How to Get Your Cat to Use the Litter Box
How to Get Your Cat to Use the Litter Box. The majority of people who own cats will find that teaching their cat to use a litter box is a reasonably straightforward task. It is one of a cat’s natural impulses to defecate in places where there is plenty of cover for the waste they leave behind. This conduct might be your cat’s way of acknowledging and embracing what they see to be the natural order of authority in the household. In the wild, feral cats will bury their excrement if they are not at the top of their social hierarchy. If a feral cat does not bury his or her feces, it is probable that the cat that is showing that behavior is the dominant feline in the population. Therefore, if you see that your housecat is burying feces, it’s possible that he or she is acknowledging your position as the alpha animal in their social circle. However, it is also likely that your cat is acting on an instinct that was passed down to him or her from his or her ancestors, which is to bury his or her excrement in order to conceal their path from potential predators.
When they are old enough to be weaned, most kittens will pick up the habits of burying their waste and using the litter box from their mother, provided that the mother has already been trained to use the litter box.
Therefore, if you bring a young kitten of about 12 weeks old into your home, you may only need to place kitty in the litter box and lightly scratch the clean litter with your fingers shortly after she eats to indicate to her what she is to do. This can be done in the event that you bring a young kitten into your home.
KITTY DID NOT IMMEDIATELY Become Accustomed to the Litter Box.
If you have a new kitten and your first few tries at litter training are unsuccessful, you might want to think about educating her using an alternative approach that is more prevalent. Keep your new family member confined to a room that is on the smaller side but yet pleasant, and if you can do it, choose one that has a sturdy floor. You should position the litter box and the food dish within the room, but you shouldn’t position them too near to one another. Your cat’s natural instinct is to avoid defecating in close proximity to its food source; hence, she will hunt for an other location. Before you lock your cat in the room, make sure that there are no cushions, blankets, newspapers, towels, or other soft materials that she may use to excrete on. If you have locked your cat in a room that has a hard floor, she will probably try to avoid eliminating on the floor in order to prevent getting urine on her fur. If she does urinate on the floor, the urine will likely splash back and get on her fur. At this point, the only option left for the cat is the litter box, which the animal will hopefully use.
My cat has quit using the litter box recently.
If your cat was previously housetrained but all of a sudden she seems to have lost that instinct, there are a few potential explanations for this behavior that you should investigate before giving up on training her.
1. Does Kitty’s Litter Box Require Some Cleaning? The most typical reason for a housetrained cat to discontinue using the litter box is that the cat objects to the level of cleanliness that is maintained in the area where the litter box is kept. If your cat believes that the litter is too unclean to use, there is a greater chance that she may quit using it. It is highly recommended that you clean the litter box of your cat once every day, or at the the least, once every other or every third day. The more soiled a litter box becomes, the less probable it is that a cat will continue to use it after it has been soiled. If your cat discovers that whenever she eliminates on the carpet, you instantly go and clean it up, she will consider the carpet as a more attractive area to eliminate since it is so easily cleaned up. Your cat wants to eliminate in a clean environment. The most effective method for avoiding this issue is to ensure that your cat’s litter box is kept as clean as is humanly feasible; however, you should keep in mind that your cat may not share your perception of what constitutes a clean environment.
In order to maintain the health of your cat and keep the litter box clean and sanitary, you clearly need to replace the litter on a regular basis in addition to scooping out the used litter. The best frequency for changing diapers is once a week. This ensures that odors and wetness won’t have too much time to build up to unacceptable levels, and it also reduces the likelihood of getting sick due to high levels of bacteria. Changing diapers once a week is the best frequency for changing diapers.
2. Stress. It is possible that your cat is experiencing stress if it is eliminating outside of the litter box.
Your cat may be experiencing a great deal of anxiety as a result of the incorporation of a new member of the family or another animal into the household. In general, cats enjoy having the sense that they are aware of what is taking place and what they should be anticipating. If you break that equilibrium by bringing a new creature (even a two-legged one) into the family, the existing inhabitants may become anxious, which may lead to their eliminating in inappropriate places.
When you go back from being away for an extended length of time (for example, if you leave your cat at home while you go on a trip for work or vacation), you could find that your cat has become more distant and standoffish than usual. Another scenario in which your cat could respond by defecating outside of the litter box as a kind of protest to what she sees as being abandoned is this one.
It’s possible that your cat may become stressed out if you get new furniture or if you lose a piece of furniture for the first time in a while. If you were a cat, you would want your environment to be orderly and comfortable. If you decide to get rid of that old fabric sofa because of its hideous pea green color and because it’s falling apart at the seams, and then you replace it with a brand new, slick, top of the line, leather sofa with a refrigerator built into the side, as well as a massage and heating function, it is unlikely that your cat will see this as a stylish upgrade the way you would see it. What your cat will probably notice is that one of her favorite places to snooze has been replaced with something that she does not recognize and is afraid of. This is because the new site is in a different location.
