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How do we get kittens to give up the litter tray when they go outside?

(16 Posts)
BIWI Sun 14-Jun-15 17:13:38

Kittens are now 4 and a half months old, and we're just about to start letting them go outside.

This will have to be done in phases - firstly, out into the enclosed back garden, till they get used to that, and then out through the catflap, which goes out into the street.

Until we've done both, so we know that they can get back into the house, obviously we will keep the litter tray going inside.

We've had several cats before, but I just can't remember how we dealt with the removal of the litter tray! (In my defence, the last time would have been about 17 years ago!)

So what tactics should we use to encourage them to go outside, so we can get rid of the tray?

ragged Sun 14-Jun-15 17:15:53

They will minimise using it of own volition ime. Handy to keep indoor tray if they ever get trapped indoors.

thecatneuterer Sun 14-Jun-15 17:19:01

It's often never possible to get rid of a tray. If it's raining, or the ground is frozen, or there's snow, or there's a fierce looking strange cat in the garden then they are going to want to use the tray instead of the garden. If you take the tray away then, in these situations, they could well use your bed or a pile of clothes on the floor or similar instead.

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 14-Jun-15 17:19:47

I'd keep the tray, ours in overnight to minimise the risk of rta and sometimes uses it.

thecatneuterer Sun 14-Jun-15 17:23:47

That's very true. It's much safer to keep cats in at night.

BIWI Sun 14-Jun-15 17:29:36

None of our other cats (four, over the last 25 years) have continued to use the tray once they started going outside - unless they were ill, of course. So I was planning not to have a tray for these cats as well.

justyeh Sun 14-Jun-15 18:15:33

You could take a scoop full of used cat litter and place it in the part of the garden you want them to use this will encourage them to use that area but have others have said it's always handy to have an indoor litter tray for emergencies has cats can sometimes be scared to go out when there's a bullying cat hanging around.

code Sun 14-Jun-15 18:21:44

I like mine doing their business in a litter tray, means I can check their health and less antisocial for neighbours. Mine also seem to prefer it, my boys come back in for wees and poos.

Mine have been going out for nearly 7 months now...and all come back in to use the trays. Also overnight..if they don't have free access to go out via a cat flap they need somewhere in case they need a night time loo stop!

We briefly tried to do away with the litter tray, but two poos in the bath changed my mind!!!!

BIWI Mon 15-Jun-15 20:43:50

At least they did it in the bath! grin

Haffdonga Mon 15-Jun-15 21:06:31

I've just done it with our new rescue boy. He learnt immediately.

First step - tray outside near open door on dry days. (So they learn that they can wee outside in the big wide world.)

Next step moving tray by stages nearer to the area where we wanted to train him to go.

Then leaving tray in the new place outside for a few days.

Lastly, removing tray and scattering some of the litter in the place.

At the same time as this we were also training him to use the catflap. Now that was another matter. He's a bit thick

BIWI Mon 15-Jun-15 22:48:35

Ah yes, the joys of the catflap grin

That gradual moving sounds like a good plan and does ring a vague bell - will have a go at that. Thanks!

Nottalotta Fri 19-Jun-15 16:05:24

Our kitten is 9 months old now and has gradually stopped using the tray. Just at the same time as older cat has got poorly and started using it again (just for night wees)

Make sure there is somewhere in the garden they can go. I don't think its a coincidence that Kitten started going outside after FIL did our garden for us.......(lots of freshly turned earth.....)

AnotherEmma Fri 19-Jun-15 16:12:04

We keep ours in at night so we still have a litter tray for them. They don't use it much, though. They must prefer toileting outside and avoid doing it at night if they can!
We didn't have to encourage them at all. They just started doing it by themselves.

RoganJosh Fri 19-Jun-15 16:19:19

We did what Haffdonga detailed.

LikeASoulWithoutAMind Fri 19-Jun-15 16:23:38

My cat just gradually stopped using the tray herself. We got rid of it after a while - it hadn't been used for weeks - but brought it back out if the weather was very severe (although it had to be pretty awful for her not to want to go outside).

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