Cat Litter Training

Cat litter training is one of the easier aspects of caring for a new cat or kitten. Cats by nature are extremely clean animals and will refuse to eliminate in areas that are dirty, are close to its food, or in areas that it does not feel safe and secure. These characteristics can be exploited to make cat litter training easy and painless.

Cat Litter Training a Kitten

The most important key to successful litter training is consistency. Cats do not respond well to frequent or severe changes, so it is best to choose the location of your cat’s litter box wisely from the onset of litter training. Clean accidents promptly without punishment, and clean the litter box daily for the best success.

The location should be easy for a small kitten to reach quickly, preferably in the same room as, but away from his food. Floors that are wood, tile or other hard surfaces will be easier to clean than carpet, as your cat will most likely track small particles of litter as it exits the litter box. Some people prefer to confine the kitten only to this room until litter box habits are established, to lessen the chances that the kitten will choose soft carpets, pillows or bedding on which to eliminate.

A fine-grained, non-dusty litter compound that is not heavily perfumed will be the most agreeable to your kitten and reduce the chance of litter rejection and subsequent brand changes. Immediately after your kitten eats, take it to the litter box and place it gently on the litter. Scratch around gently in the clean litter to show your kitten what it should do. Kittens are taught elimination habits by their mothers from birth, so by the time your kitten is old enough to come home, the habits are almost instinctive.

Outdoor or Feral Cat Litter Training

Litter training an outdoor cat, kitten, or feral cat can be a bit more of a challenge but still should not cause headaches. Follow the same tips for choosing a location as you would for a kitten, bearing in mind that a feral cat may prefer a quieter, remote location as a sense of security.

For the cat that has been used to eliminating outdoors, it may help to add some soil from the location that it usually eliminates in to the litter box. This will work best if there has only been one cat eliminating in that general area. If the area has had multiple cats, select soil from a different location so that it smells only like dirt, not other cats. Once your cat is used to the litter box, you can gradually decrease the amount of soil added to the litter until you are able to eliminate it. Leaves placed in the litter box may also stimulate the cat to use it for elimination.

If your cat is having repeat accidents, try to notice where they are. If they are in the same location, adding a litter box to that location could solve the problem as it may simply be a matter of the cat’s choice of area. If the cat is going in different locations, what do these areas have in common? Are they dark, remote? Do they have hard surface floor, or carpet? By using deductive reasoning for problems, litter box training can be a breeze.