Adjusting Your Cat to New Cat Litter

Cats are often as particular about adjusting to new cat litter as they are at adjusting to new food. Cats are routine-based creatures who need some help adjusting to new changes and litter is among them. Owners should follow a specialized method of accumulating the cat to the change in litter.

Use the Same Litter Box

Changing to both a new litter box and new cat litter may be too much for the cat to handle at once. Owners should select which adjustment they want to make first. When getting the cat used to new litter, owners should keep the same litter box in the same location at which it's usually located. Once the cat has become accustomed to the new litter--which may take several weeks if the owner follows the plan to gradually introduce the cat to the new litter--owners can then attempt to introduce the cat to other changes, such as a new litter box or a new area in which the box is located.

The owner shouldn't attempt to make too many changes to the cat's environment at once; this means that owners should not change litters when moving to a new home or change cat food at the same time.

Plan to Mix the Old and the New

Like with new cat food, new cat litter should be introduced to a cat gradually. The best method by which to do so is to mix the old cat litter with the new in gradually increasing ratios of new to old. Begin by using about 1/4 new litter and 3/4 old litter. If the cat takes the change well, owners should make the mixture about 1/2 old and 1/2 new the next time they change the litter. (Wait a few days between each mixture at the minimum; a week is fine as well.) The following time, owners should mix 3/4 new litter and 1/4 old, followed at last by using only new litter.

Put Some Waste in the New Mixture

If the cat is adverse to the mixture of old cat litter and new cat litter, owners should make the litter box more inviting to the cat by putting some of the cat's waste (feces or urine clumps, if from clumping litter) from the previous cleaning into the box. The owner needn't bury the waste or mix the litter around; simply placing the waste on top of the litter in the middle will invite the cat to sniff the waste and identify the waste as his own. If the cat is able to smell his own waste in the box, he may be more comfortable knowing that this is his continued personal space.

If none of these methods work to adjust the cat to the new cat litter, the owner should consider keeping the old cat litter or trying a different brand of litter. Some cats may not like the textures, scents and consistency of certain litters but may be open to a different kind of litter.