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How to Train a Cat to Go Outside

by Angela Tempest

posted in Pets

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Cleaning out the cat litter is definitely the least fun part of owning a cat and for some cats who are never brave enough or strong enough to venture outside, it is a necessary part of their lives. But other cats who enjoy a walk in the garden, then it is possible to learn them to deposit their waste outside and reduce the unpleasantness.
Litter training
The first thing to remember when attempting to learn the cat to use its litter box outside is that some cats will not manage to learn this and they should never be punished for this. The only way to get them to do this is through positive reinforcement, while scolding will simply scare them off.
When the cat is competently using the cat litter, then you can try taking it outside. Wait a few weeks after they are using the box on every occasions then start slowing moving the box towards the door. This will get them used to the litter box being in a different location but slowly enough that they don't lose track of it and deposit their waste elsewhere. Around 10 days is ideal to get it from its original position to the back door, a few inches at a time. When the box gets near the door, start sprinkling a few leaves and bits of dirt into the litter.
Moving outside
Before you can take the litter outside, you will need to add a pet door to the main door they will use. There are various types available including some that only allow access to the cat wearing a sensor on a collar if your cat will wear a collar. Once the pet door is in place, you can move the litter box just outside the door.
Watching the cat is important - as soon as they show signs of wanting to go to the litter box, take them to it if they haven't already spotted it, making encouraging sounds and talking to them while they do it. Keep adding a few leaves and clumps of dirt so they associated this with their litter.
Once the cat is using the litter box just outside the door consistently, you can begin to move it further away with the aim of reaching the place where you want them to regularly go to the toilet. Move a foot or two each day and ensure that the cat continues to use the box while doing this. Eventually, the cat will know where the litter box will be and will head to that area automatically.
The final step comes once the cat knows that the litter box is in a certain place in the garden. Place the litter box in a hole in the ground so that the cat becomes familiar with depositing waste in a hole. Keep encouraging the cat and letting it know it is doing the right thing and they will continue to use this spot and saves the problem of having the cat litter box in the house.
About the Author: For more tips and cheats about cat litter boxes and cats in general, see my articles at
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