How To Introduce A New Litter Box To Your Cat: Our Top Tips
Cats appreciate their routines; they are creatures of habit who are not very interested in trying new things. When it comes time to convert your cat to a new litter box, this can be a challenging task to accomplish. However, just because she is resistant to change does not imply that you must continue to use the same old, filthy litter box. It merely indicates that you must proceed with caution during the changeover. Follow the instructions in the following section if you’re having trouble getting your cat to use a new litter box.
Location is key
Routines are quite important to cats; they are creatures of habit that are not particularly fond of new experiences. When you need to move your cat to a new litter box, this might make things tough. It does not follow, however, that you must continue to use the same, filthy litter box because she does not like to be changed. It simply implies that you must be strategic in your approach to the change. Follow the instructions in the following section if you’re having trouble convincing your cat to use a new litter box.
Don’t throw out the old box
Sure, it’s tempting, but resist the temptation to toss out the old box as soon as the new one arrives in the mail. As an alternative, place the new one in its allocated location and discontinue clearing out the old one. This will make the litter box she is accustomed to less appealing, as cats despise a filthy litter box. She may be aware that both boxes serve the same purpose, if she looks closely. Quite maybe, your cat will opt to use the new one on her own own after seeing it. Do you want to know why your cat is laying in the litter box?
Take a look at our guide.
Use scent to entice them
It is well known that cats have exceptional senses of smell. They appreciate and are drawn to fragrances that are familiar to them. Empty a small amount of your cat’s old litter into the new box as an incentive for him to utilize it. Your cat will identify the fragrance and will be more inclined to accept the new box if it is familiar with the aroma. Note that this approach will not work with all litter boxes, so be sure to test it out first. A self-cleaning litter box, for example, may prevent your cat from detecting the aroma before it is eliminated by a machine that removes it.
Photograph courtesy of Africa Studio/Shutterstock
Use toys, treats, and praise
Ultimately, you want to assist your cat in developing a favorable relationship with her litter box. To do this, you may use whatever your cat loves, whether it’s a nice food, a beloved toy, or catnip to get the desired effect. She should arrange her toys around the new box. Disperse snacks about the area where she keeps her litter box. Place some catnip at the box’s entrance or on the mat to attract the cat. Additionally, if your cat approaches and investigates the litter box, you should offer positive reinforcement to encourage him to continue.
- This way, she’ll associate using the litter box with receiving treats or playing with her favorite toys, making her more inclined to use it in the future.
- If you give your cat positive reinforcement and demonstrate encouragement, she will understand that you are pleased with her conduct.
- It’s also important to remember that you should never force your cat to use the new litter box or punish her if she doesn’t.
- Allow your cat the time and encouragement she requires to become used to her new litter box.
- Kittens are notoriously resistant to change, and if you aren’t cautious, you might find yourself dealing with an even greater problem than you started with.
You may make the transition easier by maintaining the box in the same area and encouraging her with food, smell, and praise throughout the process. You should now be able to successfully introduce a new litter box to your cat using these four helpful recommendations. Wishing you the best of luck!
- For your brand-new white kitten, here are 20 fantastic cat names to consider. 5 bizarre behaviors your cat engages in in an attempt to connect with you Cats are at risk when their litter boxes are soiled: Why you’ll want to stay away from them
- When do cats reach the point of no return? It takes place a lot sooner than you may expect
- Why heated cat beds are ideal for cats who prefer to sleep curled up on their beds
How to Introduce a Cat to a New Litter Box
Cuteness may get compensated if you click on one of the affiliate links in this post. Cats aren’t exactly the most laid-back of beasts. Generally speaking, they are resistant to change. You, on the other hand, are not a fan of your cat’s present litter box and want to get a new one. There’s just one problem with that: You’re not sure how your cat is going to respond to this situation. Is he going to start squatting on the floor? What is his plan for the new litter box? Is he going to make a complete mess of it?
Before you invest the money, you must be certain that your cat will eventually use the new litter box and that everything will run smoothly as a result.
Image courtesy of Bianca Grueneberg/iStock/Getty Images.
How to introduce your cat to the new litter box
Featured image courtesy of CasarsaGuru/iStock/Getty Images There are a variety of approaches that you may use to introduce your cat to a new litter box. First and foremost, it is preferable to merely replace the litter box and leave the rest of the house unattended. This implies that you should retain the litter box in the exact same location as the old one and use the same type of kitty litter as you did previously. After that, place something that your cat like near the new litter box. This may be his favorite toy at the moment.
This may be useful since cats prefer to use litter boxes that are free of debris.
Because cats have short attention spans, it is ideal to praise them as quickly as possible after they perform a nice deed on your behalf.
Every time he uses his new litter box to go to the potty, reward him with a treat and pat him to help him realize that he is doing something right.
