Categories: Cat Behavior

Litter training

Litter training your kitten

Cats are clean creatures by nature. Teaching them to use a litter box does much to encourage this inherent instinct. Most kittens and cats are easily trained to use the litter box. They will continue to use it until it becomes too dirty. Here are a few tips for litter training your kitten:

  • Place the litter box in an accessible, clean and relatively quiet location. Make sure that it is always available to your kitten. Keep the litter box out of any other children’s reach as well as any other animals that you have in your home
  • When you have found a place to put the litter box, show your kitten where it is. Put her in the box and allow her to sniff
  • If you have multiple cats, you may want to consider using a separate litter box for each one
  • Keep the litter box clean. Scoop out the litter box daily, and change it weekly putting in fresh litter. Usually 1 ½ inches of litter is plenty
  • Do not put the kitten’s litter box by her food and water
  • Thoroughly clean any accidents that your kitten may have. If your kitten does have an accident, clean the area immediately with a half and half solution of water and white vinegar
  • Never punish your kitten or cat when they have an accident
  • If you find that your kitten is not using her litter box, then find out why.

This may be due to a variety of reasons such as:
  1. Your kitty’s litter is too dirty – This is probably the most common reason. Clean out her litter once a day and see if this helps
  2. Stress – Your feline may be anxious about new furniture, new carpeting, a move or a new person or pet in the house
  3. She is attracted to a location that had been previously soiled. – If your cat often returns to one spot, it may possibly be a spot where she or another pet had previously had an accident.

In order to make this spot less attractive to your pet, here are some following tips:

  • Put your kitty’s food bowl there. – Cats do not like to go to the bathroom in the same place that they eat
  • Neutralize odor – In order to get ride of any smell, use a solution of half white vinegar and half water
  • Cover the problem area with a plastic sheet. This is make it very unpleasant for your kitty and will discourage her from eliminating there
  • Your cat may not like the brand of cat litter you are using. – Cats can be very finicky. If you have recently changed to a new type of cat litter, change it back. If you can’t, then experiment with different kinds of cat litter until you hit on one that your kitty likes to facilitate litter training
  • Your cat may not be able to find her litter box.- This is especially true in young kittens and after a move. Place her litter box in an accessible, clean and relatively quiet place and show your cat where you put it. To begin with, it is better to have the litter box on the same floor as the cat
  • It may be that your cat is marking his territory. Male cats will sometimes spray urine to mark their territory. This should be a good reason for have your pet neutered.

In addition to litter training note that there are different dangers associated with using other kinds of cat litter. For example, clay cat litter happens to be very dusty, and it may cause your kitten or cat to have respiratory problems. This kind of cat litter is neither compostable nor bio-degradable.

Clumping clay cat litter contains the compound sodium bentonite. This often swells with moisture. The clay particles stick to the cat’s fur and are very often ingested. Then the clay swells in the cat’s digestive system and lungs. This can lead to the formation of blockages. Clumping clay cat litter is not compostable or bio-degradable.

There are also clay litters on the market today that have deodorizing crystals which are made of silica which is a known cancer causing agent or carcinogen. These cat litters are also not compostable or bio-degradable.

At first glance you would think that cedar and pine shavings would be considered safe enough for your kitten or cat. Quite the contrary is true! This type of litter contains phenol which may cause lung irritation. If the kitten is exposed to it for a long time, it may cause liver damage. Many pet supply stores are now starting to remove these products from their shelves due to this fact.

This article has attempted to teach you litter training and to also point out the different hazards of certain types of cat litter.

Resources
Cat Litter Box Training & Housesoiling Problems
Litter-Training Your Cat

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in a many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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