Fluffy fur, hypnotizing eyes, and cute meows make our favourite feline creatures – cats – so adorable. However, things can get a bit messy if they refuse to use the litter tray and do their business around the house. For most cats, using a litter tray is a natural habit, that they learn as kittens, particularly after they pass the three-week point. Still, some kittens need a little encouragement and manual stimulation to get the hang of it. In contrast, adult cats may have an aversion to using the litter tray, especially if they associate the tray with a negative experience. Whatever the case, if you are finding it difficult to litter train your cat, these steps will help.
Choose the Right Litter tray
The first step to litter train your cat is to get the right support tools such as a litter tray and cat litter. Use a litter with very fine sand (think recreating nature) and avoid using clay litter as your cat may consume it, and have digestive problems. It is also advisable to use an unscented litter because ones with a heavy scent may discourage cats from usage. More importantly, select a tray that your cat can easily get in and out of. Sometimes, adult cats can stop using the tray because of an achy body, so consider using a low-sided tray for older cats, and for kittens who may not be big enough to climb into a bigger tray. Also, be consistent in what litter you use, as changing the litter could cause your cat to stop using the litter tray temporarily.
Plan Where To Place the Litter tray
The litter tray location and availability can be a crucial element in encouraging your cat to use the tray. So, remember not to hide the trays. Do not place them in cupboards and corners as cats do not like to feel cornered or trapped during toilet time. Some owners like to put the litter tray in the bathroom. Also, provide some light -ambient or night light -so they can see and find their trays. Avoid setting up a litter tray where many things can distract them from their primary focus, such as rugs, carpets, or beddings. Spreading out the trays throughout your home and at least on every floor can also go a long way to stimulate litter tray usage as it will make it easy for your cat to access the trays. Always place the tray a good distance away from their food and water bowls.
Give your cat a Tour of their new toilet.
After you have effectively set up the litter trays, the next step is to introduce your cats to them. Show your cat the locations of each litter tray, let your cat sniff them and then gently place your cat in the tray. They may immediately start pawing at the litter or even using the litter tray. But, If they don’t, run your fingers through the clean litter to illustrate the pawing action. If at initial introduction, your cat refuses to use any of the trays, try placing it in one of the trays each time they eat, drink, or wake up from a nap, until they begin using it on their own.
Keep it Squeaky Clean.
Scoop your cat’s litter tray after every elimination. After scooping, add some clean litter to maintain a litter depth of 2 to 3 inches to give your kitty ample room to dig. Cleaning is essential during training to prevent your cat from developing an aversion to its litter tray. If your cat starts using the litter tray consistently, you can scoop daily instead of each time it uses the tray and periodically empties all of the litter in each tray, clean the boxes, and fill them with clean litter.
Reinforcing good habits during training is also a tested and trusted method to encourage your cat to use litter trays say experts. For instance, when your kitten uses the litter tray appropriately, reward them with their favorite treat to create a positive association with the activity. And if your kitten makes a mistake, do not scold or raise your voice, but calmly clean up the mess with an enzymatic cleaner and do not react in any other way.