Cats are known for being clean animals. However, unlike with self-grooming, they are not born knowing how to use a litter box. Luckily, litter box training can be surprisingly easy. Follow these tips for a successful and easy process.
The Best Box
Make sure your cat can get in and out of their box comfortably. Kittens cannot climb into tall boxes, and short boxes may feel cramped for larger kitties. You will need many different litter boxes throughout your cat’s life. Most cats and owners prefer a box with a hood. They provide extra privacy for your cat, and they confine unwanted odors.
Pick a Good Spot for the Box
It is important to put your cat’s litter box in an optimal spot. If they dislike the spot, they will not use the box. Like humans, most cats like privacy for their restroom needs. Pick a place that humans or other animals rarely visit, such as the laundry room or a secluded bathroom. Ensure that your cat has access to their box at all times; you never know when they will need it. If you have more than one cat, strive to have one box for every cat, plus one. It is best for them to have options, especially when starting out.
Litter Box Upkeep
The best cat litter depends on your cat’s specific needs. Clumping litter, though often more expensive than granulated, conceals more odor and is easier to clean. Many cats dislike scented litter, but it can mask what many owners lovingly call the “cat smell.” Oftentimes, choosing a litter is a trial and error process. If your cat is refusing to use their box, you may want to try a new type of litter.
Because cats are so clean, they will not use a dirty box. You should scoop litter boxes once or twice a week, switching out the litter about once a week. Plastic litter boxes do not last forever; once they start to smell (despite regular scooping and cleaning), you should replace them. Your cat (and your nose) will thank you.
While cats are very clean, they are also very stubborn. Don’t get too disheartened if your cat is not using their box. Keep switching their box’s location and litter type as needed. Stressed cats are less likely to use a box. If your cat is consistently pottying outside of their box or their urine/feces looks abnormal, contact your vet.
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