Hi, Today I am going to teach you how to train your cat or kitten to use the litter box. You might think that the mother cats teach their kittens to use the litter box, but they don’t. Kittens start to dig dirt and loose material at just a few weeks old without ever seeing their mothers doing so.
Until your kitten or cat is house trained, they should not be allowed to run free in your home. If you leave the house for any length of time, your cat should be confined to a single room, preferably one with nonporous floors, EXAMPLE (kitchen, bathroom, utility room, basement or garage.) You need to give your cat food and water and a warm place to sleep in one corner of the room, and a clean litter box in the opposite corner.
Until the soiling in the house has stopped, your cat should have a regular feeding schedule so then they will develop a corresponding litter box schedule. You need to try and reward your cat for using the litter box. Most cats, especially kittens, will need to soil shortly after waking up, eating, and exercise. To help predict when your cat will soil, remember to feed them on a regular schedule during the day.
If the feeding is on a regular schedule, the soiling will follow likewise. You need to call your cat to the litter box from different places around the house, especially areas where they have soiled before. When your cat gets to the litter box, scratch the litter to get them interested. Also during the day, when your cat has been sleeping for more than two hours, wake them up and call them to the litter box. Entice your cat to get into the litter box and then praise them when they do. But even if they do not get into the litter box, they are still learning that the litter box is where they must go to for soiling. If your cat does use it, then praise them in a gentle voice, gently stroke them, give them a treat, and let them know that you are pleased with her behavior.
If your cat soil’s outside or somewhere else besides inside the litter box, pick them up and put them inside the litter box. “Do not” discipline them before placing them in the litter box. The cat will associate any reprimand with being placed in the litter box and will assume the litter box is the wrong place to soil. Disciplining a cat after the fact teaches them to be afraid of you. NEVER EVER rub your cat’s nose in a mess, nor bring them over to it for a reprimand. Your cat will have no idea why they are being reprimanded.
They may be inclined to soil in hidden spots, such as behind the sofa, to avoid another reprimand. Basically, punishment doesn’t work with cats. Prevention and praise for getting it right are the keys to training your cat.
Clean any soil accidents straight away with an equal solution of white vinegar and water. This help’s to eliminate the smell and to prevent your cat from returning to that spot. Also, consider covering the area with a plastic sheet. This make’s it unpleasant and discourage’s your cat from going there again. When your cat is still learning to use the litter box, leave a little bit of urine or soiling behind in the box. The scent remind’s them what the litter box is for. As soon as your cat is using the box reliably. Believe it or not, this could be as quickly as two or three days, start removing the soil waste once or twice a day, and stir the litter to keep the surface dry.
If your cat is having trouble finding or using the litter box, move the litter box to an area where they can see it all the time. When they stop playing and start sniffing or scratching at the floor, gently put them in the litter box. Once your cat gets into the hang of finding and using the litter box on a regular basis, their training will be complete.
Let’s recap. Provide your cat with a clean litter box that’s easy to access. Get them interested in the litter box by scratching the litter. Reward your cat for using the litter box immediately after they use it. Remember, prevention and praise are the keys to training. Punishment does not work with cats.