litter box in areas where you often spot her—by the door, near the garage, and maybe on the porch. Make it natural and blend it with the surroundings by adding some pebbles and leaves.
Don’t forget to pick a box of good height. For younger outdoor cats, a box around five inches high is ideal, but for senior cats, a box with one side cut low is a must.
Step 3: Encourage Her with Treats and Her Scent
Many outdoor cats instinctively know what the litter box is for and will take to it when gently pushed to use it, but what if your friend hasn’t seen such a box her whole life? In that case, she will only approach it with curiosity and perhaps play with the contents. Don’t reprimand her when she does!
The best approach is to make the box desirable and a part of her territory. Sometime after meals, bring her to the outdoor cat litter box and do some gentle digging motions with her paws. The first few times she pees and poops in the box, leave the excrement alone to make her feel more secure and give her treats (because what cat doesn’t love treats?). These will compel her to use the box every time she needs to go for a bathroom break.
Step 4: Slowly Bring the Cat Inside Your Home
Once your feline pal becomes the accustomed to using the outdoor cat litter box, you can start bringing her inside. If the box is by the door, bring it a few inches past the entrance, making sure that she gets privacy and some treats when she uses it. Every several days, bring the box further inside, until your feline friend becomes confident in using it inside your home.
Step 5: Make Your Home Cozy
This is more of an assurance to your cat than an actual litter box training step. You see, your house is filled with numerous scents that your outdoor cat friend will deem strange. These scents may force to pee or poop outside the litter box, even when she already know the box’s purpose.
In this case, it will be highly beneficial for you to spray cat pheromones to calm her. If you have a collection of toys that your outdoor cat loves, place them near her bed, bowls, and litter box to make her feel comfortable.
Bringing an outdoor cat home can be a bit of a challenge, especially in the bathroom department. However, with a bit of patience and some dedicated outdoor cat litter box training, you will be well on your way into enjoying a happy life together in your warm home.
Have you adopted an outdoor cat before? Did you need to teach her about the wonders of a cat litter box, or did she use it without any encouragement from you?
Tell us your story by leaving a comment below!