Once he becomes accustomed to using it on a continuous basis, you may gradually reduce the amount of treats you give him, substituting them with a stroke on the head or the phrase “good cat.” Then, once your cat has been using the litter box without any treats for a few weeks, you’ll know you won’t have to use them any more.
Because cats’ memory are not particularly excellent, as soon as you punish him, he will forget what he did wrong and what you want him to do next.
Always stress positive reinforcement over negative reinforcement.
What if your cat won’t use the litter box at all?
iStock/Getty Images image courtesy of Casarsa Guru You may introduce your cat to a new litter box in several different ways. Initial, it is preferable to simply replace the litter box and leave the rest of the house unattended. The litter box must be placed exactly where the old one was, and it must contain exactly the same type of cat litter. In addition to the new litter box, provide something that your cat enjoys near it. His favorite toy might very well be this! If you want to keep the old litter box around, you may do so without cleaning it and solely clean the new one.
- As soon as your cat begins using the new litter box, give him a treat to show your appreciation for his efforts.
- The first few days after you’ve installed a new litter box in your home, you should stand by it with a bowl of goodies for your cat, ready and eager to welcome him.
- You will eventually be able to reduce your intake of sweets.
- Never scold or compel your cat to use the litter box if he or she has an accident outside of the box; this is against the rules.
The fact that cats have short-term memory means that they will forget what they have done wrong very immediately after they have received punishment. Yelling at him may cause him to feel afraid and unwilling to be around you. It is always preferable to emphasize incentives over penalties.
Finding a new litter box for your cat
Whenever you’re ready to buy a new litter box for your cat, consider the PetSafe ScoopFree Automatic Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box from PetSafe. You won’t have to scoop, clean, or refill your kitty’s litter box for weeks on end, and the crystal litter will eliminate the odor since it absorbs urine and dehydrates solid waste, allowing you to spend more time with your family. The low-tracking crystals are also 99 percent dust free and will not adhere to your cat’s paws, making them ideal for indoor cats.
- If you want something a little more straightforward, theFrisco High Sided Cat Litter Box is a good choice.
- Because it is constructed of high-quality plastic, your cat will be able to dig and paw about without causing damage to their box.
- Ondacaracola Photography/Moment courtesy of Getty Images.
- Investment in the proper litter box, as well as reinforcement of positive behaviors by rewarding your cat with his favorite goodies, are required to guarantee that your cat continues to use his litter box without difficulty.
How to Introduce a Cat to a New Litter Box
Photographs courtesy of IBananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images When it’s time to use the litter box, the majority of cats will intuitively go to it. Bringing in a new litter box, on the other hand, may meet with some opposition if you’re changing things up. It could be a good idea to introduce Kitty to the box in the appropriate manner to avoid sour faces and mishaps.
Place the new litter box in the same location as the last one. If you’re only replacing the container and not altering the size or kind of litter box, it’s likely that Kitty will not react at all. However, if you’re transferring from a plain old pan to a boxed or automated litter box, keeping the litter box in the same position will assist to reduce the surprise of the changeover.
You should save the original liter box for a long if you want to move to a different area. Have you made the decision that you no longer want to keep the litter box in the laundry room with the clothes? Purchase a new box and place it in the desired area, such as your bathroom, but keep the old box in the same position it has been for years and years. Spending additional money on high-quality litter and cleaning the litter box twice a day can make your new litter box far more appealing than your old one.
After that, you may get rid of the one that is no longer in use.
If you’re intending to relocate, you should save the original liter box for a while. So, you’ve come to the conclusion that you no longer want your litter box in your laundry room. If you purchase a new box and place it in the appropriate area, such as your bathroom, you should leave the old box in its original placement.
Purchase high-quality litter and clean the litter box twice a day to make the new litter box far more appealing than the old one. Hopefully, Kitty will see the benefits of the new one and forsake the old one on his own initiative. When the old one is no longer needed, it may be discarded.
How to Train Your Cat to Use an Automatic Litter Box
An automated litter box provides several advantages to both you and your cat, including convenience and a consistently clean toilet area for both of you. When your cat has already pledged his or her devotion to a traditional litter box, however, it may take some convincing to get your cat to check out the new litter box system. It is simplest to educate kittens to use an automated litter box while they are young. By the time you bring your kitten home, almost all of them will already be familiar with the concept of a litter box and how to use it.
- One fresh deposit in the new litter box is recommended to provide as a fragrance indication for the cat as to what is anticipated.
- Make it possible for the infant to get out of the litter box by himself and make his way away from the area.
- When it comes to bathroom facilities, adult cats have strong ideas, including where the litter box should be placed and what design should be used.
- Keeping your cat’s preferences in mind will ensure that his new automated litter box is the greatest option available to him and that he will not look for alternatives.
