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Outdoor training.

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I have a cat that was outdoor only for the first year, year and a half of her life. Then I moved out of my parent's house and into my own apartment for the next three years where she became a mostly indoor only cat (she would sometimes go outside when I walked my dog or she would chill on the back porch when I had the doors open and she wouldn't go very far outside or dart out while the delivery man was at the door). Now I own my own house and I would like to have her indoor/outdoor mostly because I don't want to deal with the litter box any longer since it makes me sick in the literal sense, that and my dogs are very fond of "kitty biscuits" which in turn makes them sick. So what would be a good method of getting her back outside to potty? Right now I have the litter box inside next to the back door, then I'm going to move it right outside the back door, then move it out into the back yard then finally eliminating it.

Please, do not give me the whole spiel on keeping her indoor only I've read it plenty of times. I am aware of the risks of her being indoor/outdoor since she was outdoors only originally and I do have her up-to-date on all the nessary kitty shots. Besides, she never wander off very far in any case.
post #2 of 13
I have both an indoor & outdoor cat. In Australia I think most cats & dogs live outside with an occassional visit inside. Could you build a kitty enclosure on the outside of your house with a cat flap for her to come inside when she wants, providing the dogs are too big to fit through. That way she & the local wildlife would be safe, the dogs couldn't help themselves to the litter & she would be able to enjoy the great outdoors.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalikat View Post
I have both an indoor & outdoor cat. In Australia I think most cats & dogs live outside with an occassional visit inside. Could you build a kitty enclosure on the outside of your house with a cat flap for her to come inside when she wants, providing the dogs are too big to fit through. That way she & the local wildlife would be safe, the dogs couldn't help themselves to the litter & she would be able to enjoy the great outdoors.
My Boxer/Bulldog would be small enough to get through the cat door, not to mention that it would be a good access point for burgulars to get in. I also live in a structurally brick house so cutting a hole into the side of it would be rather difficult. but thank you for your suggestion.
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by R/T Rick View Post
Right now I have the litter box inside next to the back door, then I'm going to move it right outside the back door, then move it out into the back yard then finally eliminating it.
This is a very good strategy. Be sure to note if the box is being used less and less which is what you are aiming for. If not, I suggest you spread some cat litter in the area where you want her to go. Then take her, hold her front paw and do like you are teaching her to dig. I think, being an originally outdoor cat, she'll get the point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by R/T Rick
Please, do not give me the whole spiel on keeping her indoor only I've read it plenty of times. I am aware of the risks of her being indoor/outdoor since she was outdoors only originally and I do have her up-to-date on all the nessary kitty shots. Besides, she never wander off very far in any case.
You and I are a minority here. All my cats are free to roam, two of which do their business totally outdoors. They are all fixed and yes, they do not roam far. IMO, once they establish their territory they do not really stray away at all.
post #5 of 13
Actually, I don't think you need to do anything at all. I had to let one of my cats go out this past summer (whole story posted elsewhere) and he immediately began doing all of his business outdoors even though I had a litterbox in the garage for him and I even set up a sandbox in the back yard for him. I think he used it maybe five times the whole summer. I don't even know where he was going, but there's a drainage ditch that runs along the back of the property, so probably back there.

Just turn her loose and she'll do what comes naturally.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by yayi View Post
This is a very good strategy. Be sure to note if the box is being used less and less which is what you are aiming for. If not, I suggest you spread some cat litter in the area where you want her to go. Then take her, hold her front paw and do like you are teaching her to dig. I think, being an originally outdoor cat, she'll get the point.
that's the plan, I figure I could put a bunch out by the garage for her to use. tomorrow I'll be moving the box outside after work. Then away from the house a week after that. Pumpkin is pretty smart, when I first turned her into an indoor cat, I just got a box of litter and dropped her into it and she got the point right away.



