What You Need to Know About Cat Litterbox Etiquette

BY | April 26 | COMMENTS PUBLISHED BY
What You Need to Know About Cat Litterbox Etiquette

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The fastidious animals that they are, cats are quite easy to be litterbox trained. However, if your cat has begun to litter outside the litterbox or occasionally does the same, then you need to get to the bottom of the issue. It could be anything from the type of the litterbox to the location where the litterbox is placed that is causing your cat to litter elsewhere. Here are some basic cat litterbox preferences and etiquette that you should know.

  • Place the litterbox on each level of your house, so your cat finds it easy to eliminate. Do not place the litterbox near your petโ€™s water or food bowls. Cats do not enjoy having their food and toilet places by each other. Alternatively, you can also move your catโ€™s food/water bowl or sleeping bed to places where he usually soils, to discourage the habit. Make sure the litterbox is in a place that your cat is comfortable visiting; noisy electrical appliances or other pets in the vicinity may cause your cat to refrain from littering in the box. If all else fails, just move the litterbox to where your cat usually soils.
  • Cats prefer soft litter to pellet or crystal litter. In case you do plan on changing the litter, then, do it gradually, and not in one go. Replace about a quarter of the litterbox with the new litter once in every two days, until it is fully filled with the new litter.
  • Make sure the litterbox is large, and that you have individual litterboxes for all the cats in the house, and an additional one as well. This way there is a lesser chance that your cat will eliminate elsewhere because another cat is using the litterbox. Ensure that the box is filled with litter to a moderate level.
  • Keep the litterbox clean. Make sure you scoop every day if you can, and clear out the litter once every week. Wash the litterbox with soap water. Avoid using scented detergents, as it may put off your cat from using the litterbox.
  • Do not tell off your cat if you catch him in the act of eliminating outside the litterbox. What you want to do is to interrupt the behavior and take them near the litterbox. Do not drop them in the litterbox.

You want to visit a vet to make sure that your cat is not eliminating outside the box due to a medical reason. If your cat has recently developed the habit of eliminating outside the box, then you should evaluate what has changed. Whether it is a conflict with another household pet or change in litter, make changes, so it does not get in the way of your catโ€™s toilet habits.

All You Need To Know About Cat Litter Training

If you own a kitten or cat, you would agree that they're fiercely loyal and playful creatures and a delight to have as pets. However, there are a few drawbacks to owning these furballs too, one of them being that they might not know how to use a litter box. That's fixable, though. There are ways in which you can train your cat and make them an expert at using a litter box.

Some of the supplies youโ€™ll need for this training process:

  1. Litter box
  2. Toys and treats
  3. Cat litter

Pick The Correct Litter Box

Selecting a suitable litter box for your cat is an extremely important first step in the litter training process. For kittens, you might need a box that has lower sides so that they can enter/exit with ease. For grown cats, on the other hand, a litter box with taller sides might be ideal, as it will help keep the waste and litter off your floor. As far as the material choice for the box is concerned, opt for heavy and long-lasting plastic because these boxes are easier to clean and donโ€™t need to be replaced too quickly.

It is also important to place the litter box(es) in the right place, where the cat has enough privacy. When overexposed, cats tend to feel unsafe and might not use them. Also, always remember that you need one litter box for each cat, and itโ€™s always a good idea to have an extra one.

Using Cat Litter

Litter training obviously needs some cat litter. You can choose from a variety of different options, such as eco-friendly litter or regular clay litter, depending on your budget. The eco-friendly litter is usually made from recycled newspaper, wheat or pine pellets. Most cats aren't very fussy about the kind of litter used, but sometimes they may not like the smell or texture. So, the best thing is, to begin with unscented, standard clumping litter.

Introducing The Cat To The Litter Box

If youโ€™re getting a new cat to your home, the smartest way to get them to use the litter box is to show it to them on the first day itself. They might hide when they see it, but thatโ€™s normal. Just keep the box wherever you think the cat might feel comfortable, and then slowly take it to the location you prefer. One of the best practices to follow is to put your cat in the box after play sessions, meals, and naps, also when they seem to want to "go." This should be done for at least the initial few days when the cat comes to live in the home. This will help you train them pretty quickly.

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