Cat Training and Behavior (Domestic and Feral)/Cat uses outside earth as litter
My cat has changed his behavior with his litter box all of a sudden. We have had him for six months, and he's always been on a healthy diet with frequent and healthy bowel movements and urination. This summer we have started to allow him to be in the backyard whenever we are home (except at nights), but still put him on a leash, as he has great wanderlust and would try to get away and go hunting for baby rabits. He loves the back yard even on a leash, but he started to use the earth under one of the trees to urinate and defecate, and we thought it was ok. This habit has grown now. He would ONLY use the earth under the outside tree specially for defecation. Whenever he is not allowed to go outside, he would incessantly make noises and demand that he be let out. He would even hold himself for a couple of days until he can get outside. He would still urinate in his litter box inside.
Nothing has changed with his litter inside.
How can we re-orient him to start using his litter box inside again?
We have a couple of theories as to what might have exacerbated his preference for his outside poop place. We suspect that being on a leash, he hasnt been able to easily come back inside to use his inside litter box, and has thus gradually gotten used to making do with what he has outside.
This is very concerning to us as we plan to take a couple of weeks and go away, and wouldn't want him to distress over not being able to use his favorite tree spot.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.
Hi, Essi. I had a cat that did this same thing, however the one difference is he would still his litter box when inside. If it's as severe as it sounds, I would not allow him outside even if that means enclosing him in a room with his food and litter box and ignore all the renting you're going to hear. A lot of cats prefer being outside, it's the cat's wild instinct kicking in. And when they are all in with that phase, it can be difficult to get them out of it. One option you could try is place his litter box in the spot outside where he is already using. Let me know how things go.