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Most kittens learn from their mother how to use the litter box but if you adopt a cat and it still hasn’t been trained, you will have to figure out a way to do that yourself. Sometimes, even trained cats seem to forget this habit so they need to be reeducated to maintain a proper cleanliness at home. If you are struggling to get your cat used to go to the litter, you will be happy to discover our quick and simple training tips.

Why it’s so important to use the litter box

Cats are, by nature, clean animals that like to maintain a proper hygiene and for that, they clean themselves most of the time. This is why they must be litter box-trained as a kitten to make sure they remain clean and tidy their entire life. If you adopt a grown cat that doesn’t know how to use the litter, you will still have to train it. The cats need to create a routine that must involve the litter because, unlike dogs, they don’t require walks for relieving themselves and they spend most of the time indoors. Even if your cat spends the majority of the time wandering outside, you still need to get it used to the litter for when it comes back into the house. Mainly, this is necessary for its personal hygiene but also for the cleanliness of your home.

Choosing the best litter box

What kind of box you choose also influences how fast the cat will start using it. You have plenty of choices in stores but you need to pick the one that will attract your cat. If you own a kitten, get a lower one that will allow it to get in and out without difficulties. As the cat grows and it will start throwing litter over the sides, you can replace the box with a taller one. The length is also important because if the cat doesn’t sit comfortably, it will not use the box.
Choose a plastic litter box that can be easily cleaned and keep it very clean at all times. The cat will avoid it if the smell is too strong so wash the exterior sides as well after throwing away the clumping cat litter. As a tip, put a garbage bag over the box then pour the litter so when you will have to dispose of it, you can grab the bag and throw it.

Self-cleaning litter boxes are the newest trend that will make cat owners’ lives easier. The best automatic self cleaning litter box uses a special mechanism that separates the waste from the clumping litter so you won’t have to touch it when cleaning it. The clumping litter is also important so make sure you choose the best one that can even be scented to prevent bad odors at home.

How to train the cat to use it

The process is similar to potty-training in toddlers with the difference that you will be teaching an animal and not a human being, which is harder. Thankfully, cats have a certain instinct that will be your ally in the process. Our tips will also come in handy so make sure you take notes.

  • Observe the cat’s schedule/h4>

In order to train the cat to use the litter box, you must first check its schedule and notice when it feels the need to relieve itself. Make sure you are around at that time and that you direct it towards the box. Usually, the cat will go take a dump after a nap, after playing or right after eating, so those are the times you need to keep your eyes open.

  • Don’t put the food and water near the litter box

You might be tempted to put the food and water bowls near the litter box so that the cat will go there after eating and drinking water in case it feels the urge to relieve itself. This is wrong because cats never excrete near the place where they eat due to a natural impulse they have. Make sure the bowls are away from the litter so the cat will not reject it.

  • Put the waste in the litter

If the cat drops outside the box, don’t throw it to the bin. Put it inside the litter so the cat will see it and smell it the next time you will take it to the box. Show it the waste and it will associate it with the litter box so next time it feels like dropping something on the floor, it will go to the box instead.

  • Teach it yourself

Relax, this doesn’t mean that you have to use the box yourself but a little showing will help the cat get a better idea of what it’s supposed to do with the clumping litter inside. Use your finger to dig a hole in the litter and even cover its waste with litter afterward. Don’t use its paw thinking that it will help it understand better because it will actually make it anxious. Put a rubber glove on if you are not comfortable with touching the litter.

  • Don’t yell at the cat

Accidents happen and the cat will probably create a mess many times but this is no reason for you to yell at it and scold it. Its problems might be medical and yelling will only cause it to feel frightened of you and develop an antisocial behavior.

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