Litter training an adult cat
by Warren Harris
I have a cat that has returned to my home after being feral for over a year. He no longer uses the litter box despite all my efforts.
Please, how can I litter train an adult cat? I don't want to give him up, but my house is getting covered in urine and poop.
My Thoughts: You don't mention taking him to the vet, but that would be my first stop after his return.
He may be battling a host of unseen medical problems including parasites and who knows what. Without clearing that up first, you'll never solve the problem fully, and he'll be suffering.
I'm also not sure how long he's been back, or what his diet was/is like and how the change has affected him. If, for example, he was eating rodents and garbage, and you've switched him to dry food 3 days ago, I'd be prepared for some bowel problems.
OK, that having been said, this may be a challenge even if he's 100 percent healthy and his system is used to the current diet. You don't say exactly what you've tried, but I would start with:
1. A thorough cleaning and odor removal in the soiled areas.
2. Isolation retraining, or creating a climate controlled outdoor enclosure first.
3. Reducing his stress level. Keep in mind that if you also have other animals in or near the house, you may have to deal with his reaction to that as well.
So, my two questions are:
Has he been to the vet and been dewormed and so on?
Have you tried isolation retraining?
Please let us know so we can offer better direction. Oh, one last thought... is he spraying or urinating or both?
Anyone with any other input (agree or disagree with me so far) please chime in.