Responsible Pooping for Cats Teaching your cat not to dump. You will agree that this is important.

BY | January 20 | COMMENTS PUBLISHED BY
Responsible Pooping for Cats

Cats are naturally graceful and demure creatures. Is your feline not yet as graceful? Do you discover poop around the house? Here's what you need to know about poop training your favorite fur friend.

Cats are naturally graceful and demure creatures. Is your feline not yet as graceful? Do you discover poop around the house?

Getting your cat to do their business is usually straight forward. Some cat parents have shown their feline friends to use toilets like regular people. This is controversial and often frowned upon. However, training them to use a litter box or go outdoors is acceptable.

Here's what you need to know about poop training your favorite fur friend.

General cat behavior/what to expect

Cats are generally clean animals they would never really poop in the open and would usually cover their ‘tracks’.

They are naturally secretive about pooping but are fast learners and quickly pick up by observation. This may be slightly different for kittens and growing cats.

When to Start

An often asked question is when to begin. The answer is as soon as possible.

Start it as soon as you get home; earlier training often has better outcomes. It is much harder to teach an old cat new tricks. Make good use of the formative stages.

How to Begin

You may be wondering how to train your cat.

Here are some great ideas to begin with:

ü  Get some knowledge

ü  Ask your fellow cat parents

ü  Watch videos if you wish

What to Buy                  

You've got two options; using a litter box or outdoor pooping.

This depends on the kind of training you’ve chosen to do


A.  Litter boxes

The kind of litter boxes you go for depends on:

ü  The age

ü  Size of your cats

ü  Previous training experience

ü  Kind of material

ü  Cost

For younger and more inexperienced kittens, it is more feasible to get a lower height litter box. This is important to ensure that your feline does not go up into the box from the sides and get covered in their poop.

For the more mature pets, litter boxes should have higher sides.  This is to ensure that everything is collected without getting everywhere. [1]

Let your cat’s curiosity be satisfied. You can let your feline play around in the box to get accustomed to it.

Choose a litter box that absorbs and that’s easy to clean. Some litter boxes have odor control mechanisms in-built.

B.  Cat litter of different materials.

This could be as simple as shredded paper.

C.  Cat litter disinfectant

A gentle and non-toxic disinfectant is ideal especially for cats with sensitive skin. Do not use an irritant.

D.  Cleaning supplies

This would include a specific brush.

E. Cat flaps  

This is an opening in the door at home. It has a hinge that allows it to close automatically when the cat passes.

It is important to check that the edges are not sharp or jagged to prevent injuries as your feline friend dashes out to get relief.

F.  Snacks/treats

This is good for positive reinforcement.  Positive reinforcement makes the process of training a lot smoother.

Cat toys also work great for this. Associate some positivity with properly excreting waste.

What to do
1. Determine whether your cat has learned the ropes already from a previous home or someplace else.


2. If not, begin from the moment your cat comes home.


3. Decide on what method works for you and your pet.


4.  Get the supplies as necessary.


5.  Choose a suitable area

Privacy is key for cats. Unlike dogs, cats are can be bothered by spectators.

So, keep the litter box in any private shielded off area of your house.

As for going outdoors, your cat may need to know their way around your home first.

Map out an area of your yard that is out of the public eye. It may work best for your furry friend. You can then lead them to this area.

6.  Develop a schedule

Try to establish a pattern. Figure out what time your cat is usually most likely to pass waste.
Keep them in the litter box at those times so they can find a pattern. Use the mornings and night time if feasible.

When they want to go at other times, look out for the latest behavioral changes such as uneasy movements and unusual noises.

Pick the cues and send them to the litter box immediately. Keep at this until at least the pattern is established.


7.  For outdoor training, your cat has to learn to safely pass through the door flap and back into the house with ease or go through an open door.


8.   If there is the occasional accident, do not reprimand harshly but allow your pet to try again. 
If your cat gets it right, give the necessary positive reinforcement. Use a pleasant voice to let them know they've done a great job.

9.  Keep the feces out. Clean as necessary using a disinfectant.


10.  Continue until your cat gets a hang of it.

Problems and Possible Solutions


1. Disruption

 Be aware that any distortion of the pattern can take you and your pet back a few milestones.


2.  Spaying

Castration is extreme but does appear to solve the problem of spraying.
Spraying of urine is largely done in a bid to establish control over a particular area. It can produce quite a pungent smell although it is considered normal cat behavior.

3.    Soiling

Cat food may be contaminated with the fecal matter if the feeding plate is too close to the cat litter box. Keep them away from each other.

4.   Refusal

If your cat refuses to use a litter box, check if it is too small or the litter material irritates them.

Tips and tricks

ü  Do not worry too much. In the absence of a medical condition, your cat will eventually get it right.

ü  Do not clean out the litter box immediately. The presence of fecal matter may encourage use.

ü  If your cat does not have does not like a particular little box it may be best to find an alternative.

ü  Create a schedule and maintain it. 

ü  You may have a bit of a hassle training an outdoor cat to use a litter box.
Make the transition smoother by scooping a bit of soil into the box to mimic the outdoors. [2]

If this fails, your vet may be able to pick a stress/anxiety problem.
Keep a positive approach and be open-minded.

Conclusion

Practice makes perfect. Patience is invaluable and key. You must take it one step and one day at a time.

Like potty training their younger human counterparts, this is a gentle steady process.
Positive reinforcement with snacks works great.

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