- Automatic Litter Box Training Can Be Done in 8 Simple Steps
- Install your automated litter box in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Place it next to the usual litter box that your cat is already accustomed to using in a quiet part of the house
- Make sure to use the same type of litter your cat uses in his conventional box when you fill the automated box, but don’t switch on the automatic box just yet. Allow your cat several days to become acquainted with the new facility. If the product comes with a cover, remove it until your cat has completed the transition so that he does not feel confined or trapped within the product
- You should only use a little amount of dirty litter in the clean automated litter box pan when you have a kitten or are converting an outdoor cat who does not have a preference for using a litter box. The scent assists these newcomers in getting a sense of what is expected of them
- This is not the time to switch substrates! If using a different type of litter in the automated box is necessary, start with the new litter in the old box that the cat is already used to using before introducing the automatic box to the new litter. Start by sprinkling a little amount of the “new” substrate on top of the familiar approved litter for several days to ensure that your cat is not turned off by the new litter, then gradually increase the amount of “new.” Only after that should you place the new litter box with new litter next to the old one so that the cat may investigate both options. Allow your cats to select whatever litter box they want to use for at least a week. To provide an additional incentive, sprinkle a little amount of catnip into the litter tray of the automated box. Wait until the cat has begun using the new automatic box before attempting to switch it on for the first time. Motor noise or sudden movement may shock or interest sensitive cats, depending on their temperament. It was obvious to my cat that the rake was feline entertainment, so she ran over to watch and paw-wapped it into submission every time it turned on. When you notice your cat being productive in the new box, praise him and reward him with a treat. As soon as you’ve turned on the automated box, keep an eye on it to make sure your cat is continuing making use of the new facility. If your cat is still using the old box, leave the waste there without scooping for one day while the automated box cleans itself. This should serve as an incentive for your cat to switch to the new box. Be aware, however, that cats frequently prefer to use one box for liquids and another for solids, so it may take some convincing to get your cat to do both in the same container
- This may take some time. It’s only fair to provide your cat with as many opportunities to do good as possible in order to retrain her to use the automated litter box. Her potty trips should be timed appropriately—after active play, a snack, or a sleep are all good options. Adult cats that are in good health will normally visit the litter box five times each day.
Please, for the love of God, persist with it after you’ve found a place, a litter box filler, and an automated litter box that your cat tolerates. Changing the kind of litter, as well as the position and routine of the litter box, may result in home soiling problems.
Introducing Your Cat to a New Cat Litter or Cat Litter Box
Please, for the love of God, continue with it after you’ve found a place, a litter box filler, and an automated litter box that your cat like. In certain cases, moving brands of litter and/or box locations/routines might result in home soiling issues being triggered.
Reasons You May Need to Change to a Different Cat Litter
- Your cat has grown from a kitten to an adult or is becoming older, and he or she needs to move from a kitten cat litter to an adult cat litter, an adult cat litter to an elderly cat litter, or another similar transition. These litters are designed particularly for cats of a specific age range, and it is critical that they use the appropriate sort of litter for their age group
- Otherwise, they may become ill.
- Your cat has acquired an allergy to the dust, the scent, or the chemicals in the cat litter that it was previously using, or it is experiencing respiratory issues as a result of the substances in the cat litter that it was previously using. If you suspect that your cat is suffering from an allergic response to the cat litter you are currently using, we recommend that you take it to the veterinarian to discuss the situation with them. In this way, they will be able to screen your cat for allergies or allergic reactions.
- Your cat is continuing to devour the cat litter. The shift to something that has a stronger taste or scent to assist encourage your cat to stop eating the litter may be necessary if you have a cat that is known to consume its litter on a regular basis. Compared to standard clay and silica gel cat litters, we have observed that “all-natural” forms of litter composed of wood, wheat, maize, and other natural materials are consumed by cats in far greater numbers. The consumption of cat litter granules can result in major health problems for your cat, and if you believe that your cat is ingesting litter granules, you should attempt to resolve the situation as soon as possible.
- With your existing litter, you are experiencing much too many troubles with dustor tracking. If you spend any time at all looking through our comprehensive list of reviews on this site, you will immediately see that there is a significant difference in how readily one form of trash tracks from another. Depending on the cat, some may naturally kick and dig into the litter more than others, and if you are using a cat litter that contains smaller and more lightweight granules, you may find yourself dealing with litter being tracked out of the box on a regular basis. It is possible that switching to a litter with heavier and bigger granules can alleviate this problem.
- With the present litter, you are experiencing an excessive number of dustor tracking difficulties. For those who spend a significant amount of time reading through our vast list of evaluations on our website, they will immediately discover that there is a significant difference in how readily one form of trash tracks from another type. There are some cats that kick and dig into their litter more than others, and if you are using a cat litter that contains smaller and more lightweight granules, you may find yourself dealing with litter being tracked out of the box on a regular basis. To avoid this problem, switching to a litter with heavier and bigger granules may be a good idea.
