How To Potty Train Your Cat
One of the biggest problems for cat owners is potty training new cats to use the litter box, cats not using the litter box properly or cats peeing everywhere else in the house. Here are some tips to help your cats get to the litter box the right way!
Kittens Below 3 Weeks Old
Newborn or kittens under 3 weeks old need to be stimulated by the mama cat to excrete pee and poo. Usually, the mama cat licks them on the private while cleaning them. If you are raising kittens without mama cat, you need to stimulate the kittens by gently rubbing the excretion area with a soft tissue for around 30 secs after every feed to set a potty routine.
Here's a video to guide you through:
Kittens 3 to 8 Weeks Old
Kittens above 3 weeks old are the recommended age to introduce them to the litter box. This is an important stage for kitten development and growth so it's important to introduce a kitten-safe litter. Opt for natural, non scented and chemical-free as kittens may consume the litter.
Don't purchase a litter box as yet, because most of it is not suitable for kittens. Instead, use a normal cardboard box and make sure the walls are low enough for the kittens to walk into.
Easily, you may use our packaging and turn it into a disposable kitten litter box!
Litter Box Selection
Choosing the right litter box plays an important role to success in potty training. The ideal litter box should be large and high enough for your cat to move freely. As a general rule of thumb is the litter box should be one and half times the length of your cat.
Most people will like covered litter box to keep the odor in but never realized cats dislike them and make it even more unappealing to your cats using the litter box. Cats' sense of smell is 14 times better than humans.
Some cats may stand while potty and a covered litter box will discourage them to use the litter box.
For a start, we highly recommend using an uncovered litter box with higher walls on the sides to secure the litter from tracking when cats start digging in the litter.
Number of Litter Box
You should have at least 1 litter box per cat, plus 1 extra if your home has an extra floor.
Litter Box Placement
For potty training 3-8 week kittens, it's best to confine them in one room for at least 2 weeks to 1 month. Litter box must be easily seen by the kittens for an easy access.
For adult cats, pick a quiet location from your home when you decided to place the litter box permanently. Our best bet is away from the common areas like a living room, kitchen or laundry room where noises or people usually gather around. Instead, put the litter box in the study room, empty bathroom (dry and not wet) or anywhere quiet corners around the house.
Oh, and never place your litter box near to your cat food and water bowl. Cats do not eat and eliminate in the same place.
Types of Litter
There are multiple types of litter to choose from but not every type works for the cats. Mostly clay litters, silica or crystals may not feel comfortable on the paws. Pine wood and recycled paper litter may turn soggy after awhile which exerts odor easily may not be suitable for cats who are sensitive to smell.
Kittens learn from their mothers. So best to seek the type of litter being used before transitioning to new litter, which could also be the root of litter box problems.
You may need to try out different types of litter to find one that works best for your cats!
We recommend you to start with PottyAid by Pottycats - cat litter that aids potty training and helps cats to use the litter box more effectively.
Set a Potty Routine
Most cats relief themselves after a long nap or in the evening when the cats are active. Do carry your cat to the litter box for a few times in the day and let him know that the litter box is a place to potty. Cats are smart and fast learners when you are being the mama cat to guide them through the process.
Once you carry your cat to the litter box, let him familiarize with the texture of the litter and use your hands to imitate a digging motion into the litter. Cats naturally dig and bury their waste so just be patient and trust your cat will do it on its own.
Positive Praise and Rewards
You may notice your cat may have eliminated their waste in the litter box by now. It's okay if you notice your cat did not bury any of its waste. Do praise them by giving positive remarks and reward them with treats!
If your cat happens to eliminate outside the litter box, pick up the waste and place them into the litter box to create a potty scent as a reminder. If it's urine, remove it (usually happens on the pillowcase or towels) and try rubbing it against the litter.
Try to clean thoroughly the place your cat eliminated with citrus based cleaners (cats dislike them!) to avoid any repeat elimination at the same area.
Never ever punish or raise your voice at your cat as he is still learning along with you.
Once your cat is potty trained, remember to keep your litter box clean by scooping the waste daily or multiple times a day if you have multiple cats. (Do not miss this step!) Make your life easier by using clumping and flushable litter so you don't dread cleaning up the litter box. This is really important to avoid your cats from eliminating outside the litter box.
Cat's urine contains ammonia and it's our number one enemy for odor and most of cat owners do not know a huge number of bacteria are found in the litter box. Refresh the litter and do a deep cleaning every month .
If all else fails, health problems might be causing your cat not using the litter box. Most common issues could be the result of urinary tract infection (UTI), kidney disease or diabetic. Sometimes, changes at home may also caused changes in cat's well-being like stress or anxiety.
If you're adopting a cat, make sure you consult a vet for a thorough body checkup to ensure no underlying problems arise later on.
With that in mind, do not delay the problems and a visit to the vet may help save your cat's life with early detection.
Our mission to care for your cats remain the same. With the new normal, we always find ways to connect to our customers safely. Feel free to connect with us by booking a free virtual appointment and we will be extremely happy to help your cats get back into the litter box!