Training Your Cat to Use the Bathroom Outside

By: Chewy EditorialUpdated:

Training Your Cat to Use the Bathroom Outside

Kitty litter is a revolutionary product for cat parents. It allows cats to live indoors by giving them a spot to do their business and preventing accidents around your home. Despite the many advantages of cat litter, there are some disadvantages of allowing your cat to go indoors. If you’re tired of scooping and sifting through your furry friend’s litter box, you may want to consider training your cat to go outdoors. Training a cat to go outside can be easy when you’re equipped with knowledge and the right tools.

Benefits of Training

There are multiple benefits to training your cat to use the restroom outdoors. For one, most kitty litters can create a mess on your floors. Whether you use scoopable clay or non-clumping litter, part of your day is dedicated to cleaning up litter trails. By training a cat to go outside, the litter remains outside, leaving less for you to clean.

An outdoor cat litter box also means less odor inside your home. Odor-eliminating kitty litter can only do so much to mask the scent of excrement. By training your cat to use the litter box outside, you can get rid of litter odor once and for all.

What You’ll Need

A cat door is essential for training your cat to go outdoors. Your cat needs to be able to exit when they need to go, whether you’re around or not. The Ruff-Weather Pet Door is a great pet door for kitties learning to go outdoors. The sturdy design withstands all types of weather conditions, and assembles quickly.

While an outdoor cat may be used to all types of weather conditions, your indoor kitty may have trouble going out in the cold. Make going outdoors comfortable with an outdoor litter pan like the Petmate Hooded Litter Pan.

Training a cat to leave the comfort and warmth of your home to go outside isn’t always easy—as you’d probably expect. Speed up the process with Precious Cat Ultra Litter Attractant Additive.

Training a Cat to Go Outside

Positive reinforcement is the best way to train a cat to use the restroom outside. Avoid punishment, and never use physical force. Before you begin, you’ll need to install a cat door—making it easy for your furry friend to come and go as they need.

Once you’ve litter-trained your kitty, begin gradually moving the litter box closer to the cat door. The process can take anywhere from seven to ten days. It’s important you don’t rush through the process. Dr. Sophia Yin, a former veterinarian, animal behaviorist and author who knows all about training cats, notes that some cats will be afraid of the cat door at first, while others are “too polite to shove their way through.” Dr. Yin suggests that pet parents “make it easy for your kitty to go through the cat door, and make the trip worthwhile.” To get your kitty to go through the pet door, Dr. Yin suggests “starting with a hungry cat, tasty cat treats and a fully open kitty door.” When you’re ready to begin, “Toss some treats through the door so the kitty has to pop his head through to get them. Move the treats further each time to entice the kitty to go all the way through,” according to Dr. Yin.

To teach the kitty to push the door open Dr. Yin suggests “holding the door part way open, and repeating the treat throwing process. Gradually over time, make the opening smaller so the kitty has to push more and more to go through.”

Watch your kitty for signs they need to go. When it’s time to go, pick them up and place them in the litter box outside. Repeat this step for a few days until they become accustomed to coming outside to use the restroom. By adding dirt and leaves to the litter, you’ll help your cat adapt to how it will look once it’s permanently located outdoors. Once your cat has learned to come outside to relieve herself, begin to move the litter box until you reach the desired location where you’d like your cat to go.

To remove the litter box from the equation, dig a hole in the ground and fill it with kitty litter. Your cat will begin to use this area on a regular basis. Eventually you won’t need litter for your kitty to go.

If you’re tired of cleaning up kitty litter, you can train your cat to go outdoors. With positive reinforcement, and the right tools, your kitty will be going outside in no time.



By: Chewy EditorialUpdated: