how to train a cat to use the bathroom outside

If you’re considering trash-free, there are two popular methods – potty training and outdoor potty training. Toilet training is not recommended as it goes against cats’ instincts to bury their waste and potentially harms wildlife. Outdoor hygiene training is a much better option, although it’s still best to keep at least one litter box indoors.

The risks of potty training your cat outdoors


Outside toilet training is the best option for litter-free toileting, but it also has its limitations. It’s not as simple as throwing away the litter box and opening the door every few hours.

Cats need constant access to the bathroom

Unlike dogs, cats need to be in their “bathroom” regularly. This means you will need to provide regular access to the outdoors or maintain at least one trash can inside. If a cat is forced to ‘carry it’, it can lead to a number of serious health complications. And usually, they’ll have to find somewhere else to go anyway.

It’s not for every cat

Domesticated cats are a far cry from their wild ancestors, and some may experience stress or anxiety when forced out of the house. Even cats who are comfortable spending time outdoors may not like being outside in certain weather, when it’s particularly noisy or busy outside, or when there are cats or wild animals around. other animals around make them uncomfortable. do not force them. Not all cats are adapted to outdoor litter training.

Parasites and your garden

Just to name a few cat feces can contain parasites such as T. gondii, roundworms, tapeworms and hookworms. If they decide to use a vegetable or herb garden or get close to a water source such as a stream, well, or marsh, these harmful parasites can spread. Gloves when tending the garden, wash your hands when finished, and thoroughly wash any harvested plants. If any of the neighbors have a garden, discuss your plan with them and make sure they’re okay with it. It is irresponsible to let a cat poop in a neighbor’s garden without first discussing the risks.

Should You Dispose of the Trash?

Even if your cat is very comfortable going outside, you should still keep at least one litter box inside, just in case. Doing so has several benefits: First, feral cats mark their territory with urine. Using a litter box in your home can help you feel like your home is a cat’s home. Second, consider that constantly letting your cat outdoors also helps open up your home for uninvited guests. Wildlife is more likely to sneak in at night when it’s dark and quiet. Both are for their own safety and so they can lock pet doors to keep unwanted guests out. But you won’t have the option of locking your cat’s door without providing at least one litter box in your home.

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How to train a cat to defecate outdoors

Black cat pooping outsideSo you’ve thought through the challenges of outdoor potty training and you’re ready to get started. To train your cat to defecate outside:

  • Start by moving one of your cat’s litter boxes just outside the house. They should still have at least one left in your home. Take the cat outside to review the new situation.
  • As they begin to feel comfortable using the outdoor trash can, gradually move it to your desired location. Your cat will eventually go wherever they want, but it’s well worth the effort.
  • Once the litter box is in the desired position and they are using it regularly, remove the litter box and replace it with a pile of litter directly on the ground. It can be helpful to put some of their fresh manure in the litter so they know they’re “fine” to come here.
  • As the cat becomes more and more comfortable, slowly remove the litter.
  • Remember that your cat must be comfortable using the bathroom or their health may be affected. Don’t force your cat into desired bathroom behaviors for your convenience. And don’t rush the process. Cats need time to adjust to change, the more time the better.

    How to Choose the Best Cat Door

    The most common solution for providing outdoor accessibility is to insert cat doors for sliding doors or windows. They are relatively inexpensive and do not require making permanent changes to your home. Additionally, there are cat doors that can be added to any existing door and those that can be fitted directly to the wall – both of which are much more permanent changes. – can make a big difference. In our experience, more anxious cats are especially inclined to avoid doors intended for cats with two wings.

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    5 reasons you shouldn’t potty train your cat

    Cat lying on the toiletRead more: how to make a tiki statue Calculus training is another popular method for reducing waste. And while it sounds great in theory, it’s not a good choice for your cat or the environment.

    1. Landfilling waste is an instinctive behavior.

    All that raking and digging in the trash is not for fun or exercise. It is an important survival instinct that continues in even the most domesticated cats. While it may be convenient for us and our cats to learn to comply – toilet training puts cats at odds with ingrained instincts.

    2. It can harm wildlife.

    Cat feces sometimes contain Toxoplasma gondii, a harmful parasite that causes Toxoplasmosis. Unfortunately, many wastewater treatment plants are not equipped to handle T.gondii – meaning the parasite can end up in local water lines, where it can harm wildlife. .

    3. You may be flushing evidence of health problems.

    When you flush your cat’s urine, you may be flushing out valuable evidence of potential health problems. Small changes in the frequency and volume of urine can help detect some problems early. Diabetes, kidney disease, and urinary tract obstruction are just a few of the many medical problems that can be detected by closely monitoring your cat’s urine. When passing stools, it can be difficult to notice other signs of medical problems such as bloody stools.

    4. Accessibility.

    The toilet is not designed for cats. To use the restroom, they need to be nimble enough to jump onto a chair and graceful enough not to fall while doing so. Even if your cat can leapfrog right now, consider what will happen as they get older. It will only become more and more difficult.

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    5. Availability.

    Unless your cat has its own bathroom, a situation where there is no toilet can arise. If dad sometimes spends 20 minutes going to the bathroom, your cat may need to “carry it” (which is very harmful to cats) or find another place to go (which will probably be your pillow).


    While that sounds great in theory, littering less has a lot of downsides. Potty training can cause cats to be psychologically stressed and potentially harmful to the environment. Outdoor cat training is fine, but it’s still best to maintain at least one litter box indoors. Whatever you decide, remember that your cat’s comfort is paramount. If they don’t adapt to the new bathroom situation, don’t force it. Picking up trash is not an inconvenience.


    • Cornell Feline Medical Center. (2018, June). Toxoplasmosis in Cats. Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. domains-centers-and-insaries/cornell-feline-health-center/health-information/feline-health-topics/toxoplasmosis-cats
    • Krueger, WS, Hilborn, ED, Converse, RR, & Wade, TJ (2014). Drinking water sources and human Toxoplasma gondii contamination in the United States: a cross-sectional analysis of NHANES data. BMC Public Health, 14, 711.

    About Matthew Alexander

    Matthew lives in Maryland with his two cats, Puff and Pancho. He has cared for and fostered various special needs cats for over fifteen years. He’s hoping to pass on some of the insight and knowledge he’s gained to Pawmore’s readers. Read more: how to change fov in warzone.

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