3. Changing the Brands of Your Litter. Cats are creatures of habit and may also be pretty picky about the things they eat and do (remember Morris, the cat with the 9 lives?). If you have recently replaced the brand of litter that you normally purchase, this might be the reason why your cat is looking for a new spot to defecate. There are certain litters that are scented (for people rather than cats), and your cat may not react well to these aromas. Alternatively, your cat may have been accustomed to a sort of litter that is less dusty, the texture of a particular litter, or who knows what else. Altering the brand or kind of litter that your cat is accustomed to using might throw off its routine, which could lead to an untidy and smelly carpet. If you have reason to believe that this is the problem, you have two options: either revert to the previous litter or gradually introduce the new litter. You might want to start by combining a little amount of the new litter with the older brand at first, and then gradually increase the amount of the new litter that you use each time you change the box. Eventually, you will be able to completely replace the older brand with the new litter. This will make it easier for your cat to adjust to the new litter brand without upsetting her natural sense of how things are supposed to be.
4. Multiple Cats. As was noted before, a cat could start defecating outside of the litter box if there is another pet in the house, but this might not necessarily be the consequence of the cat being stressed out. If you have more than one cat in your home, the additional cat should usually have his own litter box, unless your current cats have shown that they are willing to share. Keep in mind that cats are very clean animals, but they may also be very possessive of their territory. It’s possible that some cats won’t mind using the same box, but others may reject, and if that happens, the carpet will have to serve as the second litter box.
5. Litter Box Size Or Placement. It’s possible that your cat won’t use the litter box at all if there isn’t enough space for her in there. It is probable that your cat may want to scratch about in the litter box and be able to feel comfortable doing it there. Be sure that it has adequate space for your cat to use, that it is simple for your cat to enter and exit (the sides of the box should be lower for kittens than for adult cats), and that it is not located in an area with a lot of foot traffic because cats appear to prefer some level of privacy when they are eliminating. Lastly, you should make certain that your cat always has access to the litter box. It is asking for trouble if you put your litter box in a room that may occasionally be locked off from the rest of the house. In the event that your cat has to eliminate, but she is unable to access the room in which you have placed the litter box, she will be forced to look for an alternate location that is appropriate for her needs in order to do so.
6. Medical Issues. There is a possibility that your cat is suffering from kitty incontinence. It is possible for cats to experience incontinence, just as it is possible for humans, and this might be an indicator of serious medical difficulties with your cat. A senior cat, similar to an elderly person, is more likely to experience a loss of control over her body processes as she gets older. You should take your cat to the veterinarian for an inspection, guidance, and maybe therapy in order to fix any issues she may be having with her litter box if you have any reason to believe that old age or a medical condition may be the source of her issues.
WHENEVER YOUR CAT RUINS THE PLACE
In most cases, it is not a good idea to reprimand or penalize your cat for making a mess outside of the litter box. If your cat does make a mess outside of the litter box, however, you should do so. You won’t be able to address your issue by getting her involved in the commotion and then discarding her in the garbage afterward. After something like this happens, it is natural for you to be irritated with your cat; however, displaying this behavior and then putting her in the litter box will only teach your cat to link the litter box with a negative experience.
It’s also possible that your cat will start to develop a healthy fear of you, which is something you really don’t want to happen. Your best option is to get to work cleaning up the mess as soon as you can. Place your cat inside the litter box, make eye contact with it, and talk to it in a soothing tone while it’s there. Scratch the clean litter with your fingertips, and make sure the cat watches you do this. If he or she mimics your actions, the lesson should hopefully soak in. If you want to prevent your cat from defecating in the same spot outside the litter box a second (or third) time, cover the area with a plastic sheet or something else that will cause your cat to splash herself with her own urine if she chooses that spot to defecate in again. This will help you avoid having your cat feces in the same spot outside the litter box a second (or third) time. Remove the odor to the best of your ability (white vinegar could be helpful in this regard; however, you should first check that the carpet and furnishings can withstand its use). You might also try moving her food dish on top of or close to the spot where she used to poo. A cat will not want to eliminate in close proximity to her source of nourishment. Reward your cat for using the litter box, even if it’s only once; you may do this by playing with her, petting her, or giving her a treat. The goal is to train your cat to link the litter box with positive experiences, rather than negative ones.
A cat that does potty somewhere else than its litter box is not considered to be missing. Don’t give up on her until you’ve investigated all of the many reasons why the issue may be occurring. When you do discover it, you’ll probably be able to fix it, and the human and the cat will be able to live together again in peace and harmony.