Cats, in general, easily learn from what they observe in their surroundings. For litter box training, kittens learn from their parents if their mothers are trained in using a litter box. Adopted cats without any kind of training may not immediately take on as easy as your normal domesticated breed.
It’s important to do litter box training at the onset of their arrival at your home. As kittens, they’ll learn early how to move around the house and eliminate in the proper place you’ve prepared for them.
Training Them to Use the Litter Box
Here are 2 simple steps you can follow for your cat’s litter box training:
Step 1: Observe the schedule of your cat
Cats usually eliminate after sleeping, playing, or eating. Watch your cat after every meal and observe when they start to either sniff around a specific location or crouch to prepare to eliminate.
If they eliminate after playing, you can just play with them near the litter box. This way, you can immediately direct them to the box when the right time comes.
Knowing when they take a dump or pee can help you determine when you need to place them on the litter box.
Step 2: Teach them how to use the litter box
Now that you know about their schedule, you can just carry them to the box when they’re about to eliminate. After they’re done, teach them how to cover their waste by scooping some litter using your fingers and putting it over their waste.
Be patient as it may take some time before they understand what you’re trying to teach them.
Don’t use your cat’s paws to scoop the litter over their waste. This will just frighten them, making it harder to proceed with their litter box training.
General litter box training Tips
Here are some tips to observe when doing your litter box training:
- Give them a small reward whenever they successfully use the litter box. This will serve as a positive reinforcement for them.
- Put the litter box in a quiet location, away from noisy appliances.
- Don’t place the litter box near the area where they eat or sleep.
- Avoid using disinfectants or cleansers with strong scents. The scent may stick to the litter box and cause your cats to be aversive.
- Always put an extra box for your cats. If you have 2 cats at home, put 3 litter boxes around the house; 4 boxes if you have 3 cats, and so on and so forth.
Common Litter Box Problems
There are several reasons why your cat may not use their litter box:
- Uncomfortable to use
The box may be placed too far or in an area where it’s hard for them to reach. Make sure you put it where it’s easily accessible to your cats.
- Box is full
No one wants to use a dirty toilet. The same thing applies to cats. They won’t use a litter box that’s already full so make sure you clean them regularly.
- Wrong litter
Scented litters can discourage your cats from using it. Cats also have texture preferences so you may need to experiment to determine which type of litter your cats favor to use.
- Your cat is suffering from a urinary tract infection
If you’ve ruled out every possible scenario we’ve listed above, consult your veterinarian for possible medical problems your cat may have.
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