- By adopting other cats, you may expand your family. If you want to have a single cat litter box for numerous cats, you may find that you are obliged to use a more robust sort of cat litter when you bring in extra cats to your house at some point. Unfortunately, many of the more potent cat litters also come with harsher chemical scents, which may take longer for your cat to get used to, particularly if it has previously become accustomed to another cat litter.
- You’re on a tight budget. Cat litter, let’s face it, can be very pricey! In particular, if you want high-end items such as crystals and silica gel, you might consider this. Sometimes life gets in the way and you have to make some cuts in your pet budget, which necessitates switching to a more economical cat litter.
- Budgeting is important to you. Cat litter, let’s face it, can be rather costly! Even if you like high-end items such as crystals and silica gel, you may find this to be the case. Every now and again, life forces us to cut back on our pet budget, which necessitates switching to a more cost-effective kind of cat litter.
If you discover that your cat is experiencing an allergic response to its litter, take it to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
- Your cat’s paws are sensitive and/or he’s had surgery. The paws of a cat are one of the most delicate parts of their body, and certain cat litter granules can be quite painful on them, particularly if they have recently had surgery or been declawed, among other things. It is possible that you may be obliged to use a softer and gentler litter that is meant for sensitive paws in order to prevent your cat from suffering.
Reasons You May Need to Change to a Different Cat Litter Box
- If your old cat litter box has broken, for example, this is a no-brainer. We are well aware that many of the cat litter boxes now available on the market are of a low-to-moderate grade. Many are composed of inexpensive, lightweight plastic, and thus are prone to splitting and breaking over time.
- You’re attempting to prevent kitty litter from tracking. Cats who are well-known for actively digging through their litter are more likely to knock some out of the litter box. In order to relieve this problem, it is recommended that you purchase a cat litter box with higher sides.
- You decide to bring cats into the household. Some individuals choose to purchase many litter boxes for each cat, however others do not have the space or want to purchase more than one litter box for each cat. This may need the purchase of a bigger kitty litter box to suit your additional family members.
Are you considering adding another cat to your household? A bigger litter box may be necessary in your situation.
- The arrangement of your house has changed as a result of your relocation or remodeling, and your old cat litter box either no longer fits in the intended location or doesn’t look as attractive. This is something we see a lot with folks who switch from traditional square litter boxes to triangle-shaped litter boxes that may be placed in a corner. By the way, if you’re looking for a corner litter box, make sure to check out our best picks right here
- As your cat grows older, you may need to purchase a new litter box. It is possible to go from a kitten or trainee litter box to a full-sized adult litter box in this manner. Cats that are elderly or who have physical issues that make it difficult for them to lift their legs extremely high to go into the litter box may benefit from using a litter box with a less severe step-up.
These were only a few illustrations. We are confident that you could come up with hundreds more examples that you have personally experienced. All of this should serve as a reminder that there are a variety of reasons why a cat might need to change its litter or use a different toilet.
How to Introduce Your Cat to a New Cat Litter or Cat Litter Box
You’ve been forced to switch out your preferred cat litter or to use a different cat litter box for whatever excuse you’ve come up with.
Don’t be concerned! There are a number of measures you can take to make the transition as smooth as possible for both you and your feline companion.
If you are making a change, only make one change at a time.
Keep things as similar to their original state as possible when transitioning your cat to a new litter or litter box. This will provide the smoothest transition possible. Example: If you are trying out a new litter box and placement, you should keep the old litter box and position until they become acclimated to the new litter box location. If you have opted to use a new litter box, make sure to use the same cat litter that your cat is already accustomed to using in the old one.
New litter box?Keep the old one around
Instead of just throwing away the old litter box when you are introducing your cat to a new one, consider repurposing it. Instead, place it next to the new litter box, but make the new one much more enticing to your cat than the old one. For example, you might place your cat’s favorite toy or a cat treat near the litter box to make it more appealing to him. Instead of being forced to use the new litter box, your cat should be the one to determine whether he or she is ready to make it his or her permanent home.
Mix your new litter with your old litter starting out
To ease your cat’s transition to a new litter, try mixing the old and new litter together at first to see how it reacts. Start with something like 90 percent old/10 percent new, then move up to 80 percent old/20 percent new, and so on and so forth. This gradually introduces your cat to the new litter and reduces the risk that they may be surprised and turned off by a rapid shift in their environment.
Reinforce and Reward
Keep in mind that when you notice your cat utilizing its new litter or litter box for the first few times, you should reaffirm your appreciation by rewarding and reinforcing it. When they initially start, it may seem strange to them, and they may want your instruction and permission before they can begin to “go out of their comfort zone.”
Still having issues?Take it slower.
If you are experiencing difficulties, it is critical that you slow down the changeover if required. Never, ever berate or scold your cat for refusing to use its new litter box or even for going outside of the box when it first appears to harshly using the box. This will just exacerbate the situation and may lead to your cat associating the new litter box or litter with bad experiences like as being shouted at or being punished. Take it easy and keep your head in the game! In order for us to continue to improve, we welcome any new ideas or tactics that have worked for you or your cat family.
