I adopted my cat George when he was 8 weeks old, and one of the biggest worries I had when I brought him home was the litter box training process. How was this cute, little bundle of fur supposed to know to do his business in the litter box. I didn’t want to end up with a house that smelled of cat pee, so after doing extensive research, I incorporated some clever ways to teach George right from wrong. If you’re in the same boat, these tips might come in handy.
1. Put the litter box in a quiet, easy-to-access area of the house with easy to clean flooring. When you bring a new kitten home, he might be scared and hide himself. Avoid putting the box in an area with loud noise and heavy foot traffic.
2. Use the same kind of box and litter that your kitten was previously used to, because at least you’ll know he’ll use it. At the cat foundation where I adopted George, he shared a box with several other cats. I made sure to use the same l closed off box with the same clumping, non-scented litter.
3. Place the kitten in the litter box the moment you bring him home. I had the box all ready when I brought George home. Although he quickly jumped out and sped off, he knew in the back of his mind where the litter box was located.
4. Pick up your kitten and place him in the litter box after he eats, naps and after play sessions, because these are times when he’s likely to go.
5. Reward your kitten if you catch him using the litter box on his own. Give him a treat or pet him right after he does his business.
6. Avoid yelling or hitting your kitten when he has a potty accident. This will only make him fear you and he might resort to doing his business when you’re not around or in areas where you can’t see him.
7. Clean any areas where your kitten had an accident with a commercial pet stain cleanser. This helps eliminate the smell, which might otherwise motivate your pet companion to do his business in the same area again.
8. Clean the litter box regularly, scooping it daily and completely washing it once a week. If the box is dirty, your kitten might refuse to use it and do his business elsewhere.
9. When initially training your finicky feline to use the litter box, leave some urine or feces behind in the box to remind your kitty what the box is for. The feces or urine can motivate him to use the box again.
10. Consider changing the litter box location, the type of litter box and the type of litter, if your kitten refuses to use the box. Try to determine what your kitten’s toilet preferences are.