Free Day!
Free Night!

Pet Resources - Cat Behavior

Back to Article Index

How to Train Your Cat to use a Litterbox

Litterbox training typically isn’t a difficult task. After all, cats tend to be naturally inclined toward cleanliness, and most kittens will litter box train themselves by about the age of 12 weeks. However, there are always exceptions, particularly if some sort of change or stress occurs in your kitten’s life. If you and your kitten have encountered a few problems with the litterbox, here are a few tips to help get you both back on track.

•  Keep the litter box in one place. Moving it around from place to place will only serve to confuse your poor kitty. The best place is one that is quiet, well away from where your kitty eats, and not on carpeting. Cats often prefer the texture of carpeting to the actual litter box and may urinate on it.

•  Multiple cats needs multiple boxes. Cats aren’t overly fond of sharing their litter box so ideally there should be one for every cat.

•  Clean the litter box at least once a week. This is in addition to regular scooping. If you use a covered litter box, it may need to be cleaned more frequently to keep odors from getting trapped inside. Cats are very clean creatures and quite sensitive to odors, so a stinky litter box is a sure way to turn them off. You should use a mild detergent when cleaning, and be sure to rinse very well. Though plastic liners can be a nice convenience, urine can pool in the folds of the liner and cause odor, another sure way to turn your kitty off.

•  Check the litter. If all of the above doesn’t work and your kitty still goes several days without using the litter box, you may need to try a different type of litter. Soft, scoopable litters tend to have the most appeal to cats. Clay litter, on the other hand, usually doesn’t go over well as it can hurt your cat’s little paws.

•  Talk with your veterinarian. If the litter box is completely rejected by your kitty, it may be time to consult with your vet.