Training Your Kitten to Use the Litter Box
To schedule your pet’s first appointment at our veterinary facility, please call or visit us now. We welcome new patients on a continuous basis. Getting in Touch
Supplies You’ll Need
Call our veterinary facility now to schedule your pet’s first appointment; we’re constantly taking new patients. Get in Touch with Us
- We’re constantly taking new patients, so call our veterinary facility now to schedule your pet’s first appointment. Make Contact With Us
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.
How to Litter Train a Cat According to Jackson Galaxy
As a new cat parent, ensuring sure your feline companion is comfortable in their new environment is an essential first step—and this may involve assisting them in learning to use the litter box. In this article, Jackson Galaxy, a cat behavior and wellness expert who is also the host of Animal Planet’s “My Cat From Hell” and a New York Times best-selling author, will teach you how to litter train a cat and mark this task off your cat motherhood to-do list. Using a litter box is a natural behavior for most cats, which they learn when they are kittens.
Other kittens, on the other hand, may require a little assistance in getting the hang of it, while some adult cats may have a strong aversion to using the litter box.
Now here, right now, right meow.
The Litter-Training Low-Down
Are you fostering or caring for a kitten that is extremely young? Kittens younger than 3 weeks of age will require physical stimulation after every meal in order to urinate and defecate, which may come as a surprise to some. As it turns out, this is precisely what it sounds like, as Galaxy points out. (You can find instructions on how to accomplish this, as well as information on litter training orphaned kittens, here.) After three weeks, kittens should begin to explore their surroundings, and the litter box should be a natural place for them to go.
In Galaxy’s experience, “it only takes a little bit of encouragement before they’ll spontaneously start wandering over to the litter box.” “It’s all about patience and perseverance, and it’s important to understand that kids aren’t going to be perfect at it every time,” says the instructor.
However, some cats establish a negative connection with the litter box over the course of their lives and may require further assistance.
“The process of teaching cats to use a litter box is a lengthy one, and it is important to consider the location of the boxnew association—making sure it is in a secure location so that other cats and dogs, as well as children, do not get into it or ambush them while they are using it.” But first and foremost, you must outfit your home with the appropriate litter-training materials.
Everything You Need to Litter Train a Cat
All you’ll need to get started is a litter box and some kitty litter to get things started. Although a mat such as the All-Absorb Cat Litter Matto will assist capture any stray litter that your cat throws out of the litter box and protect your floor in the event of an accident, we recommend that you use it in addition. For kittens and senior cats that may have difficulty getting in and out of the litter box, Galaxy recommends purchasing a low, open-sided litter box, such as theKittyGoHere Senior Cat Litter Box, which is available at Amazon.
- You may also remove the front portion of a litter box to make it more convenient for them, suggests galaxy.
- The closer the particle size is to that of sand, the better.
- In addition, Galaxy advises against using clay litter for kittens.
- A good, non-clay-based cat litter to consider isFrisco Natural Grass Cat Litter, which is available in a variety of sizes.
- As a result, if you have only one cat, you should have two litter boxes available.
- And so forth.
How to Litter Train a Cat
As Galaxy previously indicated, most cats and kittens should be able to use the litter box on their own. Rather of being complicated, litter training may be broken down into five easy steps in the vast majority of situations.
Litter Training Kittens 101: When to Start and How to Do It
Most adult cats will instinctively seek out a sandy, granular area to excrete, but newborn kittens may require a little assistance in developing correct litter box habits. In order to assist your cat have the best chance of success while litter training, there are several things you may do. The following are some recommendations for cat toilet training, including when to begin, how to choose litter boxes, how to select the proper sort of litter, how and where to set up the litter boxes, and how to assist your kitten in mastering the litter box.
- When Should You Begin Litter Training Kittens? Instructions on How to Litter Train Your Kitten
- Decide on a litter box, and then choose the appropriate type of litter. Place the litter boxes in their proper locations. Instruct your kitten on how to use the litter box. Reinforce good litter box habits with your children. Maintain the cleanliness of the litter box. In the event that your kitten refuses to use the litter box, there are a few things you may do.
