I am a cat lover, I have always been a cat lover. I started with just one, now I can not turn away a hungry nose when they show up on my door step. As a result, I now have more than one kitten in my home. With each cat that I take in, regardless of age, one of the first steps to incorporating them into our home is to litter box train them. Thankfully, cats are naturally inclined to eliminate in sand and loose soil. There are just a few simple tips for successful litter box training.
Tips For Litter Box Training
- Location, Location, Location: It is important to make sure your kitten knows the location of the litter box. Make sure the box is in a private, easy-to-reach place. Soon after you bring your kitten home, take them to the litter box, showing them where it is. Place them into the litter box, gently take their front paws and show them how to scratch at the litter. Don’t be alarmed if they jump right out again. Place them in the box at the times throughout the day when a cat would normally go to the bathroom: first thing in the morning, after meals, playing, and waking up from a nap. Remember that cats prefer privacy when using the litter box, so once you see that they is using the box, leave them alone.
- The Box: There are many types of litter boxes available, including covered boxes, self-cleaning boxes, and boxes designed to fit into corners. Make sure the litter boxes you provide are the right size(s) for your cat(s). Some animal behaviorists say that the litter boxes people provide are often too small. Keep in mind that kittens or geriatric cats may need boxes with lower sides. If you need a large box with relatively low sides, consider re-purposing a sweater storage box. Some cats may feel more secure in a litter box with a hood. This can also be helpful for cats who dig very enthusiastically and those who stand on the edge of the box during elimination. However, a hooded box can concentrate odor and should be cleaned daily. The new automatic self-cleaning litter boxes can save on clean-up time, but some models are noisy. My cats were terrified of the automatic cleaning box, but my friend’s cat doesn’t seem to mind. If you have several cats, you might want to provide several types of litter boxes and let your cats choose between them.
- The Litter: In general, cats seem to like a litter that has the consistency of beach sand or garden soil. Two inches of litter in the box is usually sufficient. It generally works better to use less litter and change it more frequently. Cats also tend to prefer tight clumping litter. I prefer Tidy Cats, the first to invent litter. Tidy Cats provides continuous odor control, light & tight clumps for easy scooping, is powerfully absorbent and 99.9% dust free. And now they have made it even better! The new scoopable Tidy Cats litter is half the weight, but all the strength! The best part is it is available at Dollar General in a resealable, recyclable 8.5 lb Jug for just $11.50! No more breaking your back or your wallet!
- Cleanliness: Cats are extremely clean creatures, and they may avoid a litter box that is not cleaned often enough. Scoop the litter boxes at least once a day. Wash the litter box and change the litter completely once a week. Strong smelling disinfectant may be a deterrent to your cats, be sure to rinse the box well after washing it. Any accidents should be cleaned up with an enzyme cleaner specifically made for pet stains, including cat urine. Regular cleaners may mask the odor, we can’t smell it, but to a cat’s superior sense of smell, the odor will still be discernible and can prompt a cat to continue to use that area as the bathroom.
Cats are a pleasure in our home and soon to be in yours. If you find that you are in need of more helpful info on pet care and products, check out your local Dollar General to learn more about Purina® pet foods and treats! Good luck and happy cat training!