Tuesday, February 26, 2008



It was only three days of vacation with her adopted family and Janice was returned to the house this evening. According to the family, she was just too much for them to handle. She was such a brat, jumping up and down the whole place, claiming certain areas of the house with her (ahem). I wonder how she could have done that since she was so properly toilet trained at my place. Maybe it could be due to the change of environment, having the different scent as she got used to. Thus, she would have to identify new (ahem) spots all over again. Surprisingly, she still knows where to do her business back home now.

Trying to train a cat regardless of age could be time consuming especially you have so many around and you just do not know who the actual culprit is. I have been observing regularly and found out that I had no problems with Jon, Jess, Janice or Jeremy. They know where the litter box is. In fact, Jon and Jess will do their business outdoor. Occasionally when I was not able to open the door for them to go out, they will just visit the house toilet. It is just one of the other two kittens, Justin or Jayson, who is having the mischievous act once in awhile. I have caught Justin red-pawed trying to do it on my sofa and I have caught Jayson doing it at the corner of my bookshelves quite a few times. Even with the regular spraying of strong scented lemongrass lotion, they will still know how to avoid the areas but doing it few inches away. LOL… They are just too smart for me.

It is cruel to use violence on such tiny creatures but sometimes discipline is a must to maintain cleanliness and obedience in the house. Even though these few kittens are barely two months old, this is the best time to train them to follow the rules of the house. Straightforward method could be the best. Whenever a kitten commits a “crime”, I will just carry it to the “scene”, let it smell the “business”, give it a soft spanking, telling it “You can’t do it here!” with a stern voice and redirect it to the litter box. It works initially but after awhile, kittens are kittens, they are just too young to remember the golden rule and repeat themselves. It will need lots of time, patience, tolerance, commitment and responsibility to train them repeatedly until they remember.

One of the most important things to take note is that the litter box should always be cleaned and changed regularly. In the case of those who use shredded papers instead of litter sand, the box should be cleared twice a day. Cats are sensitive and particular about “overcrowding” and “smelliness” of their “business” area. That is one of the reasons they will seek other cleaner areas for their business. Moreover, if you have detected an area where there is cat urine on it, clean it properly with the right detergent and spray the area with anti-bacteria formulation such as Dettol or in my case lemongrass lotion (it repels mosquitoes at the same time .. hehe). Cats tracked the scent of their previous transactions and will repeatedly do it at the same spot. No scent… no unnecessary cleaning up!

I have found another method to be real efficient too. After each meal, lock them in the toilet for half an hour or so to ensure that they do their business in there. Eventually, they will get the idea and you do not have to worry about them messing around your house anymore. Please make sure that you close the toilet bowl lid. You would not want to have a kitten flushed down the toilet! Haha!

NOTE: You must also have scratching planks or poles around the house to avoid having them defacing your furniture.


TorAa said...

Our experience tells it's very important that the mother cat teaches her kittens. With as less interventions as possible from humans. Then the kittens will stay clean and use their litter box - unless, as you write: it's dirty.

kuanyin333 said...

Excellent advice! How do you manage so many kittens?! Yikes!

Luna und Luzie said...

When Luzie had her kitten, she teached them all how to use the litterbox. They had their own small litterbox and I clean it every day (evening) the kitties are not able to adopt before they are 12 weeks old.
We say here they must be socialized by the mother cat.
Frieda is not socialized, we found her here in our garden. It was a long and hard way to teach her to use the litter box. Sometimes she piddles near the food bowls. When I see that I put her into the litter box. Now she piddles only rarely on the floor.
Good luck !

Anonymous said...

I have heard of cats being trained to use a human toilet, but have never seen it. Do yours??

I would have suggested a lemon scent to deter such "ahem"...behavior. But it sounds like they have that figured out.

There is a spray here in the US called "Feliway" that is supposed to deter inappropriate "business," but I don't know if it works, or if it is available in Malaysia.

Good luck! Please let us know how it goes and offer any new tips that you come up with!

(Janice is a sweetie!)

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