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Litter Box Training

How To Teach A Senior Cat To Use A Litter Box

Ever wondered how to teach a senior cat to use a litter box? When you have a senior cat, it will be much harder to teach a cat to use a litter box, compared to a young cat. A senior or aging cat will have health problems which contribute to his difficulty doing his business, coupled with the fact that he will act out and feel isolated due to his old age.

In other words, training your feline friend, who is already at his later stages of his life, will be a challenging task which will not be accomplished very easily.

Cats normally rely on old routines and sensory memories to live their daily lives and navigate in their own surroundings. But their age hinders them from going out and about. Here are some of the most common health problems that come with their age:

  1. Joint problems: Older cats that have joint problems such as arthritis will have some trouble using the litter box due to the effort it takes to get in and out. Some litter boxes are too high or have a high or narrow entryway, which will add more to his discomfort when he’s using it.
  2. UTI, kidney problems and bladder-related health problems and diabetes make it hard for the cat to control his urge to pee. A cat that has these health problems will suffer from frequent urination through out the day. So if he only has one litter box, he might not make it in time whenever he’s about to urinate.
  3. Vision loss: Some cats suffer from vision loss due to old age. Cats rely on old sensory memories to get around, so if he has poor eyesight or is getting blind, it is now more important than ever to keep his litter box where it is so he would not have much problems locating it.
  4. Mental and cognitive health problems: Cats can suffer from memory loss and decline from cognitive capacity. If this happens, your cat may not be able to find his litter box properly so it’s important that you use other means to make it easier for him to find it.

Senior cats will need more time and attention from you now that they’re getting older. Young cats normally have the energy and the vigor to move around, be playful and have more fun, but older felines may feel left out. Their health problems might cause them to be more withdrawn and isolated especially if you have other cats. Which is why, showering your older cats with lots of love is important.

How To Teach A Senior Cat To Use A Litter Box

  1. Take your senior cat to a veterinarian. Since your cat is now getting older, expect some health problems to creep in. Bringing your cat for a medical check-up will determine any health problems your cat might have which could be the cause behind his difficulty to use his litter box.
  2. Make changes with your cat’ litter box – one at a time, or upgrade to a senior car-friendly litter box. As mentioned, cats heavily rely on old sensory perceptions to get to the litter box. If, one day, your cat finds that his old litter box has changed or disappeared, it will make sense for him to get stressed and poop elsewhere.

Senior cats have particular needs which are different from those of younger cats. Because their bodies are now getting older, their litter box must also be easy for them to get in and out of. You can change his litter box if it’s not of any use to him, but change it gradually to prevent him from being shocked and stressed.

The first thing you have to change is your cat’s litter. Your cat’s litter is the most important thing you should change first because it affects how your cat eliminates. Make sure the type of litter you’ll choose is safe and poses no health problems. Biodegradable ones are okay, such as pine and corn, because they offer little to no dusts, and cause no health risks. Likewise, make sure it has no scent. While there are different types of litter out there, not every one of them is safe enough for your feline friend. For example, litter made of crystals is harmful for your cat especially when she licks her paws.

To introduce your cat to his new litter, simply fill the litter box with two inches of the new litter and cover it with old litter of about half an inch. Your cat will gradually get used to the new litter as he moves and shuffles it with his feet.

Next thing to change is the size and entryway of the litter box. Make the entrance of the litter box much bigger by cutting it down so he would have more space getting in and out. You can also add a ramp for your aging cats with mobility issues. There are ramps available which you can just attach to the litter box so you don’t have to buy a brand new one. But if you find this absolutely inconvenient, you can buy a different litter box with all the features you need for your senior cat. A litter box suited for a senior cat must not be too tall, is spacious for his body so he could easily move around, and has a wide entrance or a ramp so he could get in and out easily. Litter Robot is one such litter box that has all the things you need to make your aging cat’s life must easier.

  1. Put your litter box in a much safer area of your home. Normally, you shouldn’t be changing the litter box’s location because your cat relies on his senses to find it. But if the area is too noisy, too crowded or is a busy place, it’s wise to move it somewhere else. If you have other cats, your older cat might feel intimidated by the young ones for their playfulness and vigor. They might even use his litter box, even his food and water. It would be much better if your separate his things in a different area that’s safer so he could have more comfort and privacy.

When re-locating your older cat’s litter box, place it where it’s safe from the crowds of people and animals, away from the noises and not too far away from his food and water. Don’t put it near the kitchen, the playpen (if your have kids) or the living room where the tv is. Put it behind a potted plant.

