Owning a cat can be both a wonderful and rewarding experience. However, there is a significant amount of responsibility involved in owning a cat, and in helping your cat to understand the rules of your household. Training your cat to use the litter box is a very important part of pet care, since it involves establishing the boundaries of your home with your cat. While some cats may be receptive to litter box training, some cats may have initial difficulty in accepting a litter box training program.
Choosing the Right Litter Box
The first step in litter box training your cat is to choose which type of litter box is best for your cat. There are many different litter boxes available, which come in various shapes, colors and designs. Depending on your cat, you may want to choose either an open or closed litter box. Closed litter boxes are composed of two separate pieces, which form a “cave” in which your cat can go to the bathroom. Closed litter boxes are usually a bit more expensive than open litter boxes, though they are much more effective at containing the odor from your cat’s bathroom activities. Closed litter boxes also usually include an air filter, which is fitted over air vents at the top of the box. This filter usually needs to be replaced every few months, to effectively continue to help contain the odor of the litter box. Open litter boxes are usually less expensive, but tend to be significantly more noticeable in their odor. However, if your cat’s designated area for using the litter box is in a room where smell is not an issue, you may choose to purchase this type of litter box.
Choosing the Right Litter
There are hundreds of different kitty litter products available, and choosing the right type of litter for your cat can seem to be a confusing task. However, it is best to choose what you think will best suit your needs, and the needs of your cat. It’s usually best to choose a kitty litter product that is relatively dust-free, since excess dust can be harmful to both you and your cat. Depending on the method that you choose to use to clean your cat’s litter box, you may choose either a clumping or non-clumping kitty litter. Some kitty litter products also contain baking soda, which helps to absorb some of the odor from your cat’s bathroom activities.
Training your Cat
Training your cat to use the litter box is usually accomplished through patience. Repeatedly familiarize your cat with the box, placing them inside the litter area when you suspect they may be ready to use the bathroom. If you wish, you can also place a small amount of catnip in your cat’s litter, as this will entice your cat to investigate the box. Most cats will easily understand that the litter box is the proper area in which they can relieve themselves, since cats naturally want to defecate in an area where they are able to cover their waste.