How To House Train A Cat
An animal expert from SafePets UK, instructs you on house training your cat including reasons your cat may be having toilet training issues to how to deal with them effectively. Let Debbie Connolly help you end annoying cat messes permanently!
I'm going to talk to you now about how to house train your cats. It's the important issue for cat owners out there everywhere because lots of us, and I currently have 7 cats, have cats that aren't always as clean as we would like, or when we adopt them, either as kittens or as adults, they're not particularly clean. Now this can be, because in their history, they've been outdoor cats, perhaps, and aren't litter trained.
It may be that they're afraid of using litter or toileting in front of you. It may be that the cat's actually been reprimanded in the past for messing in front of its owner. So your starting point with house training has to be making sure that your relationship with the cat is good.
The other reason house training becomes a problem is it's very common to have cats spraying and toileting around the actual area that you've put a litter tray. Or even around your actual doors. Now, the best way forward with this is to think about your tray and your litter, but also to make sure that the cat understands that this is an actual toilet.
So, for example, if you've had a cat who, historically, you know has always had to toilet outdoors and doesn't actually know what a litter tray is, what you need to do is follow it around the garden a little bit. Which may sound a little bit odd, but if you can find where your cat has actually gone and pooped, pick it up with gloves, bring it indoors and put it into a litter tray. Sounds odd, but you're doing is your bringing your cats own smell back into your household.
So although it might seem strange, it's a way of explaining to your cat "This area, this litter tray is actually your toilet”. The other reason that cats have problems with house training tends to be issues of stress, relationships, that sort of thing. So you may need to look as well, at the relationship between your cat and you, and also your cat and the other animals in the house.
If your cat's feeling a bit insecure, it will go out and to toilet outdoors instead of indoors and not everybody wants that kind of mess in their garden or their neighbour's garden. So you might have to look at the whole relationship issue. The thing that generally works if you're having a problem with this tends to be confining your cat to a smaller space with a litter tray.
This doesn't just mean keeping your cat indoors and stopping it going outside and having options, it basically means you need to perhaps shut the cat in a small room. Not as small as your toilet or bathroom, but perhaps a spare room, or ideally a large dog type cage or crate. Now any cat of mine I've had a serious problem with, I've put up my big German Shepherd sized dog crate, which is big enough for two Shepherds to stand in and lie down in, and the cat has had that as a kind of small apartment.
It had its food and litter tray in there. So, one of the things you can do is use that type of method. It means your cat's not isolated from you, it means it's got the option to toilet only in the litter tray that you are providing, but it's not cut off from your attention and your love.
You can keep bonding the relationship with the cat and gradually, what you do is you allow the cat to leave the cage, in that one room with the doors closed and build up to it gradually having the whole house back. This means, from the start, the cat understands clearly, this is your toilet. When it's got the freedom of the room, there's still only that one option and you should look to make sure the cat is going back to that tray when it's wandering around the room.
And you build up from perhaps an hour, two hours. This process can sometimes take a couple of months before you're completely happy, you don't need the cage and the cat doesn't need to be confined at all. And then the next stage is to leave the litter tray where it is with the cage down.
Make sure that the cat is still using it and then gradually put another tray in a place that you do want to have a tray and