Cats are renowned for being clean animals and learning to use a litter tray is not usually a problem. There are a few things to consider when teaching a cat to use a litter tray and the choice of its location.
TEACH YOUR CAT TO USE A LITTER TRAY
Using a litter tray mimics how cats go to the toilet outside, so, like many other things, there is little training required.
Often, you don’t even need to teach kittens to use a litter tray. A kitten you have bought from a breeder is usually already toilet trained, but it can be tricky to begin with to find the right place in their new home. Put your kitten in the litter tray and let them explore for themselves. A good tip is to do this just after they’ve eaten. This is often when they need to go.
If you kitten sits down and urinates in the wrong place, pick her gently up and put her back in the litter tray.
It’s important to have patience when toilet training a kitten. Praise your kitten after they use the litter tray. Don’t disturb your kitten whilst it is using the litter tray. This can make it feel uncomfortable.
PUT THE LITTER TRAY IN THE RIGHT PLACE
When teaching your cat to use the litter tray, they should not need to go searching for it, but it also should not be too exposed. Cats like privacy when using the litter tray.
Keep the litter tray in a different room to the cat’s food. No one wants to eat and go to the toilet in the same room, and nor do cats.
IF YOUR CAT DOES NOT WANT TO USE THE LITTER TRAY
If your cat suddenly uses another place instead of the litter tray, there is often a simple explanation for this.
- Keep it clean! – In order for a cat to want to use its litter tray, it must be kept clean. A dirty litter tray can be one reason why a cat is unwilling to use it. Remove solids and urine daily and regularly replace the litter completely. When changing the litter for fresh, the tray itself should also be cleaned out with dish soap or a similar mild detergent.
- At least one litter tray per cat, preferably more – Have at least one litter tray per cat, preferably an extra one
If you have one cat, it’s therefore a good idea to have two litter trays.
- Enough litter – There must always be enough litter in the tray – preferably 8-10cm deep so that the cat can dig thoroughly.
- Changing the type of litter– Test a different type of cat litter. Things like scented litter or the shape of the granules may not be to your cat’s liking.
- Change the litter tray itself – Test a new style of litter tray. A litter tray that is too small means that your cat cannot move around freely, which might mean it would rather go elsewhere.
- Have any big changes occurred? – Think about if the cat has experienced any big changes in her life which could be a reason why she is choosing not to go in the litter tray.