Litter box training is a relatively simple process. Whether you have an older cat or a kitten, training them to use the litter box shouldn’t take too long. Keep reading if you want to learn how to go about it.
Supplies You’ll Need For Litter Box Training
Luckily, litter box training doesn’t require a lot of items. You’ll need the following:
- A litter box
- Kitty litter
- Litter scoop
- Poop bags (or a small trash can)
The poop bags come in handy when cleaning out the litter box. Or, you can get a smaller trash bin to dispose of the waste.
In addition, cat treats will come in handy for positive reinforcement.
However, many types of litter boxes and cat litter are on the market. So, how do you know which is the best to get?
How To Choose The Right Supplies
You can always talk to your vet about which litter box and litter to buy for your kitten. However, you can research the different types and look at them at the store.
For example, litter boxes come in various sizes. Depending on your cat’s size, age, and weight, you’ll need to get an appropriately sized box.
Your cat should be able to walk into its litter box and turn around with ample space.
Some litter boxes have covers while others are left open. Some cats prefer privacy while others are indifferent about it.
Boxes also come in various shapes. Some are rectangular, and others can fit nicely in the corner of a room.
Before purchasing a litter box, decide where you want to put it in your home. Don’t keep it hidden where it’ll be difficult for your kitty to get to.
However, knowing where to put it will help you decide what size and shape to get.
On the other hand, there are many types of litter, too. For example, there’s clay litter, sifting litter, which makes less mess, clumping litter, which is easy to scoop, and more. Some cats prefer one type over another.
Not to mention, litter may be scented or unscented.
Once you have everything you need (including the cat), it’s time to begin litter box training.
Step By Step Guide To Litter Box Training
Litter box training is more straightforward than some may think. First, using a litter box is common sense for most cats since it’s natural cat behavior. Also, they’re fast learners, so they’ll get the hang of it quickly.
Set Up The Litter Box
First, you’ll need to set everything up. Choose a spot in the house that’s quiet and doesn’t have a lot of foot traffic.
Litter boxes can smell over time if they’re not changed often, so you’ll want them to be out of the way.
On the other hand, it should be in an accessible spot for your kitty to get to. You don’t want to hide their litter box on them.
Once you find a spot, set up the litter box. You can wash it out first to ensure it’s clean. Next, dry it thoroughly, and then add the kitty litter.
When adding the litter, completely cover the bottom with about two to three inches of litter. This will ensure your cat has enough litter to go to the bathroom, and they can bury it if they want to.
Introduce Your Cat To The Litter Box
Once it’s all set up, it’s time to show your cat where the litter box is. Bring your new cat into the room and let them sniff and explore the box.
Your cat most likely won’t go right away, which is okay. They might not need to relieve themselves at that moment.
If you have a kitten, you can place them inside the litter box. In most cases, they instinctively begin pawing at the litter. If they don’t, you can run your fingers through the litter to show them the pawing motion.
Provide Positive Reinforcement
When your cat uses the litter box correctly and regularly, you can give them plenty of praise through pats and treats. Eventually, you won’t need to give them treats and extra praise.
It will become second nature to your kitty to use the litter box.
If they don’t use the litter box, this might indicate something else is going on.
For example, if they go next to the litter box outside, they could have something wrong with their bladder or kidneys. So you should take your cat to the vet right away.
On the other hand, sometimes it’s as simple as the litter box is too full. Therefore, you should clean the litter box at least once every two to three days.
Not only will it keep the litter box clean and fresh, but it’ll also reduce any odor. In addition, you can keep an eye on your cat’s bathroom habits to ensure they’re regularly going, their food isn’t bothering them, and they are healthy.
Also, cleaning the box regularly is generally good cat care.
Question Corners: FAQs About Litter Box Training
If you have more questions about litter box training, then take a look at the frequently asked questions answered below.
When Should I Start Litter Box Training?
Litter training kittens should begin litter box training at about four weeks old. This is around the time they start to wean from their mother. If you get an adult or older cat through adoption, they should already be trained. Upon bringing them home, show them where the litter box is immediately, and they’ll know what to do with it.
How Many Litter Boxes Should I Have?
The number of litter boxes depends on how many cats you have. If you have one cat, one box is fine. You should have at least two litter boxes if you have two cats. This will ensure they don’t fill up too fast, and each cat has their own.
How Long Does Litter Box Training Take?
If you have a kitten and litter train them at four weeks old, it should only take about a month for them to get the hang of it. However, in some cases, it may take up to six months for a kitten to be fully litter box trained.
Is Litter Box Training A Dog A Good Idea?
Toy and small dog breeds can be litter box trained. However, you’ll want to ensure they have their litter box. They shouldn’t share one with the cat. Also, you’ll most likely need to clean it daily.
Have You Litter Box Trained Your Cat Yet?
In most cases, your kitty will recognize and use the litter box easily. So, litter box training shouldn’t take too long. It is essential to monitor your cat as much as possible to ensure they know where the box is and what to do with it.
Rachel Poli is a content writer and author, but her real job is being a stay-at-home pet mom. Her zoo currently consists of a dog, a cat, two turtles, and two fish tanks. She’s also an avid pet sitter for a few local families, caring for various animals.
After realizing how little information there is for pet sitters on the internet, Rachel decided to start her own animal website. She strives to educate pet parents and pet sitters about the overall care of our furry friends.