One of the most important things to do with your kitten is to learn her what is a cat litter and how to properly litter train your cat for her potty habits.
It’s best to start at a young period when they are just 2 – 3 weeks old. In an ideal environment, they will have their mom to show them how to do potty habits. But in this case, you will be her trainer. So keep reading to learn how to train your cat to use a cat litter box.
Preparation – Things and Tools Needed For the Litter Training
The Right Litter Box
First, let’s cover the litter box’s size. It should be at least roughly one and a half times your cat’s length. Secondly, it is a debate around the type of cat litter box, opened or closed type. Generally, in the ideal world, it would be a cat’s personal choice. But from our experience, we recommend a cat litter box with top entry.
Because closed type boxes can get stinky pretty fast and your cat will definitely do her potty habits outside the litter box and that top entry is a solution for the smell to “evaporate” if you didn’t scoop on time or you excellently have forgotten to do it. Closed sides will help with keeping a cat litter in a box.
The Right Cat Litter
By default, the first thing about cat litter is to keep it clean! Even the best clumping cat litter or litter specialized in smell elimination won’t save you. Your cat won’t eliminate in a cat litter box with a smelly and multiple feces inside.
A lot of cats prefer small grained litter because it feels softer to their paws but aren’t in general very picky about their litter. If they are picky, it has something to do with a smell or a texture and be sure to choose another type of litter.
Your best choice to start with is unscented clumping cat litter which you can change later if needed.
Treats and Toys
Toys are here used as tools for making an environment around the litter box more friendly. After your kitty goes into the litter box and finishes her potty habits praise her with her favorite treats. Be sure to repeat that positive reinforcement.
So How To Litter Train a Cat
Potty training your cat is a process that demands some patience, dedication and some bribery. Although the majority of cats have a natural instinct to use the litter box, with kitties and cats that were mostly outdoor animals, you are going to put some effort into it.
First, get yourself a nice, big litter box and fill it with a suitable cat litter. The best choice for the start would be to avoid scented litter, as it might confuse your untrained cat.
Pick a location for the litter box, somewhere ventilated and with the touch of privacy for your cat. Resist the urge to put the litter box in some remote corner of the basement or under the stairs. The location of the litter box must be available to your cat at any time, otherwise, it is pointless.
Your cat must get used to an idea of the litter box, so put some toys around it, spray it with the cat attractant and play with your cat near it, so she gets a safe feeling around the litter box.
Observe your cat’s potty habits and notice when she has to go to the toilet. Cats usually use the litter after sleeping, eating or outside adventure. When your little pet starts sniffing around and fidget, that’s usually the sign she needs to pee or poop.
Take your cat gently and put it in the litter box, and keep her there until she is done. Some kittens don’t even know how to cover their feces, so if that’s the case with your cat, show them how to burry their excrements.
After a couple of tries and fails, your cat will surely manage to properly use the litter box. Encourage her to use the litter box with some treats for every successful use, and arm yourself with a lot of patience through the whole process. Positive reinforcement is always encouraging, for you and your feline.
Remember never to yell at your cat when she has an “accident” as it can develop serious anxiety related to the using of the litter box. Cats are in a very vulnerable position when they use the litter box, so they must associate the litter box with good vibes, otherwise, they will simply not use it.
Conclusion on Training a Cat To Use The Litter Box
Long story short:
- Don’t yell at your cat
- Be persistent
- Keep the litter box clean
- Use treats as positive reinforcement after eliminating in the litter box
In the video below you will see a recommendation from PetMD, dr. Katy Nelson on cat litter and how to choose the right one:
Litter Box Problems – ASPCA
How to Litter Train a Cat – PetMD
Training Your Kitten to Use the Litter Box – Hill’s Pet
Photos from: cynoclub / depositphotos.com, belchonock / depositphotos.com.
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