Litter Box Training a Cat
So you’ve got your cute little kitten and you’re enjoying their company. The next thing you know the little fuzz ball finds its way into a corner and begins using the restroom behind your couch! While they’re just a baby you still must get this behavior under control to avoid more problems in the future. The good news is that you don’t have to take your cat for a walk, all you have to do is train them where they should use the bathroom in your house. Below are some basics on how to begin.
Litter Box Placement
The first order of business is to get litter boxes and strategically place them around your home. For every cat that you have there should be at least 2 litter boxes for them to visit when necessary. If you have an upstairs and a downstairs level, placing one on each floor is ideal. When placing the litter boxes, make sure that you place it in a location that is easy for the cat to get to but away from your common living areas as it can get a bit smelly. Some ideas might include a back porch (enclosed porch of course), the basement, or even your own bathroom.
Introducing Your Cat to the Litter Box
Once you’ve gotten the litter boxes placed around your home you will need to make sure your cat seems them. Pick your kitten up by the nape of their neck as their mother would and place them gently in the litter box. Allow them to smell the litter, scratch around in it, and get familiar with the area so that they know where to return.
Now that you have the litter boxes and your cat is familiar with where they are you will now have to show them what they are for. The next time your cat goes off in a corner to use the bathroom, you will first need to put the cat’s nose in the mess (gently), sternly say no, and then place them back in the litter box so that they know where they should go. This pattern will likely have to be repeated several times until they fully understand. To speed up the process you can also consider taking the cat’s feces and placing it into the litter box. Then allow the cat to smell their own feces in the litter box.
Never Beat or Isolate the Cat
Cats are very intuitive when it comes to emotion. When you’re training the cat it is very important that you’re stern in correcting their behaviors but not overly aggressive. You should never hit the cat or yell at them in order to get them to listen as this will backfire. Also trapping them in one room with a litter box is also not ideal as they can become easily depressed from being left alone.
Cat litter training is often a lot easier than training a dog to go outside so you should have this down packed within a few weeks. If you find that your cat is returning to old behaviors try these steps again or consult with a veterinarian as they may have some other medical condition causing them to urinate around the home.