Do you know how to train your cat to use a new litter box? Training your cat to use a new litter box is surely one of the most challenging things any cat parent will have to do in their life. Cats are meticulous and very clean with their bodies but that is not enough to keep her at home.
A litter box is a must-have for every cat parent because it serves as her bathroom. However, teaching her to how to use it will be tough and will not be achieved overnight. But, if you want a better home, a litter box is your cat’s go-to and there’s no way around it.
I mean, here are some of the reasons why you should litter train your cat:
- Litter box training a cat teaches her discipline. Cats are probably some of the most hygienic animals as they like to clean themselves, but residential areas hardly offer places where cats could properly relive themselves. A litter box, on the other hand, serves as a convenient place where cats could be by themselves and do their business while having comfort and privacy. Moreover, it teaches your cat how to be disciplined and adapt to an environment where she is properly domesticated.
- A litter box helps save you from all the mess you would otherwise be cleaning up at home. Not all cat parents have all the time everyday to clean up everything their cat leaves behind. Imagine coming home to a dirty floor, smelly bathroom, and a messy carpet. That would be a nightmare. But a litter box will save you from so much of these scenarios because your cat has a go-to place now. You only need to scoop up the poop or clean the litter box, and that’s it. A litter box will save you from so much of these trouble, provided that your cat is trained properly.
- If your cat is trained to use the litter box properly, you could avoid problems and disputes with the neighbors, and, depending on where you live, even the landlord herself.
- Litter box training your feline friend goes perfectly well with her hygienic and natural instincts. Cats naturally want a place where they could be by themselves and dump in a soil-like or sand-like texture. A litter box somewhat imitates that environment. Your cat can shuffle the litter around and cover the dump with the litter and leave, when she’s finished.
How To Train Your Cat To Use A New Litter Box
So, you just got yourself a cat. Congratulations! Whether you bought him or adopted him, one of the things you have to teach him is how to use the litter box. Here are the steps:
- If your cat was adopted, ask the animal shelter if the cat has used a litter box before and which brand, so you could continue her habit and avoid beginning all over.
- Choose a litter box that suits her. If your cat has not been litter trained before or has to be re-trained, you must start all over again from day one. Choosing the right litter box for your cat must depend on her particular needs, not yours. What does this mean?
Your cat’s preferences will differ from yours because you two are different. For example, a cat will not like scented litter because the scent of artificial perfume is offensive for her sensitive nose. Another thing is the type of litter you will buy. Do not buy litter that has chemicals or they will be harmful when ingested. Biodegradable ones are okay, such as pine and corn, even paper. They offer little to no dusts and are not poisonous to your kittens.
A litter box must be big enough for his size, and has more than enough room for her to move around. If your cat is old or disabled, it must have a low entryway or a ramp to assist with her mobility.
- Put the litter box in a much better area. Cats love their privacy whenever nature calls, so put the litter box in a safer place where there are no crowds, no noises, and no other animals around. If you will place the litter box on the front steps near the garden, be sure to cover the soil with tinfoil to prevent from pooping there.
- Put some of your cat’s feces in her litter box and bring her over there. Your cat has a sharp sense of smell, so putting her poop in her litter box will give her an idea that’s where she has to do her business.
To introduce your cat to her litter box, bring her over there, pop her in the litter box and watch for her reaction. Her poop will at least make her curious and will give her the clue. 10-15 minutes after mealtimes, bring her to her litter box and wait for her to finish her business. Do this also whenever she’s looking to relieve herself. Whenever she’s done, praise her, pet her or give her some treats. She will begin to establish pooping there as something pleasurable. Just don’t stun her when she goes outside. Even if you’ve trained your cat, she will be terrified.
- Exercise some precautions. Even if you’ve trained your cat for so long, there will still be accidents. Your cat will still poop other than her litter box, or pee in the corner of a room. Wiping the stains away would not be enough, as the smell would still remain, and your cat might establish a new habit of doing her business on that new area. To avoid this, spray an enzyme cleanser such as Rocco & Roxie to completely eliminate not only the smell but all traces of it. Likewise, put tinfoil over potted soil to prevent her from urinating on that soil. If your cat is disabled or paralyzed, a good alternative to a litter box are washable puppy training pads where your cat doesn’t need to sit to do her thing. A washable puppy training pad on a puppy holder tray, several feet away from her food and water bowl, would be ideal.
- Have more patience. Training your cat to poop and pee in the litter box will take weeks and will be super challenging. Your cat is doing all she can to adjust to her home life, and your level of understanding are different, so never ever take your frustration out on your cat. As a cat parent, it is your duty above all else to give her a secure home, and while a litter box training has its ups and downs, the results will be worth it.
- Clean the litter box regularly. A cat is meticulous with her hygiene, so a clean litter box is a must. If a litter box is not cleaned up regularly, she will eliminate elsewhere. So clean up her litter box daily.
DOs AND DON’Ts
Do’s 1. Be attentive to your cat’s needs and health. If one day your cat stops using her litter box, there could be some possible reasons – the litter box could be dirty, the location of the litter box has become noisier or crowded, or the cat probably has health issues. Your cat could be having mobility, emotional or physical issues which make her have trouble using her litter box. Take her to the vet to determine if she has any health problems.
- You need to test multiple litter boxes to see which suits your feline friend the most. The truth is, having a cat requires some financial responsibilities. One of them is testing which litter box is best for her. You could buy a litter box that’s perfect for her the first time, but if it’s not, you could let your other cats use it or donate it to a local animal shelter.
- Expect some accidents to happen at times. Having a litter box trained cat doesn’t mean you will never face a messy, dirty home ever again. You will run into some mess once in a while,e specially if her litter box is too far away and she didn’t make it, or she’s having health problems. If there’s mess, don’t forget to clean up using a urine cleanser.