Cats – our furry keepers! We love them and their majestic nature, but we don’t necessarily love all of them. We’re talking about elimination that’s not in a litter box. While using a litter box can be second nature for some kittens, if it’s not for yours, how can you potty train her so you only find extra fur around your home and not…well…accidents.
The Litter Box
Cats really are just like humans and have specific preferences about where and how they eliminate. Consider:
- Location: place the litter box in an easily accessible, quiet, little to no traffic area, that is not cornered in or next to their food and water.
- Ensure proper size: Make sure you have the proper size box for your kitten and note that as they grow, you’ll need to size up the box. This will help minimize risk of going outside the designated potty area.
- Provide options. Some cats prefer those that are hooded, while most don’t. If you have a box with a hood or a liner and you’re having issues with litter training, remove the hood or liner to see if this fixes the issue.
- Litter type: Most cats prefer litter that clumps easily and is unscented. As much as we love lavender scented litter, our cats don’t.
- Litter height: It might be tempting to pour the whole bag of litter in the box, but cats prefer shallow litter beds, one – two inches of litter max!
One Box / Cat Rule and One Extra
Cats do not like sharing their litter box. If you have more than one cat in your home, provide at least one box for each cat plus an additional one.
Make going potty a positive experience for your cat and remember, it is not the same as training a puppy. Cats are much more private when eliminating, whereas we’ve had many an uncomfortable staring contest with our dogs while they, erm…go.
- Play: try playing near the litter box with her or leave treats and toys in the general area, but not right next to it.
- Accidents: accidents happen! Do not scold or rub your kitten’s button nose in the urine or feces or drag her to the litter box if you catch her in an accident. If she does have an accident, clean it ASAP with an enzymatic cleanser (not an ammonia-based one) to neutralize pet odors and deter reoccurrence.
Cats prefer a clean place to do their business, so 1) scoop clumps out of the box each day, and 2) wash the litter box with baking soda and unscented soap once a week and replace with fresh litter. Without this, they’re more likely to find their own spot outside of the litter box.
At the end of the day, litter box training your kitten should be an easy, straightforward process. Make it enjoyable and your cat will thank you (in their own way, of course).
Still have questions about litter box training your kitten or cat? Give us a call – we’re always here to help you and your furry family members!