If you have a new kitten or cat, one of the first things you need to do is litter box training. How do you exactly do it? Well, it’s not going to be very easy or simple, but with these litter training tips for cats, you’ll find it more manageable and even more special since you get to do the journey with the fur baby.
Litter Box Training | 9 Tips For Your Cat
Now, you may ask, “Cats love to clean themselves, so why do we need litter box training? Can they figure out where to go themselves?” Its true kitties are self-groomers. In fact, it’s for this reason they don’t need regular bathing. Many of them will also know where to poop and pee.
The problem is when they’re indoors. Cleanliness and their inherited instinct to hide anything that might give hints to their enemies of their presence will compel them to bury their poop and pee.
Inside, there’s no available soil so they are more likely to do their thing on your rugs and carpets and attempt to cover their waste with them.
You don’t want to go through such trouble, so here are the litter box training tips you need.
1. Start Them Early
The best time to do your litter cat training techniques is when they’re young. It’s because they haven’t developed any habit yet of pooping and peeing anywhere. It’s also easier for you to carry your kitty from where he is to his kitty litter. There will be less hissing and scratching.
2. Keep Your Kitty Litter Accessible
Cats are independent creatures, and they usually love to be left alone even when they’re doing their business. So one of the sensible litter box training tips is to keep the litter hidden – but accessible. Online, you’ll find dozens of ways to conceal your litter without compromising the aesthetics of your home. This way, it’s a win-win for you and your feline baby.
Note: What’s the perfect spot for your litter box? Besides privacy, find one that is quiet, so don’t place it in the laundry area or in the kitchen.
3. Bring the Kitty To The Litter
Kitties already have the instinct where to poop and pee. You just need to validate this instinct by carrying them to the litter. This is actually harder than you think, though.
First, you need to know when they’re about to use their litter. Usually, they bring their butts down and spread their legs when they’re about to pee. Their tails will also go upright and start wiggling.
As soon as you see this, carry the kitty to the litter and watch them do their business. You may want to continue this until he becomes familiar with the litter box and associate it as his bathroom.
Another way is to be familiar when cats normally take a poop or pee. It’s normally after a meal, after they’ve woken up, or after they have drunk some water.
Note: If you have a brand-new kitty at home, he may feel scared to use his kitty litter when there are other cats (or animals) around. As part of your house-breaking process, you can place your kitty in his own space with a litter around. You can then slowly introduce him to the rest of the household, including the pets, gradually.
4. Don’t Punish The Cat
Not all cats will be fast learners, so when you are into litter box training, you need to be very patient. It may take a few days or a week before they learn. Sometimes it can take longer. Many times there will be accidents, and there are instances when they don’t want to use the litter at all.
Punishing your cat for their mistakes is counterproductive. It will increase your cat’s stress level and will let them associate the use of kitty litter with scolding.
5. Get An Extra
Remember when we said cats are groomers? They love cleanliness so much they don’t like hanging out on dirty and smelly litter boxes. So besides cleaning the box at least twice or thrice a day, get another one as an extra.
In fact, make it a rule: have one more for the total number of cats you have. For example, if you have three cats, you need four litter boxes. You can place them in different parts of your home, so kitties don’t fight over a litter.
Note: Will your house smell like cat poop when you have too many litter boxes? A huge reason why cat parents don’t want to use many boxes during litter box training is the possible smell. Many litter brands these days have good scents to mask the smell. Moreover, if you’re consistent with cleaning, a nasty odor shouldn’t be a problem. Otherwise, a pet cleaner will do the trick.
6. Pick The Right Size Of the Litter Box
For cats, size matters. Not only do they like to squat, but they also like to maneuver around their litter box as they try to find ways to cover their poop and pee. A very small box that limits their movements won’t do.
When selecting your box, pick the size that allows your cat to stand, walk, and squat with no worries. Commercial litter boxes often have size guides, making choose one easier. If you’re making a DIY litter box, you can get a storage box or a container, place your kitten inside, and assess whether it fits his size or not.
7. Pick The Right Kitty Litter
During your litter box training, you may find yourself testing different types of litter. Usually, the problem lies on the cat’s preference. Most like those that are sandy. Others would prefer that are close to garden soil in texture. There are also others who can tolerate sawdust or even chicken crumbles.
Note: These days cleaning kitty litter is more convenient. Many brands have great clumping abilities, which also save you money in the process.
8. Watch Out For Health Issues
If you have already taught your cat and you’re still having kitten litter box training problems, it’s time to go beyond the box. It’s possible your cat is suffering from an underlying condition. Pay more attention when the cat:
- Stops using the litter box altogether despite keeping it clean
- Strains or vocalizes when trying to pee or poop
- Doesn’t poop or pee as regularly as he should
- Poops or pees before he can even reach the litter
- Excretes blood along with the waste
Note: Sometimes cats can pee anywhere even when they don’t have health issues. Usually, this is related to marking (which means they’re marking their territory in your home). It may be time to spay or neuter your pet.
9. Reward Your Cat
Litter box training is a two-way process, so if you succeed, your cat does too. For cooperating with you, your feline baby certainly deserves a reward. Besides a hug and a pat on the head, some cool treats or a delicious meal will do.
Commercial litter boxes can be expensive, so why don’t you try DIY? This one’s really cheap and a very fun project too!
Ready to start your litter box training? These tips should give you the confidence you need to do it and eventually succeed. They will also make the rather time-consuming and stressful experience more pleasurable for you and your kitty.
Do you have other tips on litter box training? It’s time to spill your ideas in the comments below!