Training Your Kitten to Use the Litter Box
In the event that you’ve recently been the delighted pet parent of a new cat, the subject of how to litter train a kitten is almost certainly on your thoughts. Knowing that litter box training is often a straightforward process may provide you with some relief. The majority of kittens come in their new homes having learned how to use a litter box from their mothers, and even those who haven’t are aided by a strong impulse to hide the evidence of their act after they’ve done it.
However, if your new cat is in need of some guidance, the following methods should be of assistance.
Supplies You’ll Need
You’ll need a few materials to get your kitten started on the right foot when it comes to developing excellent toilet habits:
- In general, it’s a good idea to have one litter box for every two cats that will be using it, so if this is your first cat, you’ll want to start with two litter boxes. Place them in spots that are convenient to access while still providing privacy. They may not be used if they are too exposed, since your cat may not feel comfortable enough to do so. Kitty litter is a type of litter that is used for cats. You’ll discover a wide variety of alternatives, ranging from low-cost non-clumping clay litter to high-end, environmentally friendly solutions manufactured from materials such as pine pellets, recycled newspaper, and even whole wheat grains. Other cats are quite particular about the sort of litter they use, and will refuse to use it if the texture or scent is offensive to them. While many cats aren’t finicky about the type of litter you use, some cats are. If you want to experiment with other types of litter, your best strategy is to start with a basic unscented clumping litter and then switch after your cat has learned to use it properly. Toys and treats are provided. When you notice your furry bundle of joy using their litter box, give them a cat treat or a piece of dry cat food to show your appreciation. If you want to assist your child develop good associations with the litter box, you may use toys and praise to aid in the process. At some point, you’ll have to wean them off of the expectation that they’ll get a food-related reward every time they use the box.
How to Litter Train a Kitten
Follow these instructions to teach your cat how to use the litter box:
- By putting your cat in the boxes as soon as they arrive, you can demonstrate how they work and allow them to sniff and inspect them. Make sure not to relocate the boxes once you’ve showed them to your furry companion in order to prevent confusing him or her. Place your cat in one of the boxes as soon as they finish eating and as soon as they wake up from their naps. If you observe them acting in a way that indicates they need to go, such as sniffing or crouching in a certain spot, pick them up and place them in their litter box. When you observe them utilizing it, give them a reward for doing so. Give them a treat or a toy as a token of your appreciation. Don’t chastise or scold your cat if he makes a mistake. Such behavior will simply result in more tension and worry, which may compound the situation and make training much more difficult. Due to the fact that felines do not identify punishment with the episode in issue, training them to avoid repeating the behavior does not work.
Cleaning and Maintenance
It is critical to maintain the cleanliness of the litter box. In addition to removing the terrible “cat smell” from your home, this will make using the litter box a more pleasurable experience for your feline.
- Clean out the litter box on a regular basis to ensure that your kitten’s deposits are not left behind. Replace dirty litter as needed—typically when the litter no longer has the ability to suppress odor. When you change the litter, make sure to thoroughly clean and disinfect the box. Mild soap and water, or a mix of water and white vinegar, can be used to clean. Avoid using bleach, industrial disinfectants, or other harsh chemicals that might be damaging to your cat
- Instead, use natural cleaning products. Remove accidents from places outside the box by using an enzyme cleanser to clean the area. It is possible that if they are not treated for the scent, they will continue to go to that location
- Nevertheless, this sort of cleaning will erase the smell.
Litter Training Older Cats
Typically, older cats will have be accustomed to using a litter box by the time they come to live with you, but if the cat in issue was formerly an outdoor cat, you may face a litter box training difficulty. However, even in this case, cats have all of the reflexes necessary to help them rapidly understand what a litter box is for. Getting them used to the litter box may be the most difficult task. In such circumstances, Vetstreet recommends filling the box with outside soil to begin with, rather than using inside soil.
This will allow your cat time to become acclimated to the new surface.
Troubleshooting Your Cat
According to what has been previously said, certain cats may be rather particular regarding the conditions in which they are ready to endure. In the event that your cat is having difficulty learning to use the litter box, it is possible that they are just not like of the size or form of the box, or that they dislike the scent or texture of the litter. If the box is covered, they may find it too restrictive; alternatively, they may feel exposed and prefer a box that is not covered. It’s possible that they don’t like the position of the box, or that you just have to scoop it out more frequently than they do.
- If you have an older cat, it is possible that they are experiencing joint discomfort or stiffness, which makes reaching the litter box difficult for them.
- Although they have been thoroughly litter box trained, cats that have not yet been spayed or neutered may spray pee throughout the home in order to claim their territory, according to Petfinder.
- In the event that your cat has been using the litter box regularly for a length of time and then abruptly stops, or does so in an inconsistent manner, there may be an underlying problem.
