Written by  Aug 18, 2017

Porky & Buddy Column: Am 'I' The One Not Litter-Trained?

Dear Porky and Buddy: I just adopted a new cat, Mandy, to keep my other cat, Jocko, company. They are getting along fine together, but there is a problem. The Humane Society told me Mandy was litter trained, but that is apparently not true. She keeps going outside the box. I yell at her when I see her do it but nothing is working and I am at my wits end. Can you help? Signed, Bill

Dear Bill,

We hate to say this, but it sounds like you are the one who is not “litter trained!” Cats instinctively cover their waste to avoid being found by predators. Your job is simply to give Mandy what she needs and wants so she can do that the way she wants to do it.

So, to begin, with two cats you need three litter boxes—so she is not forced to share if she doesn’t want to and there is always one available. Think of your house as a hotel for cats. You would hate a hotel that did not have private bathrooms and so does Mandy. It may seem like a lot but it will help to simply have enough boxes.

Don’t put the boxes in high-traffic areas. Find some spots that are relatively quiet and private. Be sure the boxes you use are not too tall for Mandy to comfortably get in and out.

If they have those tops, you should probably ditch the top. Many cats don't like enclosures like that and will not use them.

You can also scent the new boxes just a bit by leaving behind a little urine or feces, as a reminder about what the litter box is for. But don’t use perfumed litter. It may smell great to you but Mandy has to stand in it with her nose just inches away and that perfume can be overpowering.

You definitely have to clean the box every day. Many cats will avoid a nasty box—just like humans wanting a clean bathroom. If you are using a clumping litter, you may need to clean the box more than just once a day. Those clumps can look like huge foreign obstacles to some cats.

Be a little proactive and try to gently place Mandy in the box after she's taken a nap or eaten a big meal or just finished playing with you. These are the times that cats tend to need to go.

If none of these steps help after a few days, you can also try out some other kinds of litters to see if there is one that she likes more.

And for goodness sake, stop yelling at her! She won't know why she's in trouble, and in the history of the universe, no cat has ever been convinced of ANYTHING by being yelled at.

Good luck with Mandy and thanks for adopting her! We are pretty sure that if you just commit to being a better servant for her you can solve this problem.

Speaking of doting on our pets, have you signed up yet for the Rover Run and Family Fun Day, on Sunday, September 10th, beginning at 10 am at Fallbrook Recreation Center? You can sign up at www.oswegohumane.org There will be a timed or untimed 5K, a 1 mile Family Walk, games for kids, a picnic lunch, raffles, the NYS Police K-9 Unit doing a demonstration and meet and greet. Dogs are welcome but don’t forget to bring proof of rabies vaccination.

The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County. Located at 29 West Seneca Street, Oswego, New York. Phone (315) 2,07-1070. Email: [email protected] Website: www.oswegohumane.org Because People and Pets Are Good for Each Other.

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