How to train your cat to use the litter

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Cat lying down and in focus

Owning a kitten is an exciting experience. At the same time, it is eminent that you roll up your sleeves and think about some executing some priority tasks. Among these, the question of how to train your cat to use the litter box can be the most important.

Cat owners always struggle with the scenarios where their cat poops outside the litter box or even in the shower. Cat feces odor is strong and can be nose-crinkling, getting rid of it is another major headache.

Feline parents also come across the scenario where they need to retrain their cat to use the litter box. Irrespective of what triggers this need, the blog post features some actionable tips to train your cat to use the litter box.

Litter Checklist

To train your cat to use the litter box, it is inevitable that your armory has the following:

Litter box: Choose a litter box based on the size of your car, ensure that she can go without a struggle of fitting herself in.

Ideal to go with a strategy of a number of felines +1, i.e. get an additional litter box with respect to the number of cats you own. This strategy will enable you to do A/B testing to sort out your cat’s favorite location and preferred privacy settings.

Litter type: Here is a complete guide to choose the right litter type for your cat.

Treats and toys: This is the heart of the strategy, training pets is easier with treats and toys.

The litter box training guide

  • Introduce the box to her and let her get accustomed to it by sniffing and examining it. Ideal not to move the box once it’s been introduced to avoid confusing your cat.
  • Observe your cat; if she seems to like sniffing and crouching, it is a sign that she wants to go. You will have to pick and place her in the litter box at least the first two or three times.
  • Once she gets the idea and starts doing her business in the litter box, reward her immediately using her favorite treats and toys. Always remember that praising her and spending some quality time with her thereafter can also help her to associate this memory to a memorable one.  
  • Understand that accidents are inevitable and never show your frustration to her. This can only second anxiety and fear in her, which in turn will make the training process difficult.

How to train an older cat to use a litter box?

Training an older cat to use the litter box can be a tricky task. If the cat has been previously an indoor cat, stick with the same strategy and you might only need some time to figure out the location of the litter box and the privacy that she prefers.

If the cat has been an outdoor cat, consider the possibility of her preference i.e. going outdoors. This is where you can switch the strategy by using outdoor soil for the litter. Gradually reduce the soil and increase the litter to bring things back to normal.

How do you train a cat to cover its poop?

As mentioned earlier, cat poop can have a strong smell, it is ideal to have your cat to cover her own elimination. While older cats might do this job without any training, kittens require some training.

The best method is to train him by holding her paw and covering it up once she finishes going. Reward her straight away. Continue this for at least a week and observe the progress.

Why does my cat poop outside the litter box?

Your cat won’t use the litter box for the following reason:

  • Presence or addition of other cats or family members
  • Stress
  • Not taking a liking to the litter type
  • Unclean litter box

If the problem persists, take her to a veterinarian for a health checkup.

Consider these factors to ensure that you train your cat in the best possible when it comes to helping her to use the litter box. Let us know if we have missed anything.

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