Having a cat is like having a kid, minus the tantrums and the annoying wails of despair. While you're rewarded with infinite cuteness, there's a lot of work needed to keep your cat on the right path of life. That also includes teaching him how to be a responsible pooper.
Litter training isn't hard to figure out, though. With the right supplies, right patience, and careful observation, you can train your cat the proper way to defecate.
Responsibility doesn't dash through your cat's mind like a bullet train, though, so best we get started with the lesson, soldier! Ready your cat's butt and your notes as we share with you 6 best ways on how to train your little feline dragon how to use the litter box.
1. Get the best litter box for your cat
You'll want your cat feeling comfortable while he does his business. When buying a litter box for your cat, always go for the bigger size. Even if your cat's still at the kitten phase, he won't appreciate the snuggly space of the box when he grows into a full-fledged feline.
Plus, cats love huge spaces. They would feel more at ease knowing he has more space for his future excreting business.
Whatever happens, don't forget to clean the litter box every day, too. In the first few days, it's forgivable to leave some litter in the box for a while. Your cat's still getting familiar with his new toilet, after all.
However, when your cat has graduated from proper pooping academy, you have to remove the litter every day. You wouldn't want to leave your little business in the toilet too, and we'll bet you'll scour the corners of the world just to find and use any toilet aside from your current, "occupied" one.
Remember to use only warm water and soap when cleaning the box. Never use cleaning agents made with harsh chemicals. The smell may turn off your cat and might even get him sick.
If you can't be bothered to clean your cat's waste, then get your cat a self-cleaning litter box. It does all the yucky cleaning duties for you. You can check this website for tips and suggestions on the best, budget-worthy, self-cleaning litter boxes in the market.
2. Buy the right litter
Your cat would need the proper cover-up for his stinky crime. You can choose two apprentices for this: an inexpensive non-clumping litter that does an okay cover-up job, or an eco-friendly cat litter, a.k.a the best litter choice for your money.
Eco-friendly cat litters are made with natural alternatives such as bamboo, kernel corn, sawdust, and/or plant materials. They're affordable and free from chemicals and additives, so you're guaranteed a safe pooping environment for your cat the budget-friendly way.
3. Scout the best bathroom location in your home
If the litter box is placed somewhere inaccessible, or if there are possible threats nearby, they may find your carpet the best toilet alternative.The ideal spot for the litter box is somewhere with enough space for moving around. If you're a multi-pet household, you'll need to improvise more security options, like installing a stair gate to keep off the other pets from the area. Keep the food and water bowl away from the litter box too, ideally on the other side of the room.
It's not advisable to place the litter box outside. You don't want to be doing your business with a lot of spectators either way, so have mercy and give your cat some privacy.
Once you've chosen the right spot for the litter box, don't move it elsewhere. Your cat may wonder where his toilet has gone, and may even skip doing his waste business because he can't find the bathroom.
4. Show your cat how to use the litter box
We don't mean doing your business right in his toilet box. Just a little demonstration on how to dig a spot before dropping his waste on the ground.
Carry your cat towards his litter box, and start demonstrating by scraping the litter with your hands. He might get the idea of how to use the litter box when he sees you doing it.
You can also learn his activity schedule, see which time he eats and take a nap. Usually, cats do their business right after doing these certain activities. These are the best times to show him how to use his new throne.
5. Reward him every time he uses the litter box
After your cat relieves himself in the litter box, let him know he's doing the right thing by giving him a treat or a taste of his favorite kibble.
And no matter how annoying it may get,
6. Never scold your cat when he uses the box wrong
Don't make him feel bad when he poops on the floor again. Cats can understand a bit of human communication, and they may get stressed or anxious when they learn you're scolding them.
If all of these steps fail, try these suggestions:
Give your cat some alone time with the litter box
If you're newly-adopted feline is an extreme introvert, you may want to give him more privacy while pooping. He might even see you as a threat, so give him some room. You can always resume your bonding time after he's done cleaning his butt. Just don't let him lick you for a while, please.
Check for medical issues
Medical issues can sometimes cause littering problems in cats. For instance, cats with medical issues on their urinary tract may choose to defecate on the floor instead. Some may try to hold their wastes if they experience difficulties, like aching joints for senior cats. If you suspect your cat has medical conditions, visit your vet for an expert's advice.
Spay or neuter your cat
Male cats who haven't been neutered may continue to urinate elsewhere to mark their territories. Get your cat spayed or neutered, and observe if the litter box problem still persists.
Admit defeat and accept the fact that your cat thinks your house is a huge litter box.
What else can you do? You're the human slave, after all. Either that or you were just blessed with an adorable, feline asshole.