When to Start Litter Training Kittens
Mother cats encourage their kittens to eliminate in the first few weeks after birth, and they clean up after them after they have done so. Kittens do not require litter boxes throughout this time period. Starting at about 4 weeks of age, you may begin litter training kittens by providing them with kitten-friendly litter boxes. This occurs at the same time when kittens begin to wean themselves.
It is possible to begin litter box training your kitten or adult cat as soon as you bring them home if you acquire an older kitten or adult cat. You will need to provide the appropriate cat toilet training items before the cats arrive at their new home.
How to Litter Train Your Kitten or Cat
Follow these instructions to ensure that your cat has a successful toilet training experience.
Choose a Litter Box
While selecting a litter box may appear to be a little decision, it may make a significant impact in your kitten’s health and well-being.
Get the Right Size Litter Box
It is possible that full-size boxes will be too large and scary for a little cat. The International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) suggests that kittens use a litter tray that is 13 by 9 inches in size, according to Dr. Sally J. Foote, DVM, a feline behavior consultant accredited by the IAABC. If your cat is older, or if you have additional adult cats in the house, they will require full-size litter boxes, but your kitten will require smaller litter boxes to start. The litter box will need to expand to accommodate your kitten’s growth.
As your kitty grows in size, you will need to purchase a larger size.
Provide More Than One Litter Box
It is recommended that you have one litter box in excess of the number of cats in your home. For example, if you have two cats, you should have three boxes. It is recommended that you have at least six boxes if you have five cats.
Uncovered versus Covered Litter Boxes
Many cats prefer to use a litter box that is not covered. “In nature, cats do not want to be trapped by a predator inside an enclosed location,” explains Mieshelle Nagelschneider, an IAABC-certified cat behavior expert. Despite the fact that many of her clients believe their cats prefer the seclusion of a cover, she believes that “cats don’t like to feel caged” when they use their litter box. According to Dr. Foote, whether your cat likes a bathroom with or without a roof comes down to your cat’s particular choice.
Pick the Right Type of Litter
According to research, fine-grain litters are preferred by the majority of cats, possibly because they are softer to the touch. Cats have their own preferences whether it comes to clumping or non-clumping litters, for example. Of fact, some people enjoy clumping since it makes scooping easier. In terms of clay litter vs other types of litter, Nagelschneider explains that some cats will not use a box that contains corn- or wheat-based litter because it smells like food. You should experiment with a few different varieties to ensure that you acquire the sort of litter that your cat enjoys.
Plan Where to Put the Litter Boxes
When it comes to encouraging your kitten to use the litter box, the location and accessibility of the box might be key factors.
Don’t Hide the Litter Boxes
When it comes to encouraging your kitten to use the litter box, the location and accessibility of the box might be essential.
Set up your kitten’s litter box in a place where there aren’t many distractions that will keep them from getting down to business. When dealing with kittens that have difficulty concentrating, it may be necessary to remove the option of having alternative “interesting” areas to pee.
Keep your kitten in a small space with no rugs or carpeting and only a little quantity of bedding to attempt to keep them focused until they are able to use the litter box on their own.
Place Litter Boxes on Every Floor
The boxes should be evenly distributed around your home, with at least one on each floor. Ensure that your cat has an easy time getting to and from the litter boxes. “Don’t force them to travel down the stairs, past the playroom, through the cat door, and into the utility room,” Nagelschneider advises. ” In order to get to the potty, cats don’t want to travel any further than humans do. If you have a kitten, keep in mind that it will eventually grow up and become an adult cat. Placing a litter box on a high shelf or down a long flight of steps can make it much more difficult for them to reach when they are older and arthritic.
Introduce Your Kitten to the Litter Box
Once you’ve gathered your materials and set up your litter box regions, here’s how you may assist your kitten in learning to use the litter box. Step 1: Show your kitten the locations of each litter box and let him or her to sniff each one individually. Then, gently place your kitten into the litter box. Step 2: When they see litter, they may immediately start pawing at it or perhaps using the litter box. Otherwise, rake your fingers through the clean litter to imitate the pawing motion. To ensure that your kitten uses one of the boxes on its own, try placing your kitten in one of the boxes every time they eat, drink, or get up from a nap until they become accustomed to using the box on its own.
