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  • mattsmatts Posts: 37

    Hi miceaugers.

    "Cats will (I'm not sure if this is always the case) ignore litter trays and just do their business outside."

    You see this is what I'm not buying. I'm not suggesting that cats will *always* use a litter tray (or a designated area) but that they may use a litter tray more often than not.

    It seems to be an assumption among cat owners that cats will ship anywhere and not some where provided for them.

    What I'm seeing is that kittens are trained to use a cat tray before they are allowed to leave the house. The same with food in the food bowl.

    The association with food in the food bowl is not broken when the cat starts being let outside but it is broken with the litter tray when the cat is let outside.

    Anecdotal i know and with a small sample size, however the straw poll i have taken today amongst friends (both on-line and not) who are cat owners, leans towards the hypothesis that the cat owners i asked just assume the cat would not use a litter tray.

    I'm not convinced that assumption is correct.

    This underlines my point: From

    "Providing an inviting toilet area

    Cats like somewhere soft to bury their faeces and will be drawn to newly-dug soil, sand or gravel. To prevent them messing up your neighbour’s flower beds, you could try the following:

    • provide them with a litter tray in the house and/or

    • provide them with their own toilet area in the garden, in a secluded, sheltered area of well-dug, fine soil. You could add some cat litter to encourage them to toilet there. Make sure it’s dug over regularly so it remains hygienic and allowing the soiled material to decompose naturally. Ensure it is placed somewhere private where they feel safe"

    Surely the above should go without saying ? Why would this even need to be in a leaflet on cat care ?

    When the association is broken between the cat and the litter tray then it may be too late to re-establish that association.

    Anyway miceaugers, you sound like a pretty responsible cat owner so you may not be part of the problem. You live near fields, in a low density cat area and, in a previous post, you mentioned that your cat has picked a spot in your garden. Well done. If only most cat owners were like you then the problem (and it is a problem) would be far smaller.

    I can assure you that i have met a number of people over the years that have been puling their hair out over this. It's not a massive problem in my garden but i do understand their frustrations far better now; the last couple of years that i have been gardening.

    I'm also glad that we can have a decent conversation about this as well.

    Last edited: 15 December 2017 16:32:41

  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 2,997

    hollie hock

    Thankyou for clarifying the 'vanishing post' problem ; I suppose I now needn't expect the inevitable sinister knock on the door or the ominous black-van outside image

  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 2,997


    Of course I didn't b****y well swear image !

  • mattsmatts Posts: 37


    That made me chuckle Paul B3.

  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 ManchesterPosts: 5,150

    If Lfinn is still looking in, the water scarecrow seems to work best, judging by the many comments on previous threads. 

    My take on litter trays?  They do work if the owners keep them regularly maintained.  Cats are generally very clean animals, who hate to go in a s****y tray, so pooper scooping, emptying, and washing them is essential.  Lazy owners are the cause of all the cat crap grief.  My old girl (15+) would be horrified if her loo was left to get in a stinky mess ?. 

    They recommend a minimum of one tray per cat (they like their own space apparently)... I have two cats and two trays.  Strangely, they seem to have come to some kind of unspoken agreement that one is for number 1's and the other is for number 2's image.

    I get fox s**t on my lawn. Bag it, bin it, hose it. image

  • micearguersmicearguers CambridgePosts: 605

    matts, the analogy between food and toilet needs (and the respective links between bowl and toilet) breaks down at some point. Food is difficult to obtain outside. Toilet is easy to obtain outside and there are I'm sure territorial aspects as well. Our cat was litter-trained when very small before being allowed to leave the house. At some point it just started ignoring the litter tray, even though we kept it well maintained.

  • PurplerainPurplerain Posts: 1,053

    Kitty 2

    I always keep a clean tray for the cats. Who wouldn’t? They are left empty and clean for months at a time. If a cat chooses to use it, for instance if I have to be away overnight, then it will be changed on my return. The point is, they don’t want to use it otherwise.

    My original response was a simple suggestion along the lines of keeping a cat to keep other cats away. This might not suit every gardener obviously, but it is just my contribution to the OP.

    SW Scotland
  • mattsmatts Posts: 37

    Thanks for your reply Kitty. It does look to be the case that a responsible cat owner can keep the cat trained to use a kitty tray.

    Purplerain, do you really think the solution for cats shipping in an area is to get more cats into that area ? Won't this just move the problem into another neighbours garden ? bad luck for them ?

    Doesn't there look at be a number of problems with this solution ? Although i appreciate your attempt.

    miceaurguers, you are using some of the same arguments that i heard before dog poop legislation was introduced. I'm not suggesting the legislation would help in this case.

    I have presented my case that most cat owners don't seem to give a ship about their cats ship and go as far to detrain them.

    I'm still not buying your claim that cats cannot be trained, either with a litter tray or a designated area and i have supplied supporting advice to that effect.

    If you, as a seemly responsible cat owner, will still defend those that won't even *try* then this issue will never go away.

    Very depressing but not unsurprising. Circle the wagons.

    How many cat owners actually create a designated area in their own garden for their cats if their cats won't use a litter tray ? How many cat owners move their litter tray outside, undercover, if the cat will not return into the house to ship. If the cats are using the neighbours garden as their latrines then i would suspect not that many cat owners.

    This cannot surely be an intractable problem ? What about letting the cat out after it's shipped in the litter tray ?

    I'm sorry but these just sound like excuses.

  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 ManchesterPosts: 5,150

    Interesting thoughts micrarguers.  I do believe that "marking territory" has an influence on toilet behaviour, I often see local Tom's spraying within my urban garden. 

    I do wonder about the ratio of males vs females soiling neighbouring gardens?  I see my two female cats get up, from sunbathing on the patio, to go inside for "toilet time", and come back to their sunny spot.

  • micearguersmicearguers CambridgePosts: 605

    matts, I don't get it. I have indicated that I do have a designated area. I am not defending anyone nor making excuses, I am just sharing my experiences. A quick internet search tells me that it is not the case that cats who are allowed outside can always be trained to use the litter box exclusively, and that's what my previous post focused on. That's all it was. If you think in that case cats should not be allowed outside, that is a consistent position. If you also want to judge me for doing so, by all means.

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