HOW TO TRAIN YOUR CAT TO USE THE LITTER BOX: TIPS AND TRICKS
Cats are known for their cleanliness and independence. Did you know kittens do not necessarily know how to use the litter box? As a kitty owner, you will have to train them, or expect to be constantly cleaning up messes around the house.
Training kitty cats to use the litter box can be a challenge for some pet owners. However, with the right approach and consistency, your kitty cat can be trained to use the litter box in no time. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you with the process!
Choosing the Right Litter Box and Litter
The first thing you will need is to gather up supplies. Get a litter box and one or two types of litter. Many cats have preferences when it comes to their boxes and litter.
Choose a box that is the correct size for your kitty or cat and start with a litter that is unscented and has a soft texture. Purchase a mat to place under the box as some cats like to kick their litter.
You may need to do a little experimenting as some cats will prefer a litter box that enclosed, while others will not. For kittens, select a box that has easy entry.
Another good rule of thumb, have two litter boxes for each cat you own, especially if you have multiple levels.
Location, location, location! Oftentimes, cats don’t want to use the litter box because they are picky about the location. Mostly because they do not feel safe in its current location. Choose a quiet and private location for the litter box.
When you bring your kitty home, show him the litter box and allow him to explore it. You may also want to gently place him in the box. Do this several times during the day (especially after eating and/or napping) to be consistent and reinforce the idea that the litter box is where they should go to the bathroom.
Consistency and Cleanliness
Cats are creatures of habit. So, it’s important to be consistent with location and cleanliness of the litter box.
If your kitty has an accident outside of the box, clean it up immediately and reinforce the idea that the litter box is where they should go to do their business.
Positive Reinforcement and Patience
When your cat uses the litter box, praise them and give them a treat. This will reinforce the behavior and encourage them to continue using the litter box.
Litter training your kitty is not an overnight process. Understand that accidents will happen even if you have had success over several days. Have patience, clean up accidents immediately and continue with the training and positive reinforcement.
It’s important to note that if your training efforts are failing after a reasonable amount of time, there may be other issues that need to be addressed:
- Kitty may be suffering from a medical issue that prevents them from using the litter box, such as a urinary tract infection. Take them to the veterinarian for an examination.
- Litter box aversion is a thing. This occurs when a cat develops a negative association with the litter box. If your cat is avoiding the litter box, try moving it to a different location or use a different type of litter.
- Behavioral issues can cause a cat to avoid using the litter box. Address this with your veterinarian or behaviorist to determine the underlying issue and find a solution that works for both you and your cat.
Litter box training can be a challenge, but with the right approach and consistency, your kitty cat can be successfully trained to use the litter box.
By choosing the right litter box and litter, being consistent, using positive reinforcement, having patience and addressing any underlying medical or behavioral issues, you can help your cat develop good litter habits that will benefit both of you in the long run.