- According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, a cat’s refusal to use the litter box is frequently an indication of an underlying medical condition, such as a urinary tract infection, which can become serious if left untreated.
If your cat is still having trouble using the litter box after you’ve checked out stress or health issues and done everything else, you may need to restrict them to a small space with the box, such as a bathroom or laundry room, until they get the hang of it.
Jean Marie Bauhaus was an American architect who founded the Bauhaus movement. A pet mom, pet blogger, and author based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Jean Marie Bauhaus writes under the supervision of a slew of furbabies on her lap most of the time.
Setting your cat up for litter box success
Despite the large number of litter box items available on the market and the wide range of human perspectives on litter boxes, from the perspective of a cat, the litter box setup is really simple. Make use of the checklist provided below to ensure that your cat has a successful litter box experience.
A few ideas to keep in mind:
- Considering that cats are originally desert creatures, think of your litter box as a miniature desert (which is effectively what it is to your cat)
- Cats are completely devoid of any sense of good and wrong. Instead, they focus about how to fulfill their own requirements. It’s impossible for your cat to think to themselves, “I’m doing the right thing,” when using the litter box. And if your cat is not utilizing the litter box, he or she will never consider to themselves, “I’m doing something wrong.” If cats are using the litter box on a regular basis, it is because it satisfies their requirements. In the event that cats aren’t utilizing the litter box, it is either because the box does not satisfy their needs or because there is another spot in your house that better satisfies their elimination demands.
What are cats’ needs when it comes to eliminating?
- To have a sense of security. They want to be able to view their surrounds and have a few alternative escape routes in case they need to flee if the situation calls for it. In the process of eliminating, cats emit odors that may attract the attention of other cats or possible predators. In other words, when it comes to going to the toilet, cats are not concerned with privacy. Privacy is a human right
- To properly bury their waste and disguise the odor of their waste
- To eliminate in a sanitary environment. Naturally, cats avoid eliminating in regions that already have a strong stench
- However, this is not always the case.
The litter box set up that best meets your cat’s needs:
- A huge, open litter box is provided. The box should be spacious enough for the cat to readily spin around in without coming into contact with the walls of the container. At the very least, one of the box’s sides should be low enough so that the cat will have no difficulty stepping into it. It is necessary to use a lower-sided box for cats if you have one.) Place the litter box in an easily accessible spot for the cat, but not in a high traffic part of the home where the cat will be frightened by the sudden movement of people. In addition, the litter box should be placed away from any noisy appliances that might frighten them. The litter box is placed away from the cat’s food and water bowls
- The litter box is placed in a location that allows the cat to see the entire room and where they will not feel trapped
- The use of unscented, scoop-able (also known as clumping) litter is recommended. This is the most sand-like litter available, and sand is the natural litter used by cats. (Think back to the desert.) It is recommended that you use 2 to 3 inches of litter, however the amount needed may vary based on your cat’s preferences. Litter box liners should not be used. Cats frequently get their claws tangled in these liners, causing them to avoid using the litter box altogether. Once a day, the litter box is scooped out. Given the lack of stored waste, this will not take long, which is ideal for your cat
- At least once every two weeks, the litter box is completely cleaned. A multi-cat home should have at least as many litter boxes as there are cats, and these boxes should be located in different areas around the house. This arrangement guarantees that if one cat is bullied by another, the other cat will still feel secure using the litter box. There should be a box on each floor of the house, even if there is only one cat in the house. When it comes to satisfying your cat’s requirements, making the litter box easily accessible is critical.
Cat Not Using Litter Box: Causes and Solutions
Is your cat refusing to use the litter box anymore? It is possible for cats to stop using their litter boxes for a variety of reasons, including problems with the box or litter, discontent with the location or quantity of boxes, changes in the environment within or outside the house, and undiscovered medical disorders, to name a few. It may take numerous investigations before you figure out what your cat is trying to tell you, but the majority of problems are simple to resolve. Attempt to bear in mind that cats do not eliminate beyond their litter box with the intent of causing you inconvenience.
Because the majority of litter box avoidance situations are stress-related, punishing your cat will just raise the tension (for both you and your cat) and make it more difficult to determine the true cause.
Ruling out cat health problems
Your cat should be examined by a veterinarian for a comprehensive physical examination as a first step. There are a number of medical illnesses that might cause a cat to stop using the litter box, so you’ll want to rule them out first before looking into any other possible reasons. The good news is that the majority of medical issues that cause gaps in litter box use may be simply and affordably addressed with minimal effort and expense. If your cat is struggling to pee, licking his/her genital region excessively or has blood in his/her urine, he or she may require an emergency medical visit.
Kittens who have not been neutered may be more prone to urinating in unsuitable places.
What are the benefits of neutering or spaying your cat?
About declawed cats and litter
The presence of litter box problems and other behavioral problems in cats whose front claws have been removed is relatively uncommon. Cats that have had their front claws removed may develop a dislike for the litter box since their paws are still sensitive or uncomfortable after the procedure. As a result, they avoid scratching in their litter and may begin eliminating in other areas of the house instead of the litter box.
