Litter is often essential when adopting a cat. However, for everyone’s comfort, litter should be used. To do this, the cat must be accustomed from an early age. How to proceed to potty train your cat? What are the mistakes not to make? Here’s everything you need to know to teach your feline how to use their litter box.
Cat cleanliness: choosing the right litter
The cat is a naturally clean animal. Moreover, he cleans his toilet thoroughly every day. If it is so clean, it is by imitation! The kittens observe their mother and reproduce the same gestures. The cat, on the other hand, makes it a point of honor to educate her kittens. In order for a cat to use its litter box, you have to choose the right one.
Clumping litter turns urine into small, solid pieces. This feature makes it easier to clean soiled places in litter. Clumping litter can be mixed with another type of litter, but this reduces its effectiveness. It also reduces bad odors. Clumping litter is the most expensive of this selection. However, wastage is reduced.
As the name suggests, plant litter is made up exclusively of natural materials of plant origin. Very ecological, this litter generates little dust. Be careful, it is not uncommon for a cat not to support vegetable litter because of the unpleasant sensation felt on the pads. To reduce the risk of discomfort, do not hesitate to test several brands.
Mineral litter is the most widely used and the cheapest. It is mainly composed of clay and silica which have excellent absorption powers. This litter is available in many formats and even many colors. This litter is very dusty and needs to be completely changed twice a week. Bad odors are reduced.
How to choose the litter box?
There are two main families of litter boxes: open boxes and closed litter boxes. Be aware that open litter boxes are the best. Why ? By their natural instinct, cats are predators. In a closed litter box, cats do not feel safe. They are not able to see danger coming. Plus, the open litter box helps keep odors away!
In order for your cat to use its litter box, it is recommended that its scent be permeated in it. To do this, it is a good idea not to wash the litter box every day. You have to remove the feces but leave a small amount of urine, or rather litter balls that contain urine.
You should know that toilet training can only be done when a kitten is weaned. Indeed, after breastfeeding, the cat licks the belly of her kittens to facilitate digestion. Once a small cat eats from its bowl on its own, you can start potty training.
You have to start by choosing the ideal location. The litter box should be near the food and water bowls, in other words, the dining area. Be careful, the cat must not smell it, otherwise it will not feed. The litter must be in a passageway. If you put the bin in a nook, your cat will not use it.
Initially, it is necessary to offer the litter to the young cat after each meal. It will have to be rewarded with hugs and caresses. Do not clean the litter box the first few times. Thus, the feline will know that this is the place where it can relieve itself.
If your cat refuses to use the litter box, there is a problem! Start by changing the litter box. If he continues to defecate elsewhere, then move the bin. If a cat always defecates in the same place, know that this is the location he has chosen and therefore the one that should accommodate the litter box.
Potty training: mistakes to avoid
In order for your cat to regularly use its litter box, you must not make mistakes. Here are the mistakes to avoid.
- Avoid cleaning the litter box with a cleaning product that is too fragrant. Bleach is also to be avoided. While these chemicals are effective in cleaning the litter box, the smell can repel the cat. For a natural cleanse, mix half a glass of baking soda with half a glass of white vinegar. Rinse thoroughly and dry before adding litter.
- Place the litter box in an accessible place and do not move it around. The bin should be a landmark for your cat.
- Keep the litter away from the dining area.
- Do not change the litter box too often because your cat must find its scent there.
- Change the litter box regularly. If your cat appreciates a litter box, it should be saved!
It should be noted that a cat who urinates anywhere in the house can have health problems. Do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian. This will examine your cat and make sure that it is not suffering from any pathology such as urinary tract infection (or cystitis), kidney failure or incontinence.
Your cat may also be stressed or anxious. Behavioral disorders can explain a delay in toilet training. Cats that have not been weaned properly take longer to use a litter box. Finally, if your cat has free access to the outside, via a cat flap for example, bet on a vegetable litter.