  1. When redirecting your cat to his new litter box, a little help will be needed. Some older cats may have lost them when finding their litter box, that’s why it’s so important that you be there when re-introducing to his brand new litter box. Even though his sight or memory has declined, the good news is, cats are known to have a sensitive nose. You can direct your cat by smell by putting some of his old poop in his litter box. Guide him there and give them the “cue” that it’s where he has to poop. Remember to remove it right away so the bacteria won’t proliferate.

Another way to direct your aging cat to his litter box is by taking him there. Bring your cat to his litter box and observe his reaction. If he gets curious and sniffs on the litter, it means it piques his interest. The signs are good. But if he has no reaction, you can take him there later in an hour or two. Make sure you let some of his old poop there, though, to get the message.

Roughly 15 minutes after his meal, bring your aging cat to the litter box so he could do his business. You can also do this whenever he’s looking to eliminate.

Whenever he is done pooping and urinating, praise him gently, pet him or give him treats. Be sure not to startle him or he will stop using his litter box.

  1. Have more than enough litter boxes. If you have multiple cats at home, have litter boxes for each and every one of your pet and add another one in case of emergency. For a multi-story home, have a litter box for every floor so your cat can eliminate regardless of where they are.
  2. Be patient. Training your senior cat to use the litter box will surely take some time. Senior cats will really test your patience because they are getting meticulous with cleanliness, some others are getting withdrawn, and some just can’t seem to do the things they used to. This is why lots of patience and love are important. I’m sure you will be frustrated, but don’t take your anger and frustrations out on your feline friend, because he will never understand and it will only get worse. As a responsible cat parent, shower him with lots of love and remind yourself why you decided to be his friend to begin with.
  3. Clean the litter box properly. As mentioned, cats become more meticulous with age. This is why you should make sure to clean his litter box regularly so your feline friend is encouraged to use it. He won’t like it if traces of his urine is still there, or even if his litter box is near his food and water bowl.

Having a cat definitely has its moments of frustration especially when things don’t seem to go your way. But nothing compares to the joy of having a faithful friend who has stayed with you over the years.

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Litter Box Training

How To Train Your Cat To Use A New Litter Box

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Important Notes


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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

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Litter Box Training

How To Get A Feral Kitten To Use A Litter Box

If you have recently adopted a street cat, you’re probably wondering how to get a feral kitten to use a litter box. A feral or outdoor kitten is probably a good candidate for a litter box training. Cats easily pick up habits if you train them well, and they will learn best if you start them young. Getting them to use a litter box will never be easy, however, but if you still teach a kitten to use a litter box, that particular habit will stick to her for as long as she lives.

Feral kittens are outdoor animals that were abandoned by their owners and have been fending for themselves, or their own mother gave birth to them and ever since their birth they have been alone, in the streets. But what is good about adopting a feral kitten into your own home, despite the fact they have living in the streets forever?

  1. Fostering a feral kitten is a good idea especially if you’ve bonded with one already. Maybe there’s a kitten that’s been lingering or staying in your garden for awhile, and you’ve petted her and talked with her. Or, a kitten has been spotted hanging out around your apartment and you want to take the next step.
  2. Adopting a feral kitten is a better option than buying one from a pet shop. We still don’t know the depths and gravity of abuse animals receive just to be made available in pet stores. Some of them were bred only to have their litter be sold in the stores. These same animals will end up abandoned in the wild or the streets with no care at all. Therefore, having a kitten from the streets instead of purchasing one from a pet shop is a better option because you’re refusing to support these horrific practices which have monetary gains.
  3. Homeless animals need love and attention more than anything. Enough said.

When you adopt a feral kitten into your home, one of the most important things you will be buying for her is a litter box. A litter box acts like a bathroom for your kitten because it is where she will poop and pee. If you don’t train her to use the litter box, she will continue pooping and peeing anywhere she’d like, including your garden. That would be a hassle as you have to clean it up each and every time, especially if your potted plants are covered with poop.

As a would-be cat parent, there’s nothing to worry about when it comes to litter box training a kitten. She has to eliminate elsewhere, without having to leave behind some stressful mess in and outside your house, even in your neighbor’s yard. A litter box will solve this problem and goes well with their natural instincts. Cats are hygienic animals and like to clean themselves, but that’s not enough if they were to transition to a home life.

