How to Save Thousands of Dollars by Training Your Cat
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How to Save Thousands of Dollars by Training Your Cat

Cats generally require less attention from their owners than dogs because they are perfectly fine laying in the sun on their favorite spot next to the big picture window. Most cats sleep the majority of the day away and get active during the night. Cats are not as easily trained as dogs, not because they are less intelligent, but because they are "smart" enough to be individualists doing as they see fit. Modifying a cat's behavior can be challenging and requires patience and persistence as they are not as eager as dogs to please their human.

The fact that cats use a litter box can be seen as an advantage and as an disadvantage. Not having to let the cat out in the morning and throughout the day to do its business can certainly be seen as a big advantage. The cost of cat litter on the other hand is definitly a costly disadvantage. Many cats can easily live passed the age of 20, but for calculation purposes lets assume your cat lives for 20 years. Let us further assume that you will use 2 containers of cat litter per months over your cat's lifetime. Each container of cat litter costs an average of $ 7.This equates to $ 3360 over the lifetime of your cat.This amount does not include the cost for any devices like the litter genie and its costly bag refills. That is a lot of money literally thrown out in the garbage. The cost for cat litter and the other necessities can be eliminated by training your cat to use the toilet in one of your bathrooms.Training your cat also lessens the risk of your cat doing its business anywhere in your house because the litter box isn't clean. Some cats are very picky and won't use the litter box more than once. Cleaning it after each use is hardly practical for the majority of cat owners.

All you need to start training your cat is patience and a few household items. Training kits are also available in pet stores and online. We have all heard the saying " curiosity killed the cat". Use your cat's curiosity to lure him/her in to watch you. Start by moving your cat's litter box closer to the bathroom. If it is in the bathroom already start moving it closer to the toilet a little at a time.Depending on your cat this can be done over the course of a couple of days. Some cats will need longer. Once your cat is comfortable using the litter box at the new location you can proceed to the next step.

The second step is to raise the litter box by setting it on an elevated sturdy surface. This should also be done in increments until the litter box and the toilet seat are at the same height, Once your cat is used to using the litter box at this height it is time for the next step. The next step requires a sturdy plastic colander that fits snug in your toilet bowl, and under the seat of your toilet. This is the most critical step in the training process as your cat will need to tranfer from the box to the toilet.

Let your cat watch you putting some litter in the colander in the toilet. At this point it is important to use a generous amount of litter so that the cat can still " cover" its business. This step may take some time and a lot of incouragement on your part as the colander isn't as sturdy as the litter box when it bears the weight of your cat. Eventually the cat will figure out how to use the rim of the seat to support itself and will only step partially in the colander to "cover".  

Once your cat has mastered this step you can cut a hole in the middle of the colander and decrease the amount of litter you  use.  The size of the hole can be increased every few days by a little until only the rim is left. By this time your cat will have learned to sit on the rim of the seat and will no longer try to "cover" its business. The rest of the colander can be removed. 

Some cats may take a couple of weeks to learn this task while others may take a couple of months. Even though it can be annoying to keep the colander setup in place for a long time, it will be well worth the effort. Some cats revert back to their old behavior and others never really adapt to the new "litter box", but this step-by-step guide will give you a good chance to train your cat and get rid of your litter box and the associated smells for good.

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