There are cat parents who want to know how to train a disabled cat to use a litter box. This may be a challenge to most cat parents because their physical changes hinder them from functioning as able-bodied cats. Whether it’s paralyzed, crippled, blind, deaf or simply have mobility issues, cats need special care and attention when they go on with their everyday lives, and one of them is using the litter box.
A litter box is a place that provides a cat privacy and comfort whenever nature calls. But that privacy and comfort will go away when she could no longer use it with ease due to her disability. So as a cat parent, what can you do to make sure your cat properly uses the litter box?
- Paralyzed or crippled cats have an issue with mobility because some of their bones are no longer working or functioning normally. This is why cats have a hard time maintaining their position whenever they pee or poop, or even when they enter or leave their litter box, so it’s your duty to assist your cat whenever she’s looking to eliminate.
- Blind cats may not have a perfect vision to see properly, but they rely on their other senses to navigate and get to the litter box. Therefore, it’s important that you take advantage of these other senses so she could easily find her litter box.
- Amputated cats will find it painful to use the litter box unless a support is used. You might try changing how your cat eliminates so it will be more comfortable for her.
How To Train A Disabled Cat To Use A Litter Box
- For blind and deaf cats: Cats which can no longer hear or see properly will have to rely on their memory or find their way around to go to their litter box. Remember, though, that cats have a sharp sense of smell. So don’t move her litter box if there’s no reason to do so, and put some of her old feces in her litter box so she could be guided by its smell. Still, watch how she locates her litter box and if she’s having difficulty, bring her to it. The best way to make sure she finds her litter box correctly is by putting it a little near her food and water bowls.
- For amputated cats: Cats that had their legs cut off for health or physical reasons will have a hard time accessing the litter box especially because of her mobility issues and if the litter box design is not even comfortable for her to use. Which is why you should buy a litter box that has a convenient design that will make it easier for her to use it. The entrance of the litter box should be low and wide enough so she could get in and out of it easily without causing any physical pain on her part. It must have a wide space so she could move around without it restricting her movements. A litter box with a ramp that leads her to the entryway is another alternative you should consider. Litter Robot with 2 Ramp and Scratch Pad is a good litter box that has such design.
- For paralyzed or crippled cats: Cats that have been paralyzed or crippled will have a problem eliminating because their nerves, joints or bones severely limit their movements. Worse, they will also have a hard time eliminating sitting down, so a good idea is to use washable puppy training pads which serve as replacement for a litter box. With a puppy pad, she can simply eliminate without having to enter a litter box, and you can simply throw away your cat’s wastes once she’s finished. Cats that have been paralyzed or crippled need special care and attention, so be attentive to her eliminating habits.
To make it eassier for her, put all her essentials in one room – her food and water bowls, toys, scratch posts, and the puppy pad so she wouldn’t have to walk far to get to the litter box. Use a puppy training holder to keep the pad itself.
1. Shower your cat with love and patience during the training process. You will get frustrated and angry if you apply human understanding on your cats. There will be spills and accidents and those things could make any cat parent angry or exasperated. But remember why you decided to keep a cat. So yelling your cat will be completely useless and will only make things worse.
- Clean the litter box regularly. Your cat is meticulous when it comes to cleanliness. So as a cat parent, you better clean her litter box or she’ll find elsewhere to eliminate.
- Take your cat to the vet. One of the reasons why it’s hard for your cat to use the litter box is the underlying health issues which stop her. Maybe it’s the anxiety that bothers her. There are anti-anxiety meds your cat could take, which could make using the litter box much easier.
- Try multiple litter boxes. No matter what happens, you should test multiple litter boxes to see which of them your cat likes the most. You may decide which litter box you as a human owner like, but ultimately, your cat will decide which one she likes best and which one suits her the best. If she doesn’t eliminate after training, maybe it would be time for you to buy another one. Give her a week or two to see for yourself if it’s the litter box that’s worth keeping.
- Always be attentive to your cat. As mentioned, disabled cats demand more love and attention because of the physical conditions they have. If your cat is looking to eliminate, bring her to her litter box and pop her in there.
1. Don’t put the litter box next to her food and water bowls since cats are hygienic. It would turn them off if you put the litter box next to where she eats. You could put it several feet away from her food and water bowl, so she could have everything she needs in one place.
- Don’t punish your cat. If your cat urinates or defecates somewhere, yelling at your cat will not solve the problem, nor will giving her a punishment. It’s because your cat will not understand, so instead she will be fearful. She will be too fearful of you, so won’t want to deal with the litter box ever again.