Litter train your cat
Training your cat to properly use the litter box can be an interesting experience. Some cats take to it right away. Other cats will be resistant and can require a lot more time and patience than you initially anticipated. Litter box training can be frustrating, but it’s a very necessary and important part of your indoor cat’s development. Choosing one of the Best Cat Litter For Odor Control is always a good idea if you want your cat to be litter box trained.
Here are a few helpful tips to help you successfully litter train your cat:
- Choose the right kind of litter box for your cat. Picking the right kind of litter box for your cat’s needs can make litter box training them easier. A good litter box should be made of sturdy plastic or other durable material. It should withstand several years of use. If you’re training a kitten, you may want to select a litter box with low sides that allow them to enter and exit the box easily. If you’re training an older cat or a cat that has problems controlling their urination and bowel movements, you may want to buy a litter box with higher sides to prevent litter and waste from being spread around on the floor. The litter box should be wide enough for the cat to move around in well. Keep in mind that cats are used to burying their waste, so they should have plenty of room to do so. Putting newspaper around and under the box is a good way to collect any waste or cat litter that can accumulate over time.
- Place the litter box in an appropriate area in your home. The litter box should be in a room that’s both easy for the cat to access and allows them relatively quiet and privacy. Keeping a litter box in the kitchen or near a door or other high-traffic areas of your home are not good ideas. Cats can be skittish, and tend to shy away from places with a lot of noise or movement. You may want to choose a closet or spare bathroom to place your litter box in, something that’s not too far out of the way for them to use.
- Get your cat used to the litter box. After you’ve placed and filled the litter box for the first time, take a few minutes to show the cat where the litter box is. Some cats pick up on the need for this instinctively. Others may require more time. You may need to move the litter box to another room of the home if the cat is more comfortable somewhere else. Keep reinforcing the behavior. Bring your cat to the litter box after meals or other times when you know that they usually need to relieve themselves. Repetition will help them learn that the litter box is okay for them to use when they need to go.
- Clean the litter box regularly. Make sure to scoop out any clumps daily and clean out the litter box, change the litter and clean around the litter box area at least once a week. Cats have been known to stop using litter boxes that are dirty. Also, make sure that you consistently use the same kind of cat litter. It may take a while for your cat to like a certain brand, but once you’ve found one that they like, stick with it. It makes them more likely to return to the litter box when they need to use it. Cats can find a litter box by their own scent, so be consistent.
- Use positive reinforcement. Most cats are bound to have an accident sooner or later. When that happens, don’t punish or scold the cat. This makes them less inclined to use the litter box. Instead, bring them to the litter box and show them where they need to go to reinforce the correct behavior. Be sure to reward or praise them after they have used the litter box successfully the first few times. This also reinforces the right behavior.
Litter box training is different for every cat. Most cats take to it after a few days or a few weeks. Others may not be comfortable with until after a few months or more. Cats that have been primarily raised outdoors, have had difficult living conditions or have dealt with stressful situations often require more coaching and patience. Mistakes are easily fixed and don’t take a lot of time or effort. Being persistent and positive can help make litter training your cat easier for the both of you.