Litter box help - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-15-2011, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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Litter box help

I have a feral that I have been working on socializing since November 2010. It has been a slow process especially with dealing with winter. I have made really great progress and Shadow now comes in the house 2-4x daily. He is sometimes in just to get something to eat and sometimes he is in to play and sleep. He has been inside for as long as 4 hours. Unfortunately, I have to keep the door cracked or he freaks. We will be working on getting the door closed soon. I decided to make a litter box available to him. I have an indoor only cat and his litter box is upstairs. I have not let Shadow upstairs yet so he has not found Jake's litter box. The litter box for Shadow is in the laundry room which is really close to where he comes inside. He explores the entire first floor and now knows the litter box is there. I used a bag of Dr. Elsey's Cat Attract. The litter has now been out for a week. He has stepped inside the box and smelled around, but no action. Jake is very interested, but I have kept him away. I am unsure, if it's ok for Jake to use the box too or not. So when Shadow is not in, I keep the laundry room door closed.

Any tips on getting Shadow interested. He so wants to stay inside for long periods at night. DH and I are having to push him out the door at night when we go to bed. Shadow just wants to stay. Before he can stay in for the night, he needs to use the litter box, I need to get the door closed and I need to get him socialized with Jake ( this by the way is going really well).

Thanks for any help.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-15-2011, 05:19 PM
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Before he comes inside, set up your laundry room along with his litter box, some water, and some old towels or blankets for bedding, and some really delicious strong-smelling food, such as a sardines, or Fancy Feast, or salmon food. When he goes in the laundry room to eat you can close the door on him. Leave him there overnite, and then let him out of it.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-15-2011, 05:31 PM
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you ask if the other cat can use the litter. Sure, but keep it clean!


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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-22-2011, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
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update

I decided to let Jake ( our indoor kitty) have access to the downstairs litter box too. He was at first disgusted by the feel of this strange litter, but after a day it got the best of him and now he is using the downstairs box almost exclusively. I figured Shadow would catch the scent and maybe be interested. Shadow went in a sniffed a few times, but nothing. This morning he showed up early and after walking the entire first floor, he went into the laundry room and was in there for quite awhile. The box was clean and when I went to check, there was a fresh pee!!! I am so excited that he found it, used the box and covered it up. Hopefully he will continue to use the box and we can have longer and even overnight visits!!
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-22-2011, 09:37 AM
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Awww that's great, Shadow is adjusting it seems. As for sharing litter boxes, as long as Shadow is not carrying any disease or parasites I would think it is okay to share. Has he been checked by a vet?
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-22-2011, 10:25 AM
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During his first Winter with us, I set up a litter box along with a house in the garage for Midnight, the wild cat who lives under the porch. He didn't stay in the garage overnight much as he preferred his outside house (and freedom) so he never used the box. I drew lines in the litter so I could tell if he was in it. During one particularly bad blizzard, I shut him in the garage for the night, where he had to suffer the confines of his heated indoor house. Early in the morning I went out to feed him and noticed that he had not used the box. I opened the back door, revealing the swirling, blowing snow and below zero winds. He looked at the weather for a bit, turned around, and used the litter box. He's no dummy.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-22-2011, 10:46 AM
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It's not easy to get a feral to trust, but you're making progress! It's nice to see you're set on socializing him and to help him make friends with Jake.

You know how picky cats are. It could well be the type of litter in the box. I've heard that ferals are used to the sandy feeling of the soil outside and ppl have had success with potting soil or clumping clay as litter. Don't know if you wanna give those a try. You say he did sniff and walked around in it so he was interested but was probably testing out the texture.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-22-2011, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpaca View Post
I've heard that ferals are used to the sandy feeling of the soil outside and ppl have had success with potting soil or clumping clay as litter.
I know several people who use the sand for children's sandboxes. Everyone knows cats just love to go in there


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-22-2011, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
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For now I am using Dr. Elsey's Litter Attract. It really attracted Jake as he was interested in it right away. It is very messy though. I hope after a bit more time and a few more uses, I can switch to Jake's litter. He uses Feline Pine clumping. It's so funny that he is preferring the Litter Attract instead of his usual Feline Pine. I am just so happy that Shadow used the box!!

It's certainly all baby steps when dealing with a feral. He preferred being outside all winter. Last night we had rain storms and I worried about him then too. He was ready and waiting to come in at 7am this morning.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-22-2011, 02:35 PM
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Put a plastic chair mat underneath the litterbox. Makes cleaning up much easier. I keep a small broom/dustpan beside the box too.
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