In general, most cats use the litter box with ease, but there are some tips and tricks you need to make sure they that have the right accommodations for successful use.
Where is the best location?
First off you need to decide where the litter box will be set up. It is best to put it in a quiet and safe area in the home. A lot of people tend to put it in the laundry room, but the noises from the washer and dryer may frighten your cat. Closets also seem like a good place, but sometimes the cat can feel like they are going to be ambushed, so if you have multiple pets this might not be the best place either. Somewhere easy to get to and private is the best place for them.
How many boxes are needed for more than one cat?
Most cat advocates say that you need 1.5 litter boxes per cat plus one more for each additional cat. So, if you have 2 cats you would need 3 litter boxes for them especially if they are indoor only. Some cats don’t mind sharing and if your cats are indoor/outdoor cats and eliminate outside regularly then having 1 less litter box may work for you.
How do I train a kitten to use a litter box?
Most kittens can adapt pretty quickly to using a litter box if you stick with a good routine from the get-go. Start with a simple shallow pan or box that is easy for them to get in and out of until they are trained, then you can substitute it with a bigger more sturdy litter box. Once you have your kitten and litter box full of litter, place your kitten on top of the litter. Allow her a few minutes to explore it, then give her some food and water. After about 15-20 minutes take her back to the box and see if she will use it.
It is best to limit their access to other rooms while potty training. This way you can watch for signs of readiness, like circling, sniffing or scratching. If you see your kitty doing this rush them to the litter and place them inside the box, on top of the litter. But remember… don’t scold them for any accidents.
What do I do about my older cat not using the litter anymore?
Some older cats that have been litter box trained for years will stop using it all of a sudden. This can happen because of a change in environment, a new pet, child or even a move can easily trigger anxiety about the litter box. It also could be due to health factors, like a urinary tract infection. If you are concerned about your pet’s health and why they stopped using their litter box, make sure to speak with your vet.
To try and get them to use it again, find the spot where they have started to eliminate the most outside of the box and put the litter box there. Then, slowly inch it back to where you want it. It may be uncomfortable at first if they are going in a common area like the family room, but this is a great way to get them to try and use their litter box again. You can also try changing it up by getting a new litter and box. Some older cats will stop using their current litter box because it’s painful to jump into it, over the side of it or maneuver through covered boxes. Cats can be picky so explore options before you give up.
Have any questions about your cats and their litter box antics, contact us anytime we’d be more than happy to discuss them with you. Planning a trip away but don’t know who will help you with your feline friends, call us, we’d love to help!