A litter box, on the other hand, will serve as their dumping ground where they’re free to shuffle, dig and cover their poop with litter. As mentioned, it perfectly goes well with their natural instincts. As a cat parent, a litter box is just a must-have if you want a cleaner home, and of course, a cleaner cat.

How To Get A Feral Kitten To Use A Litter Box

  1. Decide for yourself if you ‘re really ready to adopt this feral kitten. Sure, there’\s a stray kitten that frequents your home and you feel like adopting her. But, are you really prepared to bring her over to your home? Having an animal around not only means feeding her everyday, it also means vet visits, medications, cat toys, treats and making sure your home is cat-friendly, too. And most importantly, it also means lots and lost of love and expenses. In other words, having a cat means responsibility. Would you be ready to shoulder that huge obligation in the long run, or would you dump her as well (just like her previous owner) if you don’t want to take care of her anymore?

That’s why this first step is important because you don’t want to be an irresponsible person who will neglect their pet when they no longer feel like taking care of her.

  1. Choose the best type of litter box. Training your feral kitten to use the litter box depends on the kind of litter box you will buy. There is a wide range of litter boxes in the market today, but you can’t think they’re all the same. They’re all different. Some are too small, some are too big, some have covers, some don’t, and there are a whole lot of differences that make a huge difference for your cat’s quality of life.

First of all, you have to remember that what you like as a human might be offensive to your cat because, well, they are different. Some cats don’t mind a hooded litter box while others feel trapped in a litter box that has a cover.

Buy a litter box that is spacious, not only for her current size, but as she grows as well. automatic litter boxes that make sounds might terrify your kitten, so you should not buy those.

Ideally, the perfect litter box for your kitten is one that offers a lot of room while offering her enough comfort and privacy. As for the litter, the best type would be one that has no odor, no dusts, and is scoopable, and leaves no mess behind. Feral kittens feel comfortable on natural surfaces that remind them of outdoors, so soil or sand is a good choice. But to introduce your kitten to the new litter, fill the litter box with the new litter of about 2 inches, and cover it with plain soil of about half an inch. As she shuffles around, she will gradually get used to the smell of the new litter.

Scented litter is not good for feral kittens because the scent is too strong for them. AS for whether you should choose clumping and non-clumping litter, it would be a matter of testing what your kitten prefers.

  1. Feed your feral kitten everyday and put the litter box in strategic places. Whenever your feral friend drops by, be sure there are food, water, and the litter box ready. Feed your kitten and praise her. The litter box must be placed quite far away from the food and water bowl, but in strategic places such as the garden, behind potted plants, or by your door where she likely frequents. Anywhere near your home is ideal.

If you will put the litter box behind a potted plant, cover the soil with tinfoil or paper to discourage her from pooping. Put some of her old feces in the litter box. After she eats, bring your feral kitten to the litter box and wait for her reaction. Because cats are led by their smell, they would get the hint that that’s where they will poop. She will likely move around with the litter, which is a good sign she’s interested. If she poops or pees in the litter box, praise her or give her some treats after she’s done, but now in a smothering way which will startle her.

Every couple of days, bring the food and water bowl further inside your home and bring your feral kitten over there. This will get her used to your home life without all the sudden changes. Of course, you must give her treats or praise her whenever she uses the litter box, for her to associate the litter box as something pleasurable.

  1. Bring her over to your home, her new home. I’m pretty sure your feral kitten will have a shock somewhat having to live in a new environment far from the streets. This is why it’s important for you to be attentive to her and make sure your home is cat-friendly so she would have a somewhat easy transition as she adapts to her home life.

Be ready to have a litter box for every floor if you live in a multi-story home. This way, your kitten has option in case she feels like urinating no matter where she is. Make sure to feed her on schedule. Bring her to her litter box 15 minutes after eating so she could pee and poop. Don’t forget to praise her or give her treats once she’s done. If she urinates or defecates somewhere other than the litter box, clean it up but don’t forget to spray a urine odor eliminator such as Rocco & Roxie to completely get rid of the odor so she won’t smell it next time. This prevents her from pooping and peeing there all over again.

  1. Remember, it will take lots of patience and love. Cats and humans have a different language and level of understanding so yelling or scolding your cat just because she made a mistake will never solve any frustrations you have. More importantly, expect some mistakes will be made along the way, which is perfectly normal, until a habit is formed. What’s important is you show your new feline friend a lot of love as you begin your life together.

Getting a feral kitten to use a litter box will take weeks of training until your pet is used to it. So, as mentioned, be patient and never scold or yell at her.