Reinforce Good Litter Box Habits
When your kitten uses the litter box properly, give them a treat to reinforce the behavior and help them form a positive relationship with the activity. It is essential that the treat be delivered shortly after they have exited the box in order for them to link the activity with the reward in this manner. Unless your cat has done anything wrong, there is no need to reprimand or shout at them. Maintain your composure and use anenzymaticcleaner to clean up the mess. Do not react in any other manner.
Keep the Litter Boxes Clean
Every time your kitten eliminates, make an effort to scoop the litter box. When it comes to the training process, you don’t want your kitten to develop a dislike for the litter box. After scooping, replenish the litter with clean litter to maintain a litter depth of 2 to 3 inches, which will provide your cat with plenty of digging space. Once your kitten is older and has established a habit of using the litter box on a continuous basis, you can scoop once a day instead of every time your kitten uses the box.
Most non-scoop litters will have their own guidelines on the label as to how frequently they should be changed, so pay attention to those.
What to Do if Your Kitten Won’t Use the Litter Box
The following measures should be followed if your kitten is having difficulty with litter box training and is urinating outside the box; First and foremost, carefully examine your litter box setup.
The preferences of each kitten are small variations on a theme. Check to see that the litter boxes are in good working order.
- These items are easily available
- Are situated in peaceful surroundings
- Are not tucked away in a corner
- They are not being protected by other cats.
2. Think about switching either the litter box or the type of litter. You may wish to purchase a new box (covered rather than open, or one with low sides) and set it nearby to observe whether your kitty prefers that box over the old one. Alternatively, retain the same box and merely alter the litter type to determine whether the problem is with the box or the litter. 3. Increase the frequency with which you scoop and replace all litter. In order to decrease tension and make your cat more comfortable with their surroundings, consider placing pheromone diffusers near the litter box.
These are quite unusual in kittens, but they should not be ignored when they do occur.
Most importantly, remember to be patient!
Photograph courtesy of Shutterstock.com/Africa Studio.
Preventing and solving litter box problems
- Set up the litter box in a semi-private spot that is distant from a lot of foot activity. Holding kittens in a small room with an accessible litter box for many days until they begin to use it consistently is recommended. Try to avoid placing the box near your cat’s food or water bowls, or near loud noises (washing machines, for example) that may be upsetting or frightening to your cat. Avoid putting your cat in confined spaces, such as closets, where he or she can feel imprisoned.
Select your litter carefully
Use clumping litter that is basic and odorless. You should not swap litters after you have discovered one that your cat appears to enjoy.
Keep the litter box clean
Solid garbage and clumps should be scraped out of the toilet on a daily basis. At the very least, once a month, empty the entire box and wash it with warm water. We don’t like going to the bathroom in a filthy environment, and neither do cats!
Make the litter box accessible
- It is necessary to remove solid debris and clumps on a daily basis. At the very least, once a month, empty the entire box and wash it with hot water. Use of filthy toilets is not something we enjoy doing — nor do cats!
Have one box per cat, plus one
A family with three cats should have four litter boxes, according to the ASPCA. Many cats may refuse to use a litter box that has previously been contaminated with trash.
Give your cat attention
A litter box for each cat in a home with three cats should be available. When faced with a litter box that already contains excrement, many cats may refuse to go in it.
How to Litter Train a Cat
Cats, according to Cristin Tamburo Coll, Certified Feline Behavior Consultant at The Cat Counselor in Los Angeles, are generally orderly creatures. “Cats are one of the few creatures that can exist in the wild as both a predator and a prey.” In order to avoid becoming a more attractive prey for predators, they hide their feces.” The fact that cats have a natural desire to use the litter box makes litter training them relatively simple—certainly simpler than potty training a dog, since cats have a natural urge to use the litter box once they know where to look.
How to Litter Train a Grown Adult Cat
Choosing an adequate litter box and litter for your house, setting it in a safe designated position, and teaching your cat where the litter box and litter are located are all important initial steps when litter training a cat, just as when litter training a kitten.
Although there are a lot of factors that influence how successfully your cat learns to using the litter box when you first start training her, there are several common ones.
