Litter Training Your Cat

By December 09 | See Comments

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When it comes to clean pets, cats rank right at the top. They are very clean animals and the best part is they often pass on the qualities to their young ones. So, if you’ve adopted a kitten from another owner or a pet store, there’ s a very good chance the little guy or gal has already been trained to use the litter by his/her mother. The only thing you need to concern yourself with is providing a big enough litter box for your kitten to get around easily. However, if you’ve adopted a stray kitten or a very young kitten, you will be tasked with the responsibility of litter training it. So, here are a few tips to help you out.

Basics

Young kittens (3 weeks old) need to be stimulated to pass stools or urine right after they’ve been fed. To get this done, wipe the kitten’s genital area with a paper towel/washcloth that has been dampened with warm water. Remember to be gentle.As your kitten grows older, his//her natural instincts will kick in. As soon as he/she starts walking, introduce the litter box. Use a box with a lower lip for easier access. Initially, you will need to place the kitten into the litter box yourself, for him/her to get used to it. One trick is to scratch the litter with your finger after she/he has been fed. This scratching actually communicates to them that the litter is to be used as a toilet. If that doesn’t work, confine your kitten to a small place with the litter box inside. Once he/she realizes that there isn’t enough room for pooping/peeing, and sleeping, he’ll/she’ll start using the litter box to create space for everything else.

Keep it Clean

As mentioned already, cats are clean animals and one of the top reasons why they avoid the litter box is because it might not be clean enough. So, make sure the litter box is cleaned on a regular basis. In fact, the litter box must be cleaned every day. Discard the old litter and replace it with fresh litter. To neutralize smells, use lemon or vinegar. Avoid ammonia as it only worsens the existing odor. Also, make sure the litter box is placed in a proper location. Never keep the litter box too close to areas where your cat sleeps or eats.

Reward

During the training process, there are bound to be a few accidents. That’s okay. Your cat/kitten is still learning. Never react to these accidents by punishing him/her. Punishment rarely works. Instead, reward the little guy/gal every time he/she actually uses the litter box. This will encourage the habit of using the litter box.

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