For example, aspen or pine wood shavings (which are widely used for guinea pigs or mice) or soft paper litter such as Yesterday’s News are good options to consider. You might also experiment with shredded paper as an alternative. The ramifications of cat declawing
Why cats don’t use the litter box
Once you’ve checked out any medical issues as a potential reason, you should focus your attention to the litter box itself, which is most typically the source of the problem. Here are some of the most prevalent reasons why a cat may choose to avoid using the litter box:
- There aren’t nearly enough litter boxes
- There aren’t nearly enough litter boxes This particular form of litter does not sit well with him. He is not a fan of the sort of litter box used
- He is dissatisfied with the location of the box
- The litter box is not in good condition.
Cat litter boxes: There should be one litter box for each cat in the house, as well as one additional litter box (more if you have many cats). Some cats prefer to urinate in one box and defecate in another, therefore it may be necessary to provide more than one box per cat in order to accommodate them. Litter preferences: If you’ve recently switched brands or types of litter, it’s possible that this is the source of the problem. Many cats have particular tastes when it comes to litter. Cats have extremely sensitive noses and are not fond of the aromas of chemicals or perfumes.
- Purchasing a variety of varieties and displaying them side by side will let your cat to make his or her own choice.
- If you need to switch to a different type of litter, make the transition gradually by adding a little bit of the new product each time you switch the litter until your cat becomes accustomed to the new litter type.
- A further consideration is that some cats, particularly older or overweight cats, have trouble climbing into litter boxes with high walls.
- Furthermore, while plastic liners are convenient for us, some cats are not fond of them.
- Moving a box from its current place should be done gradually (in severe circumstances, perhaps a few inches each day) to give your cat time to become used.
- Stay away from high-traffic areas and loud locations such as laundry facilities.
- Avoid putting litter boxes in the corner of a closet or in a confined space, such as between the toilet and the bathtub, since they will attract mice.
- Place the boxes in a variety of settings to see what works best.
- Cleanliness: Because cats are really particular about their litter boxes, you’ll want to maintain them as clean as possible in order to encourage them to use them.
At the very least, scrub the boxes with mild, low-fragrance soap once a week, and more frequently if the boxes are really popular. Instead of using bleach or ammonia-based chemicals to eliminate odors from your boxes, soak them in diluted vinegar water when the situation calls for it.
What to do if your cat prefers to eliminate in inappropriate places
If your cat just chooses to “go” in other places of the home, there are several things you may do to encourage him to return to his litter box as a preferred location. To begin, place one or more litter boxes that are visually appealing and simple to access in a prominent location. Using an enzyme cleanser, thoroughly clean the offending area to help eradicate the stink so that your cat isn’t tempted to use the same site again in the future. After that, either close off the area or put something there that will act as a deterrent.
- If you cover the improper portions with aluminum foil or plastic wrap, you may further make them as unattractive as possible.
- Make certain that you thoroughly cover the area.
- Remove the covering in areas where the cat is not disturbing you after a few weeks of success, and gradually work your way toward the issue regions as your success grows.
- Catteries are available in a variety of sizes and forms; the only limit is your creativity.
- For the final point, it may be worthwhile to consult with your veterinarian regarding the use of certain neutraceuticals and/or behavior-modifying drugs in certain situations.
Resources on feline behavior
Cat behavior may be quite complicated. If you’re interested in learning more, the following books might be very beneficial:
- Starting from Scratch: How to Correct Behavior Problems in Your Adult Cat by Pam Johnson-Bennett
- Your Outta Control Cat by Christine Church
- Starting from Scratch: How to Correct Behavior Problems in Your Adult Cat by Pam Johnson-Bennett
- Starting from Scratch: How
You should visit a cat behaviorist if you have exhausted all other options and are still unable to discover the source of your cat’s problem behaviors. Here’s how it’s done:
- For additional information on locating a qualified behaviorist, speak with your veterinarian or visit the website of the Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists. You may see a complete list of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists’ (ACVB’s) members here. You may discover a behavior consultant through the International Association for Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), which is comprised of veterinarians who have completed significant training and study in animal behavior.
Starting Out Right with Your New Cat and the Litterbox
For additional information on how to locate a qualified behaviorist, speak with your veterinarian or visit the website of the Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists. Click here to see who is a member in good standing with the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (ACVB). The International Association for Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) is a resource for finding a behavior consultant who is board-certified in animal behavior.
Most owners prefer to position the litterbox in a secluded area of the house in order to reduce the amount of odor and loose cat litter particles that enter the house throughout the day. Frequently, the litterbox is found in the basement, perhaps near to an appliance and/or on a cold cement floor, which is not ideal. There are a variety of reasons why this sort of environment may be unpleasant from your cat’s perspective. Depending on whether you have a kitten or an older cat, she may not be able to make it down a lengthy flight of steps in time to use the litterbox.