- Location of the litter box: “Putting a litter box in a calm and safe section of the house can assist to ensure that your cat uses his or her box on a regular basis. Choosing a location that is out of the way of heavy traffic areas in the house is important,” says Britt Gagne, Executive Director of the Furry Friends Refuge in Des Moines, Iowa. Cats, like people, do not prefer to eat in the same area where they eliminate waste, so keep this in mind when deciding where to put the litter box. “Frequently, food, water, and litter are all positioned in the same’safe zone’ of the house, out of the way of high-traffic areas,” Gagne explains. In an ideal situation, there should be at least 3 feet between the litter box, food, and water. Animals and people alike prefer that their food and drink be not stored close to their bathroom for the sake of comfort and maintaining a sanitary environment in which to eat and drink.”
- Litter should be cleaned up: Cats appreciate order, therefore if you aren’t cleaning the litter box on a regular basis, you will be putting a significant stumbling block in your cat’s training path. “Always make sure that when a large amount of filthy litter is removed, new litter is put to ensure that there is enough litter to allow the cat to dig and conceal items in the box as they naturally have a want to do.” “Litter should be cleaned everyday, and it should be completely disposed of and cleansed every seven to ten days,” Gagne suggests. The number of litter boxes in your home: If you have more than one cat in your home, they may not be enthusiastic about sharing. The most straightforward approach is to add an additional litter box to suit your cat. According to the general rule of thumb, each cat should have at least one litter box. “Having one cat in the home that is more than the number of cats in the household is excellent,” Gagne explains.
Bringing Your Outdoor Cat Indoors
Outdoor cats have a natural tendency to bury waste in a variety of natural environments, such as grass, sand, or soil. When bringing an outdoor cat indoors for the first time, litter training can be difficult since most types of litter have a different scent and texture than the cat is accustomed to. It might be difficult to find out how to convince your cat to use a litter box at first, but perseverance pays off. ” Recently, I had a customer whose cat was going in the backyard on the grass, so we really got the cat acclimated to using the litter box by placing a piece of sod in the litter box,” says the veterinarian.
You might also experiment with a variety of different boxes made from a variety of various materials and serve them buffet-style to see which materials they are most comfortable with.” Some cat owners who keep their cats outside are anxious about bringing the cat into their home because of the possibility of infections.
According to Tamburo Coll, “Fortunately, not many diseases can be transmitted from animals to people.” However, the best practice is to wash your hands frequently and prevent accidently scooping the litter box and then touching your face.
Usually, they’re just a little grubby.
Changing Litter Training Habits With a Senior Cat
Outdoor cats have a natural tendency to bury waste in a variety of natural environments, including as grass, sand, and mud. When bringing an outdoor cat inside for the first time, litter training can be difficult since most types of litter have a distinct scent and texture that the cat is not accustomed to. For some cats, it might be difficult initially to figure out how to transfer them to using a litter box. ” Recently, I had a customer whose cat was going in the backyard on the grass, so we really got the cat acclimated to using the litter box by placing a piece of sod in the litter box,” says the trainer.
You could also experiment with a variety of different boxes made from a variety of various materials and serve them buffet-style to see which ones they prefer.
Cat excrement can be a source of Salmonella or toxoplasmosis, although hand cleaning, protective clothing such as gloves, and avoiding accidently eating the waste should be sufficient to safeguard cat owners in the majority of cases.
In the event that you bring a cat in from the outside, take it to the veterinarian for an overall health examination and vaccinations.” In most cases, they’re only somewhat filthy. Not much of a deal,” she says.
Why Do Cats Fall Asleep In the Litter Box?
Outdoor cats immediately bury waste in a variety of outdoor components, such as grass, sand, or dirt, to avoid being discovered. When bringing an outdoor cat inside for the first time, litter training can be difficult since most types of litter have a different scent and texture than the cat is accustomed to. It might be difficult to find out how to teach your cat to use the litter box at first. “I recently had a client whose cat was going in the backyard on the grass, so we actually got the cat acclimated to using the litter box by placing a piece of sod in the litter box.
- In addition, you may experiment with a variety of different boxes made of different materials and arrange them in a ‘buffet style’ to see what they like.
- In most cases, even though cat excrement may contain Salmonella or toxoplasmosis, thorough hand washing, protective gear such as gloves and avoiding accidently eating the waste should be sufficient to safeguard cat owners in most scenarios.
