4 Tips for Litter Box Success

Trying to litter box train your new kitten or cat, or make sure they don’t lose that vital skill in the future? Make sure you stick to these tips:

  1. Keep the box clean.  This is the most important part.  Clean the box once a day, at a minimum.  Cats are clean animals with a much better sense of smell than ours. Would you like to pick through a mine field of feces to find an appropriate “spot?” Me neither. It’s no wonder some cats will choose to “go next door” – in your potted plant – instead.
  2. Make the “bathroom” appealing and accessible.
    • Generally speaking, cats prefer open boxes to closed ones, especially in multi-cat households, because it allows the cat to watch for danger or activity while they’re “going,” and thus makes them feel safer.
    • If you use a closed lid box, make sure it’s easy to get in and out of.  Remember that cat litter is an unstable surface, and so it is difficult to jump up from standing on it, especially for older cats.
    • The larger the box, the better – less chance of accidentally stepping in a pile of urine or feces – ew!  Don’t be afraid to go big, and fill that big box with a nice deep layer of litter – 3 or 4 inches.
    • Choose the right location: the litter box should be placed somewhere quiet, calm, and easily accessible.
    • Have enough boxes: As a rule, you should have as many boxes as you have cats, plus one.  Spread them out through out the house, so that there is no chance of competition over the space between the household cats.
  3. Choose the correct litter. Studies show that most cats prefer the fine-grained clumping cat litter the best.  But, if your cat was used to a different type of litter and you’re planning to change it, change it out gradually, over the course of a couple of weeks, to get them used to it slowly.
  4. Be proactive.  Any sudden change in your cat’s toileting habits should warrant a trip to the veterinarian first – many medical issues can masquerade as litter box training issues. Then, once medical issues are ruled out, contact us to help troubleshoot the problem.  Urination, defecation, and marking problems are not par for the course in cat ownership, and we can help before the issue gets too severe to be treated!

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