Ok...I've bought scratching posts, horizontal scratchers, and I just ordered nail clippers, citrus spray and sticky tape for furniture, and catnip spray for the scratching posts. I even ordered her a nice little bed.
Alot of stuff for a stray cat. :-)
I bought a litterbox and the "good" litter.
Now to get her to use it.
So far, she is only indoors while supervised. We pet her, play with her, and if she's sleeping, we leave her alone. But when we leave or go to bed, we put her back outside, because she has not used the litter box yet.
Someone told me to put the litter box in our small half-bathroom (where there's no carpet to ruin), and lock her in there with it until she uses it.
We also have a heated 3-car garage, but I'm afraid it would be too big, and give her more opportunity to go on the floor somewhere.

Opinions?
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Ok...I've bought scratching posts, horizontal scratchers, and I just ordered nail clippers, citrus spray and sticky tape for furniture,and catnip ... but I'm afraid it would be too big, and give her more opportunity to go on the floor somewhere. Opinions?

The bathroom is an okay idea, but remember, this eliminating in litter/sand/soil comes naturally. Are you under the impression that cats are hard to litter train? All I have ever done with my strays in place them in there gently. They seem to get the idea via instinct, even if they have always gone outside. Instinct tells them to cover it so that they are not easily tracked and eaten, see?

P.S. Bless you a thousand times for taking care of this cat. Please let us see a photo.
The litter should be placed in an area where it is quiet and where she does not feel cooped up or trapped. The box should be large and have no hood. I would use unscented, scooping litter. Cats use litter boxes usually without being trained. You should not have a problem. Also, is she lets you pet her and play with her, she is not feral.
Gail
The bathroom is an okay idea, but remember, this eliminating in litter/sand/soil comes naturally. Are you 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. It's about 16' x 16', windows on three sides, the fourth side has french doors leading to the kitchen.

If I put her in the litterbox gently, she freaks out and will do anything to get away from there.
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 haven't followed her, so I don't know if she's going to the bathroom or not. But I don't want another "dog" that I have to let in and out on their whim.
So you don't think the bathroom lockup is cruel, or will do anything negative to her, bevior-wise?
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.
Ok...I've bought scratching posts, horizontal scratchers, and I just ordered nail clippers, citrus spray and sticky tape for furniture, and ... but I'm afraid it would be too big, and give her more opportunity to go on the floor somewhere. Opinions?

She will probably just use it as long as she knows where it is. If you can find a spot she has gone outside, dig it up and put it in the box. You might also mix a bit of real dirt in with the litter. Really, cats know to use the box pretty instinctually. They want to go where they can dig, and if that is the only place with diggable stuff, she'll get the idea.

Karen
Ok...I've bought scratching posts, horizontal scratchers, and I just ordered nail clippers, citrus spray and sticky tape for furniture, and ... I'm afraid it would be too big, and give her more opportunity to go on the floor somewhere. Opinions?Hi Mitch,

Is she leaving your furniture alone now?
As for the litter box, all the cats I've acquired, rescued, feral, or otherwise, seem to know how to use a litter box right from the start. This includes cats born and raised outdoors until brought indoors. When you say this cat has not used the litter box yet, do you mean that she has been doing her business elsewhere in the house? Or is it that she hasn't gone at all in the house and you are waiting for her to use the box so that you know that she will use it?
If she has not gone at all in the box or anywhere else in the house, she may just not need to go when she is in the house.
If she is going in the house but not the litter box, that is more complicated.
Does she know where the box is? You can put her in it, but don't force her to stay there. That is just to let her get the feel of it and let her know where it is. You can attract her to it by scritching around with a scoop. When I scoop the boxes, a cat usually shows up to make some sort of donation.
She may object to the location of the box, if it is in too public an area. She may want some privacy.
If the box is covered, she may prefer uncovered. Or visa-versa. If the litter is perfumed, that may throw her off. We use unscented scoopable litter and have not had any problems. If you know what she uses while outdoors, you could sprinkle some dirt or whatever on top of the litter.
If the cat would not have access to toxic things like antifreeze or other products, you could try a night or two in the garage with a litter box. I suspect that you could be pleasantly surprised.
Some cats like to use two litter boxes, one for pee and one for poop. We have not found that to be the case with our cats. However, we have a two-story house and have one box on each level.
One more thought: generally, you will want to keep the boxes scooped. However, for a little while, it might be a good idea to leave a some behind, just as a reminder.
It's really not as complicated as it seems. You are doing a great job. Annie
Is she leaving your furniture alone now?

NO! :-)
She still goes straight for the recliner, but I've ordered all that other stuff to aid in training.
Or is it that she hasn't gone at

all in the house and you are waiting for her to use the box so that you know that she will use it?

Exactly.
Thanks for the encouragement...I'll keep an eye on her. I'm sure she would be happy to spend tonight indoors, it's wicked cold at night.
Ok...I've bought scratching posts, horizontal scratchers, and I just ordered nail clippers, citrus spray and sticky tape for furniture, and ... pan just in case yes, these wild little kittens instinctly knew what it was for and all used it.

If you can pick up the cat, place it in the pan and take one paw to show scratching movements then press her hindquarters down . I'll bet you will be surprised how fast the cat catches on.
Yes, I would keep her inside. Place her gently in the box. She should be fine. As another poster mentioned, some cats like to pee in one box and poop in another. In that case, you will need two boxes.You are terrific to care for her!!
Gail
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