Quote:
Originally Posted by yayi View Post
You and I are a minority here. All my cats are free to roam, two of which do their business totally outdoors. They are all fixed and yes, they do not roam far. IMO, once they establish their territory they do not really stray away at all.
I would keep both my dogs outdoors when I'm not home as well, but I don't trust my lab since she can climb the fence and my puppy is, well, a puppy and needs to be properly trained before she gets the same freedoms the lab gets. To me, they're animals, their natural habitat is the outdoors. From what I read, Felines have been rooming this planet for 10.8 million years whereas we've been here for 3 million. They were outdoors long before our ancestors were here, and domestic cat have only been domesticated for 9,500 years. When my cat was outdoors only, she could be seen from any give point on the house's ground floor and the house sat on a 5 acre parcel of land. I'm not worried about her getting too far at all. As for anyone/anything getting in, well, the better hope they're bigger then the lab because she somewhat protective of the cat.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
Actually, I don't think you need to do anything at all. I had to let one of my cats go out this past summer (whole story posted elsewhere) and he immediately began doing all of his business outdoors even though I had a litterbox in the garage for him and I even set up a sandbox in the back yard for him. I think he used it maybe five times the whole summer. I don't even know where he was going, but there's a drainage ditch that runs along the back of the property, so probably back there.

Just turn her loose and she'll do what comes naturally.
I already tried that, but I think since I just moved in (just finished the 2nd week here) she was a little freaked out. so she just hid under the porch until I let her and the dogs in. couldn't really tell you if she did business or not.
post #8 of 13
The problem is that while cats may have been around for a trillion years, civilization hasn't. There were no fast cars, sicko people, electricity, unintended poisons, and unintended lock-up traps around, and there were appropriate places to be safe, eat safely and sleep safely. Unless you live in an undiscovered-by-anyone-ever environment, your cat is at risk from a lot of things you can't even think of, so while noble nature may seem just a great idea, the reality for thousands of animals out there now is pretty awful, and ignoring it won't help at all.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larke View Post
The problem is that while cats may have been around for a trillion years, civilization hasn't. There were no fast cars, sicko people, electricity, unintended poisons, and unintended lock-up traps around, and there were appropriate places to be safe, eat safely and sleep safely. Unless you live in an undiscovered-by-anyone-ever environment, your cat is at risk from a lot of things you can't even think of, so while noble nature may seem just a great idea, the reality for thousands of animals out there now is pretty awful, and ignoring it won't help at all.
You know, I'm sitting right here at my desk eating some unintended poison. Do you know what it is? It's chocolate. I'm not sure if it's poisonous to cats like it is to dogs. But that isn't really the point. A lot of the dangers you listed are dangers that can be face inside the house as well as outside and some of them are not dangers we're nessarily aware of ourselves. They are dangers we as humans face day-to-day. Should I not go outside any longer? I drive through one of the ghettos of Atlanta to get to work everyday. Should I not go to work? I work with electricity and plenty of hazardous materials. Should I not do my job? What about the reality for tens of thousands of humans out there? It's alot worse really. I'm not ignoring the dangers my cat faces. I have/had/will have to face alot worse. I would love to have to only face the "dangers" my cat has to face.

But back to the topic at hand. I put the litter box outside the cat is outside with the dogs. Hooray no more doggy cat-poop breathe!
post #10 of 13
What you say is all true; however, for a cat to learn the lesson that something is dangerous could be fatal.
post #11 of 13
The point is that you have control (to the extent of your IQ) over what's in your house, but not of what's outside, and your cat has no choice in his surroundings once put there, just as you have only limited choices outdoors yourself, but still you're operating from an equal standpoint - i.e. other people design our cities, and then label everything for us to see what's what, but cats have to deal with our designs and can't read, so we have to be responsible for them!
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
So the cat spent the day out in the back yard today. She didn't get exploded, murdered, raped, poisoned, electrocuted, fall into any wells, catch AIDS, abducted by aliens for experimentation, etc. She probably had a good time since it was really nice out today oppose to being cooped up seeing the same seven rooms of my house or destroying my blinds by jumping up onto the ledge to see what's outside.
post #13 of 13
Very true. I love watching my cats when they are outside.
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