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Ha! I'm sure she will be thrilled to spend the night indoors and will be happy to do her part to help keep you warm, too.
Good luck with the recliner scratching problem.
Hi Mitch,
So far, I've had 3 stray cats happen upon our household since June, one of which was much wilder than the other two and I found no problems particularly with litter training; they do instinctually seem to get the idea. I mostly use the non-clumping clay litter (Exquisicat from Petsmart) (unscented is best for us we found) but I also found out about this really great litter called "World's Best Catlitter"(also at Petsmart) which is corn-based and I like it and 2 of my 5 cats like it but the others like the clay so I have both. I also found a brand of cat litter called CAT ATTRACT (also at Petsmart) that I used a few times and it worked quite well at getting everyone into the litterbox also.
Good for working with this cat from what I've learned this summer, my best advice is be very patient, take your time, and use positive reinforcement rather than negative (treats and praise to model and reward and I was working with a feral whom I met via a catbite!). Best wishes,
Even though she can't stand it outside, once in a while she goes to the door and starts meowing, so I let her out.

I would stop letting her out. It is just habit that makes her cry that way.
I haven't followed her, so I don't know if she's going to thebathroom or not. But I don't want another "dog" that I have to let in andout on their whim.

So cut it out. Make her an inside cat. Winter is the perfect time. She will be happier than she has ever been curling up inside in the safe warmth.
So you don't think the bathroom lockup is cruel, or will do anything negative to her, bevior-wise?

Not cruel at all but I am not sure she needs it. Stop letting her out, and when you see that she has gone in the box, praise her and pet her and coo at her and give her a treat. If you are really nervous about her possibly going elsewhere, put her in the bathroom for a day and, again, first time you see a poo or pee in the box, praise, love, feed, pet! That is what she craves just as much as food. They are emotional creatures, and she is already grateful to you for taking her in, you can tell by the way she hangs out with you and seems to hate the outside.
Instinct tells them to cover it so that they are not easily tracked and eaten, see?

That's pretty cool...I didn't realize that was the reason.

They are smart and wild and so beautiful! Can you believe we get to have them live with us just for the small price of feeding, scooping a box, and training them where to scratch? :-)
Mitch,Often cats that have lived exclusively outdoors all or most of their lives have no idea what to do when presented with a litterbox with the expectation that they pee/poop in it. They are used to going in dirt and have no idea what litter is. Your best option, and one that I have used many times successfully, is to put her in the bathroom at night with two boxes. Put dirt from outside in one and regular unscented litter in the other. Do this every night and gradually add litter to/remove dirt from the box until it is chaged over enough that you can dump the contents and use plain litter.

You may find that she starts to use the box with plain litter in it right away, and keeping her in the bathroom at night for several nights will reinforce her using the box to pee/poop. It's always a good idea to provide two litterboxes for a cat as some like to poop in one and pee in the other, and it is extremely important that the boxes be scooped daily and disinfected every few weeks and filled with clean litter. One of the main reasons a cat won't use a litterbox is because the human failed to keep it clean.

A cats reaction to a dirty litterbox is often the same as how we would react if we were to walk into a public restroom and the toilet had been used but not flushed. :-P Litterbox care takes only a few minutes a day and is one of the best ways to avoid innappropriate elimination problems. HTH.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
-Edmund Burke
Learn The TRUTH About Declawing
Zuzu's Cats Photo Album:
"Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way."
- W.H. Murray
Well, she was inside for about 8 hours straight yesterday, and didn't use the litterbox. I'm trying again today (I have the luxury of working at home).
When I locked her in the bathroom, she kept clawing at the door. I don't want to do that again until the sticky-strips arrive.

She sleeps all day.
The bathroom is an okay idea, but remember, this eliminating ... under the impression that cats are hard to litter train?

Well, she hates it outside now that it's cold. We spend most of our time with her in this sunroom. ... If I put her in the litterbox gently, she freaks out and will do anything to get away from there.

First, don't put her in the litter box, ever. Secondly, do not use scented litter. Thirdly, use soil at first - and once she starts to use it, gradually switch to cat litter.
Best of luck,
Well, she was inside for about 8 hours straight yesterday, and didn't use the litterbox. I'm trying again today (I ... kept clawing at the door. I don't want to do that again until the sticky-strips arrive. She sleeps all day.

She will adapt to your schedule in time. I still think she will use it if she knows where it is at.