Congratulations! You are the proud owner of a new cat. Now you just need to litter train your cat.
For most new owners, this is one of the first things on their minds. You want to get your cat accustomed to using a litter box right away to avoid any accidents.
Fortunately for new cat owners, teaching your cat how to use a litter box is relatively easy. It basically boils down to familiarizing your cat with the litter box and buying the right cat litter.
So we have compiled this guide to help you teach your cat how to use a litter box with little incidents.
There are a few supplies to acquire before bringing your new cat home in order to litter train them.
It is a good idea to get multiple litter boxes. Ideally, you want 1 more litter box than the number of cats in your home. For example, if you have 1 cat then you will have 2 litter boxes and if you have 2 cats then there should be 3 litter boxes.
You want these litter boxes to be in different rooms in the house and in spots that aren’t too exposed. Similar to humans, cats like doing their business in privacy.
There are many different types of litter on the market, you can get clumping, scented, and even colored cat litter.
Most cats aren’t picky about the litter they use but it is best to start with a scented clumping litter and change it later once your cat is litter trained.
Scoops And Bags
These are needed to clean up poop daily.
Toys And Treats
You will want to keep these close by in order to reward your cat for using the litter box.
Introduce Them To The Litter Box
The first day you bring your cat home you need to introduce them to their litter box. Allow them to have time to explore and sniff the box. Once they have examined their box don’t move it as that can cause confusion.
Next, you have to put your cat in the litter box every time you anticipate it may need it. This should be after every meal, nap, or if they are sniffing or crouching around as if they are looking for a place to go.
Every time they use the box make sure you reward and praise them. Don’t punish your cat for any accidents, this can make training them to use a little box much more difficult.
If they have consistent accidents in a certain area try moving the litter box there as they clearly enjoy going in that spot.
Cleaning The Litter Box
You need to make sure that you clean your cat’s litter box daily, this is to encourage your cat to use it more and to remove harsh smells.
By scooping out the poop, it means you save litter as you aren’t changing the litter box as frequently. You only need to change out the litter when it stops masking the smell of the litter box.
When replacing the litter you can also use that time to disinfect the litter box. You can do this with warm soapy water and white vinegar. You should avoid harsh chemicals like bleach as they can irritate your cat. You can line your litter box with newspaper or plastic liners for easier cleaning next time.
If your cat has accidents anywhere in the house apart from their litter box then you need to properly clean that area to remove any smells. Your cat will be attracted to any smell that remains and may be inclined to go there again.
Litter Training Older Cats
A benefit of getting an older cat is that most of them are already litter trained but if you adopt an outdoor or feral cat it may be more difficult.
Your best method would be to mix soil in with the litter and slowly reduce the amount of soil in the box.
Every cat learns to use a litter box at different paces, some pick it up immediately and others will take months. It is important to stay patient with your cat and anticipate accidents.
If litter training isn’t working it may be time to change up your methods. Try using a different cat litter, change the location of the box, or get one that is covered. Over time you will learn your cat’s quirks and how they prefer to use the toilet.