How to Get a Cat to Use a Litter Box
Loved by so many, cats are among the most popular pets around the world. While they may have charming antics that make us smile and laugh, they do have their off moments once in a while. This includes the dreadful moment where they have to let out their waste.
What makes this worse, though, is when they don’t know how to use a litter box and end up scattering their droppings at random places, giving you the hard task of cleaning up after them and an even harder one of having to endure the unpleasant smell.
What are litter boxes?
A litter box is basically a toilet for cats and could be considered a necessity just like cat food. It’s a good alternative to having them do their business outdoors as that could put them at risk. There are many litter boxes available in the market, which have come a long way from when they used to be just boxes filled with sand and ashes. Now, you’re provided with a wide range of options to give your cats a quality private place .
Litter boxes are made up of an assortment of components, including things like corn, clay, and crystals. These can help you a lot if your cat has been trained to use them. However, if that is not the case, then you must be prepared to overcome the many difficulties that may arise when you’re just starting out.
Steps to train your cat to use a litter box
While all cats do have the natural tendency to bury their waste, they may choose to bury it using other items in the house like your laundry or blanket instead of the litter box. The result will be leading to a giant mess, not to mention the smell that comes with it. The training of your cat to correctly use the litter box is one of the easiest and most basic things you can do as an owner.
Just follow these simple steps, and your cat should be able to use a litter box very soon:
- Choose the best litter box for your cat
There are a lot of litter boxes available in the pet section of supermarkets with a wide variety in sizes that you can choose from. It’s best to choose the box where your cat will feel most comfortable in, a box large enough to the point where he’ll be able to lay down in it with ease (remember that that’s not the objective of the box; it’s just an idea that you can use for measurement).
- Choose some good litter box material
With many choices provided, you can be assured that there is a type of litter out there that’s perfectly suited for your cat. The most common types are usually clay, paper, or wood pellet litters. These are mostly known to be good enough for almost all cats.
It’s recommended not to use anything with strong smells or antibacterial chemicals during the training period, and make sure to stay consistent. Don’t change the litter throughout the entire duration of training so that your cat will get used to it.
- Place the litter box in the right spot
To ensure that your litter box is placed in the perfect place, there are things you should follow. If possible, place the box in a corner or nook of your garage or storage room. It would also be good to place it somewhere close to the pet door. Don’t worry if that spot is colder than the main areas of your house. This won’t really matter since your cat won’t be spending too much time there.
Placing the box in the corner of your bedroom is okay to start potty training your cat, but unpleasant smells can be brought about by the waste and can make you feel really uneasy.
No matter where you place it, always make sure to secure the bottom with a newspaper. There will always be the possibility of your cat exceeding the boundaries of his box, thus creating more mess for you to take care of. This is why it’s always best to purchase a large box for your cat as mentioned earlier. After setting up the litter box in the right place, it’s time to introduce your cat to it.
- Introduce your cat to the litter box
First, fill the box with a good amount of litter and then guide him to where it is. Afterward, gently put him inside. While he’s watching you, try putting your hands inside the litter and getting a feel of it. That way you will show your cat that it’s perfectly safe and okay.
If your cat doesn’t seem to like it or walks away, just let him be and don’t worry. It’s very likely that he took note of where it’s located and is probably just waiting for some privacy or the moment that he’d need it.
- Associate the box with positivity and condition your cat to get used to it
If your cat is doing his business somewhere else, carry him immediately to the box. Surround him with praise and love when he uses the box. This will help him know that the box is a good thing and not something he should avoid. Even if it gets frustrating, do not scold your cat when he goes to the wrong spot. This might discourage him from using the box and can bring negative association into using it.
If your cat continuously goes to the wrong spot, try blocking it. Use other furniture to prevent him from any access. Continue to place your cat onto the litter until he gets used to it. Condition him into utilizing the box until it becomes a norm.
While training your cat to use the litter may seem like a tedious task at first, the results will definitely be worth it in the long run. Finally to avoid a lifetime job of collecting cat poop, a litter box may be exactly the thing you need.