Cat Lady Advice: How to convert a cat

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Dear 2catladies,

I have an outdoor cat that I’m currently trying to convert into being an indoor cat.  I’m not sure how to train him to use the litter box, but I was thinking about putting one by the back door just to see if he would figure it out.  Do you think this will work or is there a better way I could turn him into an indoor cat?

L:  The process of making an outdoor cat into an indoor one is indeed an interesting one, but not necessarily an easy one.  You might want to try to keep him inside for progressively longer periods of time, and introduce him to the litter box, food, and water whenever he’s inside.  Since he’s used to being independent and not doing his “business” in one location, you might consider providing him with an additional litter box so that he could have more freedom in choosing where to go.  You’ll also probably want to get a few scratching posts so he can stretch and scratch at the same time.  If you have some live-in mice running around, that could keep him entertained for awhile.  If not, I suppose you could always buy some for him to hunt indoors.  Which reminds me…George Gershwin is running low on indoor mice to hunt.  Good luck on your cat conversion!

R: I’d set the litter box where you think it will be best received, set your cat in it, and scratch his paws around in the litter.  Do that a few times, and in my experience, he will be litter trained!  Be forewarned that your indoor cat may still yearn for the great outdoors — Kilgore does and he has never even been an outside kitty!

Also, I would do it gradually.  Let him in for awhile, let him out for awhile, then after showing him that he may actually enjoy the great INdoors, make the transition for good.

Do you have a picture of your cat?  If so, we’ll totally put it on the website.  Also, let us know how the transition goes.  Good luck!


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