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teach an old cat new tricks?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Our 14 year old cat has always gone outside to do his business. However, about 4 weeks ago he was attacked by a dog. He had to have a broken leg pinned and had complications going septic and then a blood clot. He seems to be slowly regaining use of his hind legs. He has had diarrhea since we brought him home 2 1/2 weeks ago. We have to be there to clean up after he poops or pees. Any suggestions on teaching an old cat to use a litter box? We are hopeful that his legs will continue to improve. But, eventually, he must be able to get around and do his business on his own. Thanks for your suggestions.
post #2 of 7
Have you been keeping him confined to the area where the litter box is located? I might start with that, and only allow him to roam while supervised. Also, since he is still regaining use of his legs, you will want a *very* shallow litter pan so that he can get in and out with ease. You might talk to your vet about training him to use those puppy training pads. As he heals, you could move them into an actual box. If all else fails, you might look into diapers (sometimes they make them for cats or very small dogs).
post #3 of 7
I agree with the shallow litter pan and maybe use Yesterday's News litter so he does not associate the litterbox with pain. (I may be offbase here - thinking of all those horrible declawing stories and kitties who will not use their box after the surgery b/c they associated the litterbox with pain).

You could try teaching him in the same way one would teach a new kitten who has been orphened and there are resources for that on kitten rescue I think.

Good luck!! I hope your boy is feeling better soon!
post #4 of 7
If he's been used to going outside, use sterile potting soil at first, then, as he starts using it, slowly start mixing litter in.
post #5 of 7
I am sorry that your cat was attacked. When he goes, do you support him with a towel wrapped around his middle so he doesn't do weight bearing?

I would get a large piece of astroturf and a very large cookie sheet. I would put the astroturf down in a room, and put the litter on the cookie sheet, so he just sees a pile of sand. That is what I had to do with Black Bart a cat I rescued after the owners ran him over and kept him in the garage to *heal himself!* He used the cookie sheet right away after his leg was rebroken and pinned. It was a bit of mess for me, but easy on him.
post #6 of 7
You got some good advice so I'll just sit this question out...

But yes, Nano was 6-8 years old and now she always uses the litterboxes. It can definitely be done.
post #7 of 7
I'm sorry to hear about your poor baby!!

If you know the types of things he liked to soil on outside, put those in a litter box. If it was dirt, mix dirt into the litterbox. If mulch, mix mulch. If grass, Hissy's suggestion works best.

If you are going to wean him away from the outside, you do want him used to a box inside and you can transition him over to litter entirely over time.
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