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How to teach a

(10 Posts)
CountryPheasant Mon 01-Dec-14 17:48:14

Our adopted boy had an accident over the weekend - we think he may have been hit by a car and unfortunately has some damage to his right back leg.

We took him to the vet who advised us to keep him in over the next week or so because he is unable to put any weight on to his injured leg sad. I feel terrible for the poor chap because I know he wants to go outside to relieve himself but I can't let him. We have bought a litter tray for him to use but he doesn't seem interested/to understand what it is for.

He was a stray before we adopted him (or perhaps more accurately before HE adopted us) and so I have no idea as to his background but it doesn't appear that he has used one before.

Does anybody have any tips/advice or previous experience in teaching an adult cat who is used to going outside how to use a litter tray? Or is it a pointless exercise? Any help will be much appreciated smile smile

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 01-Dec-14 17:55:47

Putting earth or compost in the tray can help to encourage a at who has only previously only used outdoors.

isseywithcats Mon 01-Dec-14 17:57:49

get some dirt from outside and sprinkle it on the top of the litter if hes used to going outside the dirt will attract him to the litter tray and if you can borrow a dog cage you could put him in it overnights with the litter tray and some blankets so he will get used to using one again, or if not a cage in the bathroom which is easy clean surfaces if he dosent use the tray

CountryPheasant Mon 01-Dec-14 17:58:52

Oh bugger, I've gone and saved my thread without finishing the title.angry

That's an interesting idea lonecat, I will definitely try that. I just so happen to have a bag of compost handy as well smile . Thank you for the tip.

cozietoesie Mon 01-Dec-14 18:05:30

I give you due warning. The Lodger raised himself on the streets before he moved himself in with us - and once he discovered litter trays he liked them so much he took to using them even though he still went out. (I'm not saying he wasn't ever caught short and did his duty outside but I certainly seemed to clear his tray as much as the inside cat.) Best to keep the litter tray for a little bit at least, even when he recovers.

Hope your boy does well over the next few days.

CountryPheasant Mon 01-Dec-14 18:20:45

Thanks cozie smile I hope he does too. To be honest I will be happy for him to keep using the tray as we keep him in over night anyway so I won't worry about him being desperate in the morning.

Did your Lodger just work out the litter tray on his own then? Or do you think he cottoned on by seeing your indoor cat use it?

cozietoesie Mon 01-Dec-14 18:55:11

The indoor cat was Seniorboy who despised and detested The Lodger - quite unreasonably because The Lodger was a wonderully nice cat - so they were kept apart and never saw each other using a tray.

The Lodger just started using it. I have no idea how he cottoned on to it but he did nonetheless. (Of course, that first use without reproof and with the soiling being nicely cleaned away would have cemented the idea in his mind.)

cozietoesie Mon 01-Dec-14 19:03:03

PS. I may have put him in the tray and scrabbled his paws briefly. I have no memory of doing that but it would be my standard practice if I thought a cat was uncertain - so who can tell.

CountryPheasant Mon 01-Dec-14 23:42:17

Well that's encouraging to know anyway - it is possible for them to learn and adjust to a tray.

Breaking news! My clever boy has just used his tray for the first time grin . Poor thing must have been desperate but he figured it out all by himself.

Thank you again to everyone who replied - compost was definitely a good shout and has done the trick. Fingers crossed it will continue!

cozietoesie Tue 02-Dec-14 09:21:32

Well done him.

Just a thought - I've used compost before and it's not a pleasant litter to have. It's not really that absorbent and it tends to go into big plabs of muddy stuff. If you feel that he's got the hang of things, it woud be a good idea to gradually move him over to a more conventional litter by gradual mixing and substitution in the tray - only when he's using it well though and definitely not all at once.

In the meantime, best to just clean the tray very promptly to reinforce his thought that this is a Good Thing.

Lots of luck and I hope his leg improves.

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