08 Aug Training Cats and Kittens to Use the Litter Box
In our last blog we gave tips on how to housebreak your puppy or new dog to prevent undesired messes from accumulating throughout your home and creating obnoxious odors. However, when it comes to potential pet odors, cats can be just as guilty. However, we realized after writing our previous blog that we didn’t leave any guidelines for cat owners on how to housebreak their pets, and housebreaking a cat is very different than housebreaking a dog. So if you’ve just come back from the animal shelter with a new feline friend, we’ve got some tips to help you train your cat to use the bathroom in the proper place.
Setup the Litter Box in a Quiet, Private Location — Unlike dogs, cats are often very quiet and individual animals that enjoy privacy and solitude. This is even more true when a cat is using the bathroom — especially in a new home that they’re unfamiliar with. Put the litter box somewhere away from heavily trafficked areas and loud noises (such as frequently running dryers or washers). Likewise, most cat owners suggest you don’t keep food and water close to litter boxes due to cat’s natural instincts to use the bathroom far away from food sources.
Show Your Cat the Litter Box — Cats, at their core, are very instinct driven animals. By their very nature, cats have an inherent habit of using the bathroom in sandy environments they can dig up, such as a litter box. You should take your cats to the litter box regularly throughout the day to get them acquainted with the location. Further, a good additional measure is to take the cats paws and make them dig a little bit in the litter box. Again, this triggers instinctual thoughts in cats that signify this as a bathroom area.
Keep the Litter Box Clean — Cats tend to be very clean animals. With this in mind, it’s important to regularly clean the litter box — especially for new cats. Though a cat certainly needs to learn that this is the location that his or her waste needs to go by seeing it, they also won’t use a box that’s too dirty, so make sure to regularly clean out the litter box and replace it with new litter.
Indoor Training First — Some people elect to let their cats wander outdoors, and after a while many of these cats may also learn to relieve themselves outside. Even if you choose to do this from day one, you should still train your cat to use a litter box indoors in case they’re locked in overnight or can’t get outside at some point.
Keep these in mind and you’ll have a potty trained cat in no time. However, even a potty trained cat can eventually have an accident or bring in dirt, allergens or even leave “gifts” in the form of a dead bird, mouse or rabbit laying around the house. If you ever find that undesirable odors from your feline companion get a bit too much, remember to contact Steamer’s Carpet Care for our specialized pet odor removal treatment.