If your cat is using the litterbox and the furnace, washer, or dryer suddenly turns on, she may be terrified, and it may be the last time she would put herself in such a stressful situation again!
As a result, you may be forced to make a concession.
In order to avoid her from becoming stuck inside or outside the litterbox, if you choose to store it in a closet or a bathroom, make sure the door is jammed open from all sides.
Based on your situation, you might want to explore making an opening in the closet door and installing an automatic swinging door. Placing a small throw rug below the litterbox is recommended if the litterbox is on a smooth, slippery, or chilly surface.
Type of Litter
According to research, fine-grained litters are preferred by the majority of cats, possibly because they are softer to the touch. The finer granules in the new scoopable litters are frequently more noticeable than in traditional clay litter. But high-quality, dust-free clay litters are rather small-grained and may be totally acceptable to your cat if you use them properly. Potting soil has a fairly soft feel as well, although it is not particularly absorbent. Consider combining some potting soil with your usual cat litter if you feel your cat has a history of spending time outside and is likely to eliminate in your houseplants.
- Once you’ve found a litter that your cat like, don’t switch to a different sort or brand.
- Many cats are put off by the smell of perfumed or deodorant litters, which is understandable.
- A tiny coating of baking soda sprinkled on the bottom of the box will aid in the absorption of scents while without deterring your feline companion.
- If you find the odor of the litterbox objectionable, your cat is likely to find it much more offensive and will avoid using the litterbox altogether.
Number of Litterboxes
You should have at least as many litterboxes as there are cats in your household. Then none of them will ever be prohibited from eliminating in the litterbox because it is already occupied by another cat or dog. Another option is to spread them out across the home so that no one cat can “protect” the litterbox area and prevent the other cats from using it at any time during the day. In addition, we recommend that you have at least one litterbox on each floor of your home. In order for your cats to utilize any litterbox that is available to them, it is not practical to designate a particular litterbox for each cat in your household.
In this instance, all of the litterboxes would need to be maintained exceedingly clean, and it is possible that more litter boxes may be required.
To Cover or Not To Cover
It is common practice for some individuals to use a litterbox that is covered; nevertheless, there are certain disadvantages to utilizing this style of box. To learn what your cat prefers, you may want to start by providing both varieties at the same time to see which one he prefers.
- Due to the fact that unclean litter is “out of sight – out of mind,” you may find yourself not cleaning the litterbox as regularly as you should. Because a covered litterbox keeps odors trapped within, it will need to be cleaned more frequently than an open litterbox. When a huge cat uses a covered litterbox, she may not have enough space to turn around and scratch, dig, or position herself in the manner she desires. Another possibility is that a covered litterbox makes it simpler for another cat to lie in wait and “ambush” the user as she exits the litterbox. A covered litterbox, on the other hand, may provide a more private environment, which may be favored by fearful cats.
Cleaning The Box
Feces should be scooped out of the litterbox on a regular basis in order to suit the demands of the most fastidious cat. The frequency with which you replace the litter is determined by the number of cats you have, the number of litterboxes you have, and the type of litter you use. For clay litter, it is recommended that it be changed twice a week on average; however, depending on the conditions, it may be necessary to replace it every other day or every week. It is possible to use scoopable litter for two to three weeks before changing the litter if you scoop the litter once a day, seven days a week.
When cleaning the litterbox, avoid using chemicals or cleaning solutions that have a strong scent because this may drive your cat to avoid it. It should be sufficient to just wash with soap and water.
Some cats don’t mind using a litterbox liner, while others are not so keen on the idea. Again, you may want to experiment to determine if your cat is offended by the presence of a liner in the litter box or not. If you do decide to use a liner, make certain that it is securely fastened in place so that it cannot be readily caught by your cat’s claws or dragged out of position.
Depth Of Litter
Having a litterbox liner is not a problem for some cats, but it is for others. Again, you may want to try to determine if your cat is upset by the presence of a liner in his litter box. Make sure the liner is securely fastened to the cat’s litter box so that it won’t be readily caught by the claws or yanked out of position.
Some cats are fine with using a litterbox liner, while others are not. Again, you may want to try to determine whether a liner in the box bothers your cat. If you do decide to use a liner, make sure it is securely fastened in place so that it cannot be readily caught by your cat’s claws or dragged out of position.
If Problems Develop
If your cat starts eliminating in places other than the litterbox, the first thing you should do is contact your veterinarian. A variety of medical issues might cause a cat’s litterbox habits to shift. Behavioral issues may be the root cause of your cat’s illness if your veterinarian thinks that your cat is healthy. It is possible to cure the vast majority of litterbox behavior issues by employing behavior modification approaches. Punishment will not solve the problem. If the problem has been going on for a long time or is complicated, consult with an animal behaviorist who has expertise working with cats.