Litter box or house training a cat is relatively easy, as a cat’s natural inclination leads it to use sandy spots as a toilet. That said, it is erroneous for an owner to believe that he, or she, has to do nothing. Cats, like any other animals, will need to be trained to become fully housebroken. Below you will find ten helpful tips on training your kitten.
1. For those owners who are planning to allow their cats to roam outdoors, it is still necessary to litter box train your pet, as he, or she, will not be able to go outside until all vaccinations have been completed.
2. Potted plants, sand pits and similar spots are ideal for a cat’s toilet. Therefore, it is wise not to have any potted plants indoors and sand pits should always be covered. By removing everything that looks like a toilet to a cat, you are only leaving him, or her, with the option of the litter tray or box.
3. When purchasing a litter box, it is important that it is appropriate for the size of your cat. In other words, if your kitten is unable to get in and out of the box properly, it will not be encouraged to use it.
4. Many owners forget that the type of litter will have an impact on the cat’s willingness to use the litter tray or box. Typically, cats dislike the coarse brands and the scented type of litter is best avoided, as the cat’s sensitive nose will not appreciate the artificial perfumed. Moreover, from a safety point of view, clumping litter is not suitable for use with kittens, as it can cause huge problems if ingested.
5. The location of your cat litter tray is very important, because cats like a little privacy when using the toilet. Therefore, a busy part of the house is not an ideal place for the litter box. Remember, if your cat does not feel comfortable using the litter box, he, or she, will find somewhere quiet, like your laundry basket.
6. Allow your cat or kitten to become familiar with the litter box before you expect him, or her, to use it. Make sure that the cat is able to sniff the box, dig in the litter and completely adjust to the new sights and smells. If the litter box is unfamiliar, it could be an object of fear, which will not help in your training. It may also help to have more then one box in the home especially if you have multiple cats or a larger house or space they occupy.
7. If one of your adult cats has had kittens, the youngsters are likely to learn how to use the litter tray by imitating their mother. However, if there is no adult to show your kitten, you will need to be vigilant and transport him, or her, to the litter box when necessary.
8. One of the prime times to take your cat to the litter tray is shortly after eating.
9. For the rest of the time, it is a good idea to keep a close eye on your cat or kitten. If it starts to use something, or somewhere, other than the litter box as a toilet, simply make a loud noise to distract it and place it swiftly in the litter box.
10. It will not take long for your cat to master the use of the litter box, and as a creature of habit, your cat will continue to use it. However, sudden changes and upheavals can disrupt a cat and cause it to stop using the litter tray due to anxiety. Therefore, any changes, such as substantial movement of furniture, should be done as gradually as possible. Accidents caused by other alterations, such as new people in the house, moving home or a bereavement should be handled with patience and not anger. Keeping in mind if you have to move the tray from its usual spot you may have to show your cat where it is by physically bringing it there for a short time until they become used to the change.
Cats are naturally very clean, so teaching them to use a litter box should not be difficult. Typically, it only takes approximately two weeks for a cat to become house trained. However, each cat is an individual, so some will master the litter tray quicker, while others may be slightly slower in learning this new skill. Just remember to clean out the litter box or tray often by adding new litter or replacing altogether often to ensure healthy habits & avoid your cat choosing to find other undesirable ways of reminding you it needs to be done!