by Charlene Little, Contributing Writer
Do you have an adult cat that will not use the litter box? This is a problem for many people. Sometimes it happens to people who have had their cat for years. Other times it happens to those who recently got a new cat from the animal shelter. Either way, you know you have to stop your cat from going to the bathroom where they want, and get them to go where they are supposed to, their litter box. This can be a challenge for even the most determined pet owner, or the most determined trainer. I can tell you through personal experience, it is not easy, but a cat can be retrained to use the litter box. Don't give up on your pet, they love you, and they will adjust to going in the litter box after a little behavior modification.
The method of training that I prefer to use is based on a cat's natural instinct to go to the bathroom in a sandy substance, and the fact that they prefer to bury their waste. These are the instincts that you as a human must rely on. No amount of confining your cat will work unless you rely on your cat's instincts.
Cats are among the most stubborn of creatures. They know they can outsmart you, and they know that you are irritated by their unwillingness to do as they are told. Many people find that their cat will purposely do the opposite of what they say, just because they can, and this is true for many cats.
Where To Start:
If you already have a litter box, you might have to purchase a new one. This is because the cat may not like the one you gave him. Cats are picky and if they despise something, they will show it.
Most cats do not like the idea of an open liter box. They prefer their privacy and they will not go to the bathroom if someone is watching. If you have noticed that your cat does not like their litter box, that might be the problem you are facing. Try changing their liter box to one of the ones below. This may remedy your problem without having to bat an eyelash.
Change Your Litter:
If your cat still refuses to use the litter box, try changing your cat liter. Some cats do not like the feel of certain litter. I have seen some that prefer the clay gravel litter, and some that prefer the small granulated litter. Many cats will not go in a litter that they do not like.
Keep Your Litter Box Clean:
If you have more than one cat, one of them may not be fond of sharing a toilet with the other, even if they are the best of friends. Purchase a second litter box for the cat that does not want to share. This will ensure that your cat has a clean, personal place to go.
Confining Your Cat:
Unfortunately, you might have to resort to confining your cat for a short period of time while your cat is relearning this step in life. Purchase a small cat carrier that is made of hard plastic, like the one to the right. Keep your cat in it with the litter box, food and water. Do not allow your cat to run about the house until s/he decides to use the litter box. Your cat will not want to go to the bathroom where they eat and sleep, they will eventually decide that they will use the litter box.
Many people shy away from this step because they do not want to spend the money on the heavy duty carrier. Just keep in mind that the price is worth it to save your furniture, and the resale value, even at a yard sale, will be fairly close to what you pay for it.
Once your cat is using the litter box you can open the door and let him him/her out, but leave the cat's litter box inside of the crate for the time being.
Choose a Place For the Litter Box:
Choosing a place for the liter box is a very tedious chore. Mostly because the cat is going to be picky about it himself. Try a place like your bathroom or your laundry room and you will be sure to score points with your cat.
Understanding your cats instincts is important. He will want a private place to go to the bathroom that people cannot watch him.
About the Author
Charlene Little is the mother of three wonderful boys and a volunteer foster mom for her local animal shelter. She enjoys working with various breeds of dogs and cats in learning social behavior, training, and how to be the successful member of a fur-ever family. She enjoys studying animals' behavior and finding solutions to behavior problems that the everyday person can handle. She covers topics from various forms of aggression and small problem behaviors. Every problem behavior has a solution, and the solution is never to give up on your pet! Love, kindness, and small adjustments could be just what you need.
Content Powered by Write W.A.V.E. Media.
Get content like this for your blog or website.
Not writing for us yet? Submit something today!
About the Author
Caradwyn Cooper is the mother of three wonderful boys and a volunteer foster mom for her local animal shelter. She enjoys working with various breeds of dogs and cats in learning social behavior, training, and how to be the successful member of a fur-ever family. She enjoys studying animals' behavior and finding solutions to behavior problems that the everyday person can handle. She covers topics from various forms of aggression and small problem behaviors. Every problem behavior has a solution, and the solution is never to give up on your pet! Love, kindness, and small adjustments could be just what you need.