- The best approach is to wash your hands frequently and avoid accidently scooping the litter box and then touching your face,” Tamburo Coll explains.
- Usually, they’re only a little soiled.
- In order to relieve stress and worry, cats who have come from a shelter or who have relocated to a new home may seek a familiar fragrance to help them relax. As disgusting as it is, Tamburo Coll explains, “it smells just like them, and they want to be in locations that make them feel protected.” In much the same way that people and the precious alone time that (typically) comes with using the bathroom may be considered private places, the litter box can be considered a private area where cats can take shelter from all of the hustle and bustle that is going on in their home. Bowel issues: It is possible that older cats will find it more difficult to physically go to the toilet than younger cats. It’s also possible that they’ll have to go to the bathroom regularly and will be reluctant to leave the box for fear that as soon as they’ve left, they’ll have to go again.
In the event that your cat is falling asleep in the litter box, it is always a good idea to take them to the veterinarian. According to Tamburo Coll, “If the veterinarian has ruled out any health difficulties, the next step is to analyze any changes in the environment at home.” “Consider making the area surrounding the box more pleasant for them by placing a cat tree or cat bed close to the box.” This provides them with an option to sleeping in a cardboard box.
Help! My Cat Still Won’t Use the Litter Box
To convince your cat to use the litter box after trying everything you can think of, Tamburo Coll recommends that you first take the cat to the veterinarian for a thorough examination. If you detect a change in your cat’s litter box habits or behavior, you should bring him in for a checkup every six months, in addition to his annual exam. “Cats are quite adept at concealing indications of disease for extended periods of time. The reason for this is to their position in the food chain as both predator and prey,” she explains.
Potty Training – How to Train Your Cat to Use the Litter Box
In collaboration with Pamela Reid of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), Dr. Stephanie Janeczko of Animal CareControl of New York City and Pamela Reid of the ASPCA Elizabeth Teal and Micky Niego, Companion Animal Services, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Bringing home a new cat or kitten is a wonderful experience—the playing, the purring, the litter box training, and so on.
But wait, there’s more. Okay, so litter box training isn’t really enjoyable, but it’s necessary and typically rather simple. Introducing a cat into your household should be approached with caution, and there is only one word to remember: slowly.
Before Bringing Home A New Cat
You will need to complete a few simple tasks before bringing your new cat home. These tasks are as follows:
- Purchase one or two full-size litter boxes to keep your pets safe. In terms of how many litter boxes you’ll need, the conventional rule of thumb is one litter box for each cat, plus one spare box. As a result, if you have one cat, you need purchase two litter boxes. Two cats, perhaps? Spend the money on three litter boxes, and so forth. Make a layer of litter in the bottom of the container: three to four inches deep for clumping litter, and two to three inches deep for non-clumping litter Cats enjoy digging and burying, and this depth provides them with the opportunity to do so. It’s important to think about the sort of trash you’re utilizing as well. The surface should be smooth and free of prickly particles, and the smell should not be too overpowering to be effective. Some kittens will try to consume clumping litter, which is not recommended. While this may appear to be an unappealing alternative to a snack, it can actually clump together in their stomach and create some major problems. Choose a non-clumping litter until your kitten is around 4-6 months old
- Locate the litter box in a secluded, peaceful, and easily accessible location for your cat. Maintaining a box on each floor of your home is ideal if at all possible. If you’re using clumping litter, make a point of scooping at least once a day, and make it easier on yourself by keeping a few bags for waste disposal on hand. For non-clumping solid waste, scoop solid trash at least once a day, and be sure to thoroughly empty the box at least once a week.
How to Litter Train a Kitten
Following the acquisition of your new cat, you will need to train them to use the litter box.
