Awesome life hacks by ANGRY ORANGE
Tips & tricks for a smooth litter box training
by Tracy Davis
Congrats! You just became the proud pet parent of a fiery little ball of fur and cuddles aka a kitty. Bringing a kitten into the family is a moment of joy but also of learning, as both you and your new pet have to adjust to the new living situation.
The wonderful phase of bonding and discovery has just begun. This means your kitty will sniff out the house, walk around on wobbly legs and then with more confidence, learning step by step that this new home is now her territory. The first days are crucial for teaching your kitty what is what around the house and one of the most important things she or he have to learn is how to use the litter box.
Cats are naturally tidy animals that have the instinct to bury their pee or poop. Little kittens learn from their mothers at about 4 weeks of age where to go to the bathroom and how to bury the evidence. However, if you adopt a stray cat or an orphan kitty it is very important to teach them first hand where in the house they can relieve themselves and how to use the litter box.
Here’s a list of super easy tips to follow for a successful litter box training:
1. Choose the right litter box for your cat. Make sure that your kitty can climb in and out of the litter box easily. If the walls are too high, your little furry friends might not be able to get inside and just choose a random spot to do their dirty deeds. Also make sure that the litter box is big enough for them to move around inside and also to give the litter a few kicks. Some cats might prefer covered litter boxes as they provide more privacy, while others might prefer the open ones. It’s a bit of trial and error at first.
2. Experiment a little with the litter. There are many options for litter on the market, make sure you find the one that your cat is most comfortable with. For starters, I recommend using a standard, clumping litter with no scent and once your cat is fully trained you can consider switching to something different like a scented version or something more high-end end and eco-friendly.
3. Location, location, location. The spot where you place the litter box is very important. You should put it in a quiet area of the house, but also easy to find for your kitty. It’s not just us humans that require total privacy when in the bathroom, animals do too. A litter box located in a crowded area of the house or where people always pass will most likely have no success with your kitten.
4. Introduce your cat to the litter box right away. Don’t postpone the litter box introduction, or you risk having your cat imprint on a different spot (like the carpet or a cleaning cloth). Place your cat gently in the litter box and give her enough time to sniff the area and examine it. Once that happens, don’t move the litter box around the room, as that might confuse your pet. After every meal or nap, pick up your kitty and place her in the box, until she learns that is the place where she needs to go when nature calls.
5. Reward them for using the litter box. You can buy some small treats and give them to your sweet furball after using the litter box. Praise her and give her the small treat or a toy, so that she knows her behavior is approved by you.
6. No punishments. Accidents are part of life. If they happen, don’t scold or punish your cat, as it will do more harm than good. Contrary to what you might believe, cats don’t associate punishment with a particular incident, so treating them badly will not help with further training, it will just stress and frustrate them, probably causing more problems in the future.
Have you ever had any troubles with litter box training or has it been an easy breezy experience for you and your cat?
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