Some cat parents would like to know how to get a cat to use a covered litter box. After all, doing so brings so much convenience. Hooded litter boxes are usually automatic or self-cleaning, so when cat parents switch from a traditional to an automatic cat litter box, they have their reasons.
One of them is the fact that hooded or covered litter boxes smell less compared to traditional ones. Uncovered litter boxes are open spaces, which means your cat’s urine and feces get wafted in the air, and the smell isn’t nice.
Secondly, automatic cat litter boxes are self-cleaning. If you hate the idea of scooping up your cat’s litter everyday, an automatic cat litter box is just right for you. Automatic cat litter boxes scoop up and separate the urine and the feces from the clean litter so you don’t have to.
Third, hooded or covered litter boxes offer privacy. If you don’t want to catch your cat in her vulnerable state, a hooded cat litter box is ideal for you. With a hood, your cat can pee and poop in peace without any awkward moments between you.
While an automatic cat litter box may be the answer to some cat parents’ problems, that doesn’t mean they have no disadvantages. A hooded or automatic cat litter box may be frightening for your cat. Why? Because cats are vulnerable while doing their business, they view the hood a threat to their safety. Some may get jumpy and nervous being inside a covered litter box because it doesn’t offer them a way out in case of an attack. Remember, your cat, no matter how domesticated, still thinks like a natural predator so you shouldn’t dismiss those instincts. She just wants an easy way out in case something happens, so don’t just think that a covered litter box is the solution to your cat.
While some cats have no problem using a hooded litter box, that doesn’t mean that all cats behave the same way. Cats have different personalities as shaped by their history and natural instincts.
Some cats don’t like the sound of a self-cleaning litter box because it stuns or startles them. These cat litter boxes sound off when the cat is done doing their business, which might be inconvenient. If your cat doesn’t like the noise that comes from such litter boxes, you’re probably just wasting your time trying to get her to use it. If your cat is desperate, she will do her thing outside the litter box.
Despite the differences between traditional and hooded litter boxes, they actually have similarities.
Both traditional and hooded litter boxes require that you clean it up to avoid the mess and the smell. If you own an automatic cat litter box, remember that just because it does its cleaning for you, it doesn’t mean that you can now sit back and relax. Automatic or self-cleaning litter boxes also need attention. Otherwise, you will be left with a dirty and smelly cat litter box which is the result of not even cleaning it thoroughly. Your cat will find other places to poop and pee, because there are litter that have the poop and urine.
Nonetheless, if you want to use an automatic cat litter box, we have prepared a long list of its advantages and disadvantages in 10 Benefits Of An Automatic Cat Litter Box and The 5 Disadvantages Of An Automatic Litter Box For Your Cat.
One Thing Matters
A lot of cats actually have no preference when it comes to using open and covered litter boxes. One thing is for sure, however, you should make sure that your pet’s litter box is thoroughly clean. Cats are naturally hygienic animals, so you have to make sure that the place where they poop and pee is from wastes and doesn’t smell.
How To Get A Cat To Use A Covered Litter Box
1. Replace the traditional litter box with the hooded one Put it right where the traditional litter box used to be. Now your cat might get confused and think to herself the litter box is gone. She will probably get curious over the new shiny toy and sniff it, which is a good sign, but the work is not over here yet. Your whole job is just beginning.
2. Bring your cat over to the new litter box and observe her reaction This is part where you make an introduction to your cat so she will get to like the litter box later. Just bring your cat over to the hooded litter box and see if she gets curious enough. A lot of cats will shuffle around the litter, smell the litter and move around. This is a good sign which means your cat is interested. If she behaves this way, there’s a chance she will also feel comfortable using the hooded litter box. However, if your cat doesn’t show any positive reaction, that’s still okay. You’ll just have to do other things to make sure your cat gets accustomed to her new litter box.
3. Get rid of the hood from the litter box and let your cat do her business there First of all, your cat will not automatically adapt to the changes. It will take weeks for her to get used to something. This is the reason why you should make some minor changes so she feels comfortable. When she’s looking to eliminate, make sure the litter box doesn’t have the top. Bring her over there and get her to enter the new litter box. When she’s eliminating, put the hood back on and watch her reaction. If she doesn’t mind, she will have no problem using the new litter box. If she reacts negatively, let’s discuss the next tip.
4. Bring your cat’s old litter nad feces to her litter box Cats like familiarity when dealing with changes. Therefore, bring over your cat’s old litter and use it instead of her new litter. Your cat will recognize that smell and will be a huge help. Likewise, bring over your cat’s reces feces and put it inside the new litter box. This way, she will be familiar with her things and will get the memo.
5. Always clean your cat’s litter box after use I know you’re tired of cleaning up your cat’s mess, but hear me out. Your cat probably doesn’t care about open and covered litter box and the difference between the two. What really matters at the end of the day is whether her bathroom is clean or not. So, clean your cat’s litter box once a day and make sure there are no specks of urine or feces left. The same thing goes for self-cleaning litter boxes. Throw the excrements away and inspect its insides.
6. Over time, your cat will be used to her new litter box. If not, maybe she has anxiety. If your cat suffers from anxiety, take her to the vet and ask for anti-anxiety medications. You can also entice your cat to the litter box with catnip, so she could enter her bathroom with no problem.
7. Make sure that her litter box is far from where she eats and drinks. Her drinking bowl and water bowl must be far away rom where she takes a dump. Otherwise, she will look to eliminate elsewhere.
1. Training your cat to use a covered litter box will take weeks, if not days. So be patient and always take this training in strides.
2. Do not yell nor reprimand your cat. If you do that, you’ll cause her to have anxiety and next time, she will be too anxious to deal with you. She will even try not to deal with you by being holed up in her spot, not taking orders from you. If you will reprimand your cat, do it firmly without shouting.
3. I know this has been said before, but it deserves to be repeated over and over. You have to make sure your cat’s litter box is absolutely clean with no trace of her wastes. If you do that, your cat will be happy to use the litter box. If not, she will eliminate elsewhere.
Training your cat to use a covered litter box may be intimidating at first, but if you do it right, your cat will follow your orders no problem. It will take patience to achieve this, but the good news is, most cats have no preference between open and covered litter boxes.