- For the first few of days, limit your cat to a room without carpet, such as a bathroom, where they will have access to their litter box. Food and drink should be provided in this room as well, but they should be placed in a separate area of the room from the litter box. Once they’ve become used to using the litter box, you may let them out into the rest of the home to explore. Keep the litter box in its current location until your cat is completely comfortable in the house. If you decide to remove their litter box from that area later on, make sure to show them where it has been relocated. It is possible that you may have to reintroduce your cat to the litter box. Maintain the cleanliness of the litter box. Clumping litter should be scooped out at least once a day and replaced as needed to keep the right depth. A thorough replacement should be performed once every three weeks at the very least (more often if you have multiple cats). Scoop solid trash everyday and discard all litter to ensure that it is replaced at least once a week in non-clumping situations (again, more often if you have multiple cats). As well as cleaning out the box on a regular basis using fragrance-free soap and water
- If your cat does not use the litter box, never penalize him or her for it. Accidents do happen, and they may be quite inconvenient. After the fact punishment or rubbing their nose in it will only lead to confusion and dread in your cat. If you happen to catch your cat in the middle of an accident, pick them up and deposit them in the litter box as swiftly and quietly as possible. You should consult your veterinarian if your cat suddenly stops using the litter box since there may be a medical issue at the root of the problem
Due to the inherent attraction that cats have to litter-like sites to release themselves, they often pick up on litter box training quite fast. Many cats, on the other hand, have relapses and have accidents at some time in their lives. If this occurs, maintain your composure and remember that the situation is normal and that it can be resolved. In the meantime, shower your new kitten with affection and take advantage of this opportunity to spend quality time with them.
Issues With Litter Box Training
It’s understandable that some owners would question, “Why isn’t my cat using the litter box?” It is estimated that at least 10% of domestic cats may dirty outside of the litter box at some point in their lives. It is the most typical feline behavior problem to see your cat urinating and defecating outside of the litter box. Many cats are surrendered to shelters because of house-soiling issues. The majority of the time, this is superfluous. The good news is that cats suffering from this condition have a great prognosis.
- Before attempting to clean up after your cat, take him or her to your veterinarian for an examination.
- The veterinarian will be able to rule out any medical issues that may be causing the problem.
- Some cats cease using the litter box completely, while others just use it for urine and feces.
- Some litter box issues arise as a result of a cat establishing a predilection for a certain substrate or surface for elimination over time.
- Perhaps you’ve placed a plush throw rug to your bathroom, which the cat finds much more comfortable.
- Set up a number of boxes and give a variety of options such as clay, clumping, coarse, fine, and so on.
- They also preferred fine-grained and soft litter as a litter type.
The early warning signs of litter aversion in cats include failing to “cover” their urine and feces, failing to scratch the litter prior to elimination, scratching outside of the box rather than inside, perching with their feet on the edge of the box, racing out of the box, and shaking their feet as if disgusted by the feel of the litter.
- Cats, like humans, have strong feelings regarding boxes, both positive and negative.
- They normally don’t like for a covered box; after all, who would want to be trapped in a little room filled with the stench of pee and excrement all of the time?
- You should scoop your cat’s litter box at least once per day if you have a finicky cat.
- Warm water is perfectly OK.
- Because a cat’s sense of smell is quite acute, you should avoid placing the litter box in close proximity to their food, drink, favorite napping locations, or room deodorizers, no matter how clean you keep it.
- The location of a cat’s litter box might have a significant influence on his or her motivation to utilize it.
- Generally, cats want to be able to see if someone is approaching them, and they prefer to have more than one path out of the box if they are trying to escape, thus closets and unoccupied shower stalls are not ideal options for hiding places.
If you believe your cat is soiling because they prefer a different location, consider putting a litter box in that location.
Cats might sometimes develop a phobia of the place where the litter box is positioned.
As an example, a cat suffering from diarrhea may receive feces on its feet or tail and identify the unpleasantness of the environment with the location.
It has also been reported that an individual’s cat quit using his or her litter box, which was conveniently located next to the toilet, because a teenage male in the family was “splashing” in the box.
When there is tension between cats in the house, it is possible that an elimination problem may arise.
In order to enhance the possibility that there is a clean litter box someplace, you should always have more litter boxes than cats available.
Similarly, if one cat is harassing and frightening another, the victim may be too terrified to approach the litter box.
Even when one cat, usually the younger one, is attempting to persuade the other cat to play, lying in wait can occur.
If you have numerous cats and you’re not sure which one is urinating, talk to your veterinarian about delivering fluorescein, a non-toxic dye, to one of the cats to determine which cat is urinating.
