Kitty Training Tips
Odor removing tips
One of the most effective formulas I've found for removing ANY odor was from Popular Science Magazine. Mix 1 quart of Hydrogen Peroxide, with 1/4 cup of Baking Soda, and one tablespoon of liquid dishwashing soap. Saturate the affected area, rinse thoroughly with clean water, and the smell is gone. This is non-toxic and safe for your animals and children, and those with allergies. This is especially helpful for removing skunk odor from your outdoor animals.
As always, test a small portion of fabric for color fastness, before treating a large area.
Steps to Re-Train Kitty
Kitty has decided to use something other than the box for his 'business.' Don't throw him outside, just take some steps to retrain him.
1. Try to find out why he stopped using the box, or began using other places. Is he stressed out over a major change in the home? Does he have a urinary infection? Is he spraying or urinating? (He will squat to urinate. If he is standing up to 'urinate,' he is spraying/marking his territory. There are other tips to cover this.) Whatever the reason, you must take steps to remove the stressor, or help Kitty manage his stress.
1a. With urinary infections, you will need to follow your vet's instructions, but also ask about UI Maintenance foods, your water quality, and any other things you should do to help your Kitty recover.
2. NEVER DISCIPLINE A CAT FOR MISTAKES. This will lead to other behavior problems. Instead, work on retraining him.
3. Clean all of the accidents with more than plain soap and water. Check Odor Removers Section for better formulas and products to clean pet stains.
4. Add another sand box to the household in a place different than the other boxes. Show Kitty this new box, and praise him for investigating it, but don't expect him to use it right then.
5. Replace the old sandbox and sand. Kitty may have stopped using the old sandbox, not because you couldn't keep it clean, but because the plastic box retains odors.
6. Give your Kitty lots of praise and affection around the new boxes, so he will want to please you, by using the boxes.
7. If he continues to use one particular spot, place a sandbox in that spot and slowly move it to a location you can be satisfied with. This is a last resort measure, because it could take several months to move the box.
Gentle Behavior Modification
Kitty keeps returning to the scene of an 'accident' to do her business. The first step to retraining her is to clean the area with an Odor Removing Formula from the other tips section. The second step is to change her attitude about that area. Try storing her toys on top of the 'accident spot.' Cats don't like to soil their whole home, and by putting her toys on the accident area, she will instinctively not use this area.
To remove the smell of urine from just about anything, first clean it with some sort of soap or kitchen cleaner. Then clean it with lemon juice. If you don’t like the smell of lemon juice follow it up with a little bit of vanilla extract.
He's going everywhere!
If your cat seems to be tinkling anywhere and everywhere, this could be more of a health problem than discipline. (Cat's squat to urinate; they stand up to spray/mark their territory.) Urinary infections in cats are very similar to humans: they need to go more often-sometimes so suddenly that they can't get to the sandbox. Another indication of UI is discolored urine, indicating blood in the urine. One last indication of UI is very strong, acrid smelling urine. Take your kitty to the vet if you suspect UI, it is easily treated.
Change her attitude about a spot
Kitty got mad at someone in the house and soiled a chair or a bed. The first thing to do is clean the spot(s) with an Odor Removing Formula. The next step is to change her attitude about that area. Start giving Kitty lots of attention and affection in the area she soiled. Cats don't like to soil their entire home, and by giving her attention in a soiled spot, you are convincing her that this is not a sand box replacement area.
Correcting a Bad Kitty
Yelling and screaming at the cat is the worst way to correct bad behavior.
The best way to correct bad behavior is to eliminate the factor that motivates or initiates the behavior. If the cat enjoys playing with some particular item, hide it for several weeks. If he is curious about something, explore it with him so you can control his reactions.
If he continues to misbehave, use a specific loud noise to startle him. I mimic the sound of a game show buzzer. I have read that a low growl from you will turn your kitty around. Although that would work for me, our cats ignored my husband. As a last resort, a water gun, or spray bottle will deter bad behavior. NOTE: Use these sparingly, or they will cease to have their effectiveness. Eliminating the behavior motivator is the better answer.
If your cat is doing something it shouldn't be doing, you can use a spray mist bottle filled with cold water to "mist" them.
I recommend being several feet away so that your cat does not associate the spray with you, rather it should associate the spray with the plant or whatever it was messing with.
Sand Box Training 101
When training kittens for the sandbox: be consistent, and constantly alert. Take the kitten to the sandbox at these times: after they wake up from a nap and several minutes after they start playing, after every meal, and every couple of hours through the day. Kittens are much like children, they don't know they need to 'go' until the opportunity is presented to them. If you consistently take the kitten to the sandbox, the kitten will learn that you want them to use this particular box for their business.
This idea is from one of our members-Callie. Although I've never used it, I believe it is a good tip. Kitty has chosen a spot (outside his box) to do his business. You've cleaned the spot with an Odor Remover Formula (found in the other tips section), now you need to retrain him to use the box. One step is to place an office rug protector (plastic mat with little knob/spikes on the
bottom) upside down over Kitty's spot. The knobs will be uncomfortable on his paws and deter him from using his old spot.
He's stopped using the box!
A cat's sense of smell is highly sensitive. Although they return to the same place they have been before to eliminate their waste, they will find a new place if the old one smells too strong. Plastic can retain odors; your cat can smell those odors even if you can't. If Kitty has stopped using the box, even if you keep it clean, it could be that he can smell the odors from the box. You can try to clean the box with the Odor Removing formula from the other Tips sections, or you can try purchasing a new box. Remember that the cat can smell things you can't so most cleaners will be too strong for your cat's nose, causing him to turn away from the box.