How to teach your cat to go to the litter box

How to teach your cat to go to the litter box

admin November 17, 2020

Getting your cat used to the litter box is not a mission impossible. Choose dog proof litter box.

Welcoming a cat into your home is an exciting time for both the family and the newcomer. You’ll want to start playing and introducing your cat to the new home right away, but getting your cat used to the litter box is a vital first step in making sure your new friend is comfortable. Here’s how to teach your cat to the toilet in the litter box in five steps that will make this process much less stressful.

1. Choose the right cat litter box

Your cat instinctively searches for sandy places to go to the toilet, but there are a few steps you can take to encourage her to use the litter box. According to experts in feline behavior, most owners buy a cat litter that is too small. A good rule of thumb when shopping is to choose one that’s one and a half times your cat’s length.

The type of litter box can also affect how your cat uses it. For example, older cats are often affected by diseases such as arthritis, and choosing a high-sided litter box is not recommended: a low-sided litter box is best for easier access and use by the cat. Or very nervous cats may not like covered litter boxes. When a cat has trouble using the litter box, it is often enough to simply replace it with a different model.

2. Choose the right sand 

Try different types of litter for your cat’s litter box until you find one that they like. There are two main types:

  • Clumping cat litter: it forms lumps when it absorbs moisture and makes it easier to clean as you just need to remove the lumps and add a little sand to the used area. It is usually composed of absorbent clay, which can be dusty and non-biodegradable. There are alternatives based on plant fibers that are biodegradable and solve the problem of dust.
  • Non-clumping cat litter: it is made up of different materials, including silicon crystals. It costs a little more but also lasts longer, is not dusty, and is biodegradable. There are also biodegradable non-clumping bedding, made up of recycled pine wood or paper pellets, which are absorbent and do not generate dust but which need to be changed more frequently.

If you adopt an adult cat, try to use the same litter it is used to.

3. Evaluate the position of the litter well

The location of the cat litter box is as important as the size of the litter box or the type of litter. It is best to choose a place that is quiet, accessible, and away from the food bowl. Show your new cat immediately where the litter box is and reward him the first few times he uses it.

If it’s a kitten, get it used to by placing it in the litter box several times a day at different times (such as when you wake up or after eating). Like people, cats need privacy when they do their business, so if you see your cat getting ready to use the litter box, just walk away and come back to clean it only when you’re sure it’s done.

4. Clean the litter box if you want the cat to reuse it

Cats are rather clean animals and refuse to use a dirty litter box. You must therefore know exactly how to clean the cat litter box. Remove the litter used once a day and replace it once a week, after cleaning the litter box with a mild disinfectant and rinsing it.

5. Make several litter boxes available

It is not only important to know how to use the cat litter, but also where to place it and how many litter boxes to take. Most experts agree that every cat must have its own litter box and that one must have a spare.

Older cats may have a hard time finding or reaching the litter box and so adding a few more around the house will help them always have one available nearby.

What to do if the cat doesn’t want to know about using the litter box?

If your cat struggles to use the litter box systematically or stops using it suddenly, try these tricks:

  • Regardless of age, if your cat stops using the litter box and does his business around the house, book a visit to the vet to rule out any health problems such as urinary tract infections, feline interstitial cystitis, or bladder stones that may cause pain when urinating.
  • If you have other cats as well, make sure they aren’t preventing the newcomer from using the litter box. Increasing the number of litter boxes available can help solve the problem.
  • Check that all cat litter boxes have the proper amount of litter. Most cats prefer litter boxes that are not too deep (no more than 5 cm).
  • If your cat is particularly fussy, try purchasing a self-cleaning litter box.

Your cat may still have some hiccups from time to time, especially if it’s a kitten, but nothing that can’t be solved with perseverance and a good cleaning product!

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