In general, cats are less easily tamed than dogs, but getting your cat used to the litter box can be easy if you follow the right tips.
Educating a cat about the litter box
The litter must be placed on the opposite side from the bowls , to ensure that the four-legged gets used to its use, but does not associate it with food: and who would like to go to the toilet where it eats?
First place it in a spacious box: puppies should not be kept in too large spaces. When you go to the room, follow the same rules. Rules that are also useful if the cat has stopped using the litter box, or is an adult and has never learned.
Already at thirty days of life, the kitten approaches the litter box. But if it is without a mother, show them how to use it: simply by scratching off the sand with a finger . If it gets dirty outside, try putting it back in the box several times in the same day.
To help them in the association between needs and box, you can try to place them in the litter box a couple of times a day and, with a cotton swab, wet its private parts with a little water.
Let them smell it, cat must first recognize it as a friend. When cat is able to do its needs alone, for the first few times it might be a good idea to reward cat with treats .
Getting your cat used to the litter box: the times and the basics
It takes a cat 2 to 4 weeks to learn how to use it . To facilitate the learning process, you can also buy more litter boxes, clean them more often and change their shape frequently.
It is important that it be shown to cat right away, especially if you see cat digging around. At that point, without scolding cat, accompany it to where the toilet box is. Cats prefer to hide their feces, so if you’re lucky, they may quickly understand its usefulness.
If there are several cats, each one must have its own litter box; felines don’t like sharing a bathroom. And it is also better to place one per floor, in case the house is arranged on several levels.
If the cat gets dirty outside the litter box
If your cat has already gotten used to littering outside, it may take a little longer. It will be enough to eliminate the odors of the needs from the designated place, and continue to show it the litter, to prevent it from returning.
The position of the litter box inside the room is crucial. The place must be quiet, where there are not too many noises or comings and goings: it is not said, for example, that the laundry is the right place.
Also make sure it is protected and away from dogs, if you have any. Unfortunately, dogs have a tendency to eat feces, even cat feces. A child safety gate could be for you.
Once chosen, it is better not to change it: cats are very habitual, and it could be difficult, then, to get used to them again. In case you are forced to move the cassette, do it step by step: so as not to confuse it.
It must also be an accessible place, close at hand and that you tend not to avoid. If this happens, it could be that the cassette is dirty.
It must be cleaned every day and washed at least once a week. It is indeed important not to overdo the frequency, or the cat may lose association with it.
Initially, it may even be helpful to leave the litter dirty, to help the puppy combine the needs with the litter box. Avoid perfumed products , to eliminate bad smells, because they could annoy it, and push it to go elsewhere.
Accustom the cat to the closed litter box
The type of litter box is also important. First of all it needs a spacious and deep one, to allow the four-legged to turn around and dig as it sees fit. In this regard, therefore, it is better to immediately take it large, even if it is a puppy, to avoid having to re-educate it later.
But accessibility also matters. For an elderly or sick cat, a litter box that is too high could be a problem, which can be solved by creating a slight rise or buying one with low sides.
And then: open or closed? A closed toilet box or with a tilting door helps to contain bad smells, but the pet’s tastes do a lot. Some like the closed one because they love privacy , others get agitated. But it might be enough to get used to them right away.
Cat allergic to litter
It can happen that a cat is allergic to its litter box. Older cats, kittens and cats suffering from viral immunodeficiency (FIV) are the most susceptible. This depends on the components present in it, that’s why choosing the right one counts.
Cat allergic to litter box symptoms
Allergens already present in the litter tray, such as pearls, flavors, recycled newspapers and clay, can give rise to various symptoms.
- He retched
- Swelling of the face (from anaphylactic shock)
- Scratches and bites during grooming
- Scratches around the ears
- The cat dirties around
- The cat licks itself a lot from the itch
- More chewing
This type of allergy can be diagnosed through blood or intradermal tests . If you have ruled out other types of allergies, change the litter tray and contact your veterinarian.
Getting your cat used to the litter box: how to avoid allergies
It is possible to prevent cat allergy to the litter box by taking care of:
- Change the litter box : the transition should be gradual, so as not to scare cat. Wait at least 2 weeks.
- Collect their needs.
- Wash the litter box to eliminate allergens.
- Bathe the cat to remove residues from the previous litter box.
- Opt for a hypoallergenic cassette .
Re-educate the cat to the litter box
If a cat has stopped using the litter box, it is best to call the vet right away to make sure there are no physical or behavioural problems. It can happen that an adult starts peeing around, but it usually happens because they are sick, stressed, or bored.
Cat does not pee in the litter box
Once it is determined that it is not cystitis, it is necessary to explore the causes that may have changed its behaviou . If they get dirty around it could be a symptom of discomfort; perhaps they associate unpleasant memories with a place in the house.
Maybe it is just shy or reserved, but if the cat continues to dirty everywhere only when you are away, it could be a ‘spite’, a nervous reaction due to the distance of the owner.
Scolding cat is not the solution nor nudging it about needs. It would not teach cat what you want, on the contrary, it could lead the cat to repeat the gesture.
But it may be useful to throw the droppings in the litter box so that the association can be made. As a last resort, place water and food in the place where he has chosen as a toilet: to discourage it.
Accustom a stray cat to the litter box
Getting a stray cat used to the litter box may be more difficult. If the quadruped also has the possibility to go to the toilet outside, it will tend to choose this option. But it may never use the litter box anyway.
Many strays tend to use the litter box as a bed. The methodologies to teach them the correct use, is the same as for adult cats, but if they do not work, it is better to fall back on a compromise. Put a sleeper where it usually needs to be, or opt for newspaper.
How to teach your cat to go to the toilet
Some owners prefer their cat to use the toilet in order to eliminate the bad smells associated with the litter box, plus the extra time it takes to clean it.
There are kits on the market to facilitate the learning process, which is faster, the younger the cat is. These are 3 discs to be placed on the toilet. Choose the closed one, similar to a litter box with low edges, and fill it with the litter.
After fifteen days, change the ring and do not fill it. The last one is wider, a sort of edge that mates with the toilet. The first few times, the cat will still feel the urge to dig , but once the water has cleared the odors, it will get used to it.
There are conflicting opinions regarding teaching the cat to use the toilet. Some believe that it distort their nature, therefore, it would be better to get used to it only if it learns on its own, often by emulation of its master.