Another option is to confine cats one at a time to establish which one is the source of the problem.
It is not recommended to clean using an ammonia-based cleaner. If the cat has urinated in a particular location, washing it with ammonia may cause the cat to return to that spot to urinate again.
Other Things To Consider With Litter Box Training
The question that some owners may have is “Why isn’t my cat using the litter box?” Household cats are estimated to have urinated outside of the litter box at least once during their lives. It is the most typical feline behavior problem to see your cat urinating and defecating outside the litter box. Due to issues with house soiling, many cats are euthanized. In most cases, this is superfluous to say. The good news is that cats suffering from this condition have a great prognosis.. Simple solutions can resolve between 70% and 75% of litter box issues.
- Before treating an issue, it is necessary to investigate and rule out any potential medical causes of it.
- Request a referral to a cat behavior specialist if it is determined that the problem is a behavioural issue.
- Some cats will still use the litter box from time to time, but they will also go outside the box at other times, as well.
- Perhaps the cat prefers to go “au naturel” and prefers to eat the soil from your potted plant as a substitute.
- Having a substrate preference is best dealt with by making the desired substrate inaccessible (cover the soil in your plant pots with plastic, remove the throw rug, keep an inch or two of water in your tub, etc.) and providing the cat with a variety of litter kinds to choose from.
- fine, and so on.
- – The fine-grained and soft litter were also favorites of theirs.
Kittens who are at risk of developing a litter aversion often exhibit early warning signs, such as failing to “cover” their urine and feces, failing to scratch at the litter prior to elimination, scratching outside of the box rather than inside, perching with their feet on the edge of the box, racing out of the box, or shaking their feet as if disgusted by the feel of the litter.
- As with humans, cats have strong feelings towards boxes, both positive and negative ones in particular.
- They often dislike being enclosed in a box; after all, who would want to be trapped in a small room filled with the stench of pee and excrement all day?
- You should scoop your cat’s waste at least once a day if you have a finicky feline companion.
- Using warm water is very satisfactory.
- Because a cat’s sense of smell is so acute, it is best not to place the litter box in close proximity to their food, drink, favorite napping locations, or room deodorizers, no matter how clean you keep the litter box.
- The location of a cat’s litter box might have a significant influence on his or her motivation to utilize the box.
- In the case of an elderly cat, they may grow hesitant to trek up and down a flight of stairs to use a litter box, therefore have a box with low sides on each floor of your home.
Even if you can’t, if they are using it, leave it in the same location for a few weeks and then gradually transfer it to a more appropriate location nearby by moving it by inches at a time.
The cat may come to identify the discomfort of feces with the surroundings around the litter box if it has been constipated for a long period of time or has been ill.
If you scold your cat while it’s near the litter box, the cat may learn to avoid that location.
If you have a shy cat, remember that he or she will not want to excrete in a litter box that is in a busy room or corridor, next to the washer and dryer, or in a loud basement workshop.
Cats who are easily irritated may refuse to use a litter box that has already been occupied by another feline.
If you have two cats at home, you should have three boxes, which is one more than the number of cats at home plus one (i.e.
The victim may be too terrified to approach the litter box if a cat is pestering and scaring him or her.
Even when one cat, usually the younger one, is attempting to persuade the other cat to play, lying in wait can occur.
Consult with your veterinarian if you have numerous cats and aren’t sure which one is urinating on the carpet.
The dye does not stain carpets, but when exposed to UV light for 24 hours, the urine fluoresces blue.
Make careful to thoroughly clean soiled areas with an enzymatic cleanser intended to neutralize the stench, regardless of the reason your cat is not using the litter box.
A cleaner containing ammonia should not be used. Cleaning with ammonia may cause the cat to return to the same location to pee again since urine includes ammonia.
How do I litter train my cat/kitten?
“Why isn’t my cat using the litter box?” some owners may question. At least 10% of domestic cats will dirty outside of the litter box at some point in their lives. It is the most prevalent feline behavior problem to have your cat urinate and defecate outside of the litter box. Many cats are surrendered due of concerns with home soiling. Most of the time, this is superfluous. Fortunately, the prognosis for cats suffering from this condition is very good. Simple solutions can solve between 70% and 75% of litter box issues.
