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Can you teach a older cat to use the litter box?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
My neighbor was going to give her black cat to the pound because theyvwhere moving, but I adopted him. I didn't ask them whether he uses the box and they are now gone, but it doesn't seem he can use the box. He was mostly a outdoor cat, but it seems he can adapt to inside living. By the way, he is a boy and his name is Anubis.

My question is, can you teach a older cat how to use the litter box??? I'm forgot to ask how old he is, but it is obivuos he is past training time. So can I teach him how to use the box?

By the way, please pray for Rocky to come home. Nope, he hasn't returned yet .
post #2 of 4
Some cats just take naturally to a litter box and need no training at all. I have a 6 year old feral that I've got in a cat pen in the garage and put a litter box in there for her to use. She had never seen one and she just took to it naturally, as it is a place where she can dig and bury her waste. She chose this area over the grass outside which she has access to.

For this boy, think of the environment where he goes today. It's open spaces, perhaps in the dirt, grass, flower beds, mulch, etc. Get an open box initially and put him in a small room with the box (put his food/water bowls across the room). If he doesn't like it, try adding dirt, mulch, or grass to the litter box to attract him to the box (part litter, part outside ingredient).

I tried Cat Attract brand litter once when I had some problems with in outdoor cat coming inside. It has a strong earthy scent that reminded me of wet soil and he used that box over the others.

If you use dirt/mulch/etc, you will have a more difficult time changing it (perhaps do it more often), but this can be done. Once he proves he uses the litter box consistenly, slowly change to all litter, then give him access to a larger area in your home.

Good luck!
post #3 of 4
We took in a nine year old male who spent most of his time outdoors. His gaurdian gave us his old litter box which hadn't been used in years. After setting it up with regular unscented clay litter, he walked through our house three times, howling the entire time. Every time we passed the litter box, I told him this was his box to use. He sniffed it on our tours, and then used it without any problems. If you have other cats, you may need to add another box to your home. We're happy you adpoted him, and I'm sure he's very grateful! Keep us posted!
post #4 of 4
We took in an approximately eight-year-old feral, and used potting soil in the litter box, gradually adding litter and reducing the amount of soil. He had no trouble at all learning to use the (uncovered) litter box. Another alternative would be sand, which we used outdoors after neighbors complained about their vegetable patch being used as a cat toilet. That was also "acceptable".
If you observe Anubis going outside, you could get one of his turds and put it in the litter box to show him what it's for.
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