Cats and litter training – Part 2

Throughout this review I’ll have to refer, from time to time, to those unpleasant emissions that emanate from your cat’s orifices. I do apologise. If you are of a squeamish disposition perhaps you should stop here, as this op is all about teaching your cat where to poo. I’m writing this op from my own personal experiences with my little friend, Henry. I don’t claim to be any kind of expert in the field; I’d just like to share my story with you, and would be delighted to hear about any other readers’ tales (and advice) too.

I’d like to start off with a quotation from a book entitled “Care for your Cat”, published by the RSPCA. I’ve had this book since 1981, when I was 9 years old and we’d just got a new kitten into the family. I’ve kept hold of it ever since, even lugging it half way round the world with me on my travels as an English teacher, in the hope that one day a kitten would come into my life. Finally, on the 2nd July 2006, Henry adopted us. He was very tiny indeed, and I wasn’t at all sure what to do with him (or her, as I initially thought), so I dug out my “Care for your Cat book” for some revision. (Actually, scratch that! We’d moved in the day before and had 1000+ books still packed up in boxes. I swear I spent about three hours ripping open every single box looking for this slim volume, and couldn’t find it anywhere. When my H. came in he took one look at the newly filled shelves and found it in an instant. Grrrrowl.) So here’s the quotation:

“Cats are the most fastidious of animals, and from a very early age will scratch out a hole before they defecate, and then cover it with traces of earth. . Kittens are easily house-trained to urinate and defecate in a tray filled with dry-earth, sand, or a proprietary cat litter”

Phewwy!, thought I, since Henry had spent the morning weeing all over the floor, (a development that I was not looking forward to breaking to the H., who is not as fond of felines as I).

My immediate problem was how to find a suitable litter tray. It was a Sunday. I was in an as yet unknown town in the mists of northern Bulgaria, where, by and large, cats sh*t outside. There’s little pussying around with litter trays and scoops and things; these cats are Hard. (And Big). However, being a soft Brit, I wanted to bring Henry up properly from day one, so I rooted around until I found a plastic baskety type thing, which I lined with a plastic bag and filled with soil from my garden. I placed it near the back door, in a quiet,

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