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05 Feb 2004

About cats and number 2s
Moved into a new apartment 3 months ago. My two cats, both used to moving and who have lived in apartment blocks before, moved with and initially adapted okay (normal story: kept them in for a while, then let them out while I was near, showed them around and eventually left them on their own). Previously they adapted at places without problem (this block has many other cats and some of these have come into my apartment, but this was the same in an apartment block at stayed in in Jhb some time ago), but this time I have a problem with them (one of both) continuing to do their business in the apartment. I've been understanding and gently showed them on the error in their ways, I've been cross and have not so gently told them where to go and do their number 1s and 2s. Now I am simply frustrated to death. Every day, or second day, they've done the business somewhere in the apartment again, despite having access to the garden through an open window on the balcony & despite me even putting a sandbox on the balcony. I do not want to keep them inside 24/7 as (mostly) I don't want a house filled with sandboxes 24/7. Is there anything I can do to change their "unsocial" behaviour?
Answer 398 views

01 Jan 0001

Hi Hope
Your cats are obviously unsettled for some reason. Perhaps there's a particularly dominant marauding cat around which they don't want to challenge. The only way to solve this is to start all over. Keep them inside for a few weeks with sandboxes, which you need to clean daily. If other cats come into your apartment then you need to stop them getting in and yours getting out. Then you can try moving a sandbox onto the balcony and giving your cats access to it. Perhaps only do this when you are around so you can chase off any visiting cats - use a water pistol or clap your hands loudly. At night keep them inside and other cats out. After a few days move all the sandboxes to the balcony and see if they are still using the inside - I hope not. Perhaps have all the floors professionally cleaned to remove cat odours as these may encourage your cats to go inside. Once they are using the balcony then I'm sure they will use the garden gradually in their own time, but I suggest you leave a box on the balcony for a few months at least.
Karen Gray-Kilfoil
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