Training a Cat to use the Litter Box

Many people ask me, “Nick, how do I train my cat to use the litter box?” As a general rule, I always ask how often they clean it. Are you frustrated with your kitten because you urinate out of the cat’s box, on your carpet or in any other inappropriate place? I know how you feel because it happened to my cat too. I thought I tried everything without success until I realized that my cat was stressed by having the litter box in a noisy area next to my washer and dryer. Cats are silent and shy animals that like their privacy in a quiet place when they defecate. So I changed the location of the litter box to a more private place and quickly trained it.

Here are seven more reasons why your cat does not use the litter box.

The litter box is dirty. Clean it every day. Cats do not like the smell of a dirty litter box.

Your cat has a urinary tract infection. When your kitten pees around the house, have it checked by a veterinarian. Urinary tract infections are common in cats.

Your cat has diabetes Diabetes causes frequent urination. It may not reach the litter box all the time.

Your kitten does not like the brand of cat litter you are using. It is best to use a non-scented type. What smells good for us does not necessarily mean that it smells good to cats. When using a new brand of cat litter, it is best to introduce it gradually by mixing small amounts of the new with the old.

Your cat may be stressed. Cats are creatures of habit and are easily stressed just like humans. You may feel stressed about having to share space with other cats or dogs or increasing activity at home or any other change in the status quo. Do not physically punish your cat as this will only increase the stress. If all else fails, the veterinarian can medicate your cat, which combined with a gentle caress can relieve stress.

Your cat does not know where the litter box is. When your kitten is busy playing forget your location. Once you find a suitable location, try not to change it.

Does your cat have to share the litter box with other cats? Some cats do not bother them at all, while other cats are quite territorial. Maybe your cat belongs to the latter category and needs to have its private space.

Do you have a cat that is:

* Does it bite you, your children or your guests unexpectedly?

* Scratching the sofa, bed and other furniture?

* Dig in indoor plants?

* Struggling with other cats in your home?

Does it keep you awake at night?

* Do they just misbehave?

The most important rule to remember is to always treat your cat with love and kindness. Scolding your cat or punishing him physically scares him and results in the opposite of what you want to achieve. Cats like other animals respond to behavioral training. Reward it with beating and goodies for good behavior.