- It is necessary to first investigate and rule out the possibility of a medical reason for the issue at hand.
- Request a referral to a cat behavior specialist if it is determined that the problem is behavioral in nature.
- Some cats may still use the litter box from time to time, but they will also go outside the box.
- Perhaps the cat prefers to go “au naturel” and prefers to eat the dirt off your potted plant.
- Having a substrate preference is best dealt with by making the desired substrate inaccessible (cover the soil in your plant pots with plastic, remove the throw rug, keep an inch or two of water in your tub, etc.) and providing the cat with a variety of litter kinds to select from.
- Clumping litters were found to be the most popular choice in a standard choice test, so be sure to include at least one clumping litter option in your selection.
- A cat with a substrate aversion is one that dislikes the litter you’ve supplied in particular.
Providing your cat with a choice of different litters before an issue arises can allow your cat to communicate their preferences to you.
The vast majority of cats prefer a spacious box that is simple to access and has a low to moderate volume of litter in order to be comfortable.
Cats are really fond of a freshly cleaned litter box.
Avoid cleaning the box with detergents since the scent may turn the cat away.
Once a week, remove all of the litter and replace it completely.
In fact, placing food bowls, toys, and beds in the soiled locations is an excellent strategy to deter a cat from soiling such areas.
Cats like a box that is positioned in a peaceful area, but not in a “corner.” Cats want to be able to see if someone is approaching, and they prefer to have more than one path out of the box if they need to escape, thus closets and unused shower stalls are often not ideal options for hiding places.
- If you feel that your cat is soiling because they prefer a different location, consider putting a litter box in that location.
- Cats might sometimes develop a phobia of the location in which the litter box is positioned.
- In a similar vein, a cat suffering from diarrhea may receive excrement on its feet or tail and link that discomfort with the location.
- I’ve even heard of a cat that stopped using its litter box, which was strategically positioned next to the toilet, because a teenage male in the household was “splashing” in the litter box!
- Conflict between cats in the home can sometimes lead to the development of an elimination problem.
- You should always have more litter boxes than cats in order to improve the possibility that there will be a clean box available at all times.
- The victim may be too terrified to go near the litter box if one cat is bullying and frightening the other.
- Even when one cat, usually the younger one, is attempting to lure the other cat to play, lying in wait can occur.
- If you have numerous cats and you’re not sure which one is urinating, talk to your veterinarian about delivering fluorescein, a non-toxic dye, to one of the cats to determine which cat is responsible.
- Cats can also be confined one at a time to discover which one is the source of the odor.
It is not recommended to use an ammonia-based cleaner. Because urine includes ammonia, washing with ammonia may cause the cat to return to the same location to pee again.
Steps to litter train (house train) your cat
Place the litter box in a location that is both convenient and peaceful for your cat. Make certain that the litter box is the appropriate size and kind for your cat’s needs. Generally speaking, a litter box should measure one and a half times the length of your cat. If you’re not sure, go with the bigger size!
2.) Type of cat litter
The majority of cats like soft, fine-grained litter. When it comes to litter, your cat may prefer one brand over another, so if you find one that he loves, stay with it. One approach to find out what he loves is to put multiple litter boxes out with different types of litter and allow him to select which one he wants. If you have more than one cat, you should have one litter box for each cat, plus one additional litter box.
3.) Take your cat to the litter box
After meals and naps, take him to his litter box until he understands what you’re trying to teach him. After meals and naps, place him in his box if it is in a separate room and lock the door behind him.
4.) Use treats to train your cat
After he has used his litter box, reward him with a treat.
5.) Cleaning your cat’s litter box
Ensure that you scoop the litter box every day, and that you wash the box once every one to two weeks, depending on the litter you use.
6.) No bad cats
If your cat has an accident, do not shout at him or strike him. Return to step one or read “What should I do if my cat won’t use the litter box?” for more information. It’s crucial to note that your cat’s litter box plays an important role in her daily life. Maintain it in a clean condition so that she will like using it. Learn about the upkeep of a cat’s litter box. Do you require further information? DownloadTreating and decreasing cat incontinence in the litter box (PDF) (PDF).