How To Make Sure Your Cat Uses the Litter Box

Simple Steps to Keep a Clean Home

Cat box

You would be surprised at how fast kittens pick up on using a litter box. Unlike dogs, there is practically no housetraining involved. Unfortunately, sometimes the smallest change in your cat's surroundings will cause her to stop using the litter box, and find other places in your home instead. Here is a step-by-step way to help your cat use her litter box every time.

Step 1

Choose an appropriate box. This point cannot be stressed enough. Your cat should want and be able to use the litter box.

If you have a kitten, then the sides of the box should be low enough where she can enter and exit easily.

If you have multiple cats, then you need multiples litter boxes. Each cat should have her own.

Try to get one that has a removable hood. Many cats like the extra privacy, while others do not. Since you do not know yet, it's a good idea to buy one that has an optional hood.

Step 2

Choose a good place for the box. You probably don't enjoy using the bathroom in the presence of your whole family, so apply this feeling to your cat. Most cats prefer going to the litter box at a quiet time when there are not many people around.

Don't place the litter box in the noisiest area of your home. Instead, find a quiet corner or bathroom. If you have a large house, then you may want to consider using more than one box for each cat.

If you have a dog, then he should not be able to access the litter box. First, he may try to bother your cat when she needs peace. Second, young puppies are known to eat what your kitten leaves behind.

Step 3

Introduce your cat to the box. From watching their mothers, many kittens pick up on proper toilet training. Their natural instinct causes them to search for sand or loose dirt.

When you bring your cat home, place her in the litter box. Move her paws around so she can feel the litter as she scratches.

Repeat this process a couple of times throughout the day. You'd be surprised at how quickly your kitten learns.

If the kitten uses the bathroom in a place other than the litter box, then don't get angry. She won't understand why you are angry. Instead, thoroughly clean the area and reintroduce her to the box again.

Step 4

Avoid common problems.

  • Bringing home a new box or changing the litter can cause your cat to not use the box.
  • Litter is a major concern. You may have to try multiple types before your cat is happy. If your kitten is still refusing to use the box, then go ahead and change the litter.
  • If you change the location of the box constantly, then this may upset your cat. She will not like searching for her bathroom multiple times a day anymore than you would.
  • In some cases, stress-related issues may cause your cat to stop using the box. If you bring home a new pet or if your dog is bothersome to her, then she may be too stressed to use the box.
  • Cleanliness is one of the most common causes of elimination problems. Cats are clean. Just watch them: they clean themselves multiple times a day. If you do not clean out their boxes at least daily (twice a day or more is preferred), then they will simply refuse to use it.

Step 5

Rely on these common solutions. All problems should be handled carefully. You should never get angry with your cat, because she does not understand why you are angry. If she is not using the box because of stress-related problems, then anger and yelling will only add to her stress.

  • Each time you change the litter, reintroduce your kitten or adult cat to the box. Every litter has a different odor and texture, so your cat may not recognize that it is litter.
  • Once you find a litter that your cat likes, stick to it. There is no sense in taking the risk of your cat not using the box. Often, you don't have to stick to the specific brand, but you need to stick to the texture. For instance, if she is a fan of litter with crystals, then don't bring home litter without crystals.
  • Get rid of the stresses in her life. Separate her and the dog or new pet.
  • Keep the litter box clean and in the same location.

Article written by Shelly Seigler. Find Elite pet products at low prices with Discount Pet Mall. Shop Uniquely for dog training collars, electric dog fences, & bark collars

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I have kept cats for many years and had no problems with them using litter boxes. Another point to note is that the litter box should not be in any such place that could get locked or blocked from the cat e.g if the door to that room gets shut and she needs to go, she'll get anxious and do it somewhere else. The room with the litterbox could have a cat-door to prevent that.

By Sadaf Farooqi