How to Train a Stray Cat to Use a Litter Box!
This will be a some-what short yet important HUB Page! If you have ever opened your heart and home to a stray cat then you know that they can often be tough to train when it comes to using a litter box. If you think about it, stray cats are use to eliminating outside…whenever and wherever they wish! Though bringing a stray cat into your home is a wonderful thing to do (after all, living in a warm, comfortable home is better than life on the street any day of the week!) you must remember that many stray cats have never stepped a paw inside a house before! Be patient, kind and consistent and before you know it, your new cat will be a loving member of your family and his stray days will be a thing of the past!
Like I mentioned before, stray cats are use to eliminating anywhere and in anything that they wish. It is best that you start with a very basic cat box…nothing to fancy. Though automatic cat litter boxes are wonderful, they will probably scare your new furry friend. Once you purchase a basic litter box, make sure you put it in a desirable location. Cats tend to like privacy when they go to the bathroom so putting the litter box in the busiest room in the house is probably not a good idea. Once you choose an ideal location, make sure you show your cat where it is. If you are really worried that he won't use his litter box, start out by placing the box in a small room or bathroom and leave your cat in the room for a while so that he can become acquainted with his new toilet.
Since many stray cats poop in sand and dirt, it is a good idea to get a cat litter that is similar to what he is familiar with. Ever Clean is a wonderful litter that is sold in most pet supply stores. It is considered a "premium" litter so you may not be able to find it in your neighborhood grocery store. The consistency of Ever Clean cat litter is similar to sand and dirt (but don't worry…it doesn't smell like dirt). Besides choosing a litter that your new friend likes, another great way to get a stray cat to use his litter box is to put a piece of cat poop and some cat pee into his box and then let him smell it. He should put two and two together and realize that the wonderful box you bought him is where he should "go." You may also consider mixing a small amount of dirt and or sand in with the litter. I know this sounds messy; however, you won't have to do this forever. As soon as your stray kitty figures out what his litter box is for you can wean out the dirt and sand eventually only using litter. This little trick tends to work well…and your cat is none the wiser.
If after trying several of the techniques above your stray continues to pee and or poop outside of his box, it may be time for a trip to the vet. Explain your situation to the veterinarian and allow him to rule out any medical problems. If he gives your kitty a clean bill of health…it may just take some extra time to litter box train your stray. Remember to be patient, consistent and don't give up! Opening your door to a stray cat is a noble and wonderful thing to do. He deserves a chance at a happy and healthy life! Good luck!
For more information about kittens and cats, please visit the Kitten Care Guide! Meow!