Generally, cats will bury excrement in cat litter after defecation, which is not only clean and hygienic but also much more convenient to clean up. We advocate the use of cat litter, which has gradually become a necessity and fast-moving consumer good for cats. But cats are not naturally used cat litter, and some cats have developed the bad habit of excreting in the house. This requires us to make some efforts to train cats to use cat litter. It is easiest to train kittens, but it is also possible to train adult cats, but need to follow some methods. The inappropriate method will take you a long time and effort, and more seriously, it may backfire and make cats fearful of using cat litter. Here are a few ways to help cats learn to use cat litter faster:
Put the cat litter box in the right place
Don't place the cat litter box in a frequently-traveled area of the house, such as the kitchen or laundry room. The cat litter box is best placed in a place where the cat can easily reach, and at the same time has a certain degree of concealment. It's best to stay away from places where there are sudden noises, as that can startle the cat. Many people choose to place the cat litter box in their laundry room, but the sound of the washer and dryer may frighten cats and keep them away from the cat litter box. The cat litter box is best placed in a space where cats often move around. This way the cat can see the cat litter box and try to use it. Both kittens and adult cats want privacy. If they don't have privacy, they'll hide behind a sofa or in a remote corner. If you've started training your kitten to use the cat litter but need to relocate the cat litter box, take your time and move 1-2 meters every few days. Taking the cat litter box directly to another room can confuse the kitten, causing it to excrete all over the room. For more detailed placement suggestions, please refer to our previous article "The Inappropriate Location of The Cat Litter Box Makes Your House Smell Bad".
Put the kitten in the cat litter box full of cat litter
If it is a new kitten, when you bring the kitten home, you can immediately put it in the cat litter box full of cat litter. It can let the kitten get used to the smell and feel of the cat litter box. You can hold the cat's small paws to scratch a few times on the cat litter to make it familiar with the environment. Even if the kitten did not excrete at first, let it sit there for a few minutes. Put the cats in the cat litter box after it has eaten, after waking up, or anytime you feel it is about to excrete. In this way, the cat can understand the purpose of the cat litter box and deepen the cat's impression of the cat litter and the cat litter box. Some kittens will immediately understand the purpose of the cat litter box and do not require any additional training. Other kittens need to be put in at least ten times a day to understand, which requires you to have enough patience. Some kittens may take more time to learn to use cat litter but trust them, it's just a matter of time.
Don't punish the cat
During the training process, you can praise the right cat's behavior by petting and comforting. Never punish them in the cat litter box, or they may associate the cat litter box with punishment. This will backfire and will likely waste the entirety of your previous efforts. Over time, it can become very difficult to retrain your cat to use cat litter, or even impossible. If the cat is excreting outside the cat litter box during the training process, or if you want to train an adult cat who has the habit of excretion everywhere, you need to pay more attention to the training method. Cats don't like the smell of their own excrement, you can let them smell their own excrement, then gently pick them up and put them in the cat litter box, so they will know what to do next time. At this time, blaming or punishing the cat can only make the cat recognize the mistake, but cannot instruct the cat on what is right, and cannot achieve the purpose of training the cat to use the cat litter correctly. It may also make the cat fearful, causing the cat to choose a more hidden place to excrete, such as under the bed, the corner of the sofa, etc.
In addition to this method, once you find that the cat is excreting everywhere, you can also use a tissue to trans a little poop to the cat litter box, and let the cat stay in the cat litter box for a while. The cat's sense of smell is very good, so it will know that there is a connection between the cat litter box and the excretion. If the cat won't cover up the excretion, hold its small paws and dig some cat litter to bury it. If the burial didn't work the first time, put the cat in the cat litter box again and teach it to bury again. The next time you find that your cat wants to excrete anywhere, repeat the above method. Smart cats can learn quickly and can use cat litter correctly after a few days.
Eliminate the smell of the wrong place
After the cat urinates indiscriminately, it is necessary to clean up these areas in a timely and thorough manner to eliminate the smell of these places. Otherwise, the cat will smell the odor and continue to excrete in the wrong place. If the urine is not dry, blot the urine with a paper towel or pad, and throw the paper towel or pad into the cat litter box. Put the cat in the cat litter box and let it smell the cat litter box. After a few tries, the cat will understand that it needs to excrete in the cat litter box. The difficulty of doing this lies in the timeliness of discovery and cleaning, otherwise, it will be difficult to remove the smell, and the cat may excrete in these areas again. This is equivalent to the cat repeating the wrong habit once, and the more repetitions, the harder it is to change.
Watch the cat's little movements
Generally speaking, when we see a cat squatting with its tail raised, it means that it is about to excrete. Cats have a desire to go to the toilet after meals, after play, when excited, and when they wake up. We should pay special attention to the small movements of cats during these times. When we find that the cat is about to excrete, we should quickly take it to the cat litter box. After repeating it a few times, smart cats will think of the cat litter box when they want to excrete.
If cats don't use the cat litter, no matter how trained, the most common reason is that they have a medical condition, such as an inflamed urinary tract or bladder infection, intestinal parasites, injury, etc. These diseases can cause cats to feel pain when they excrete, so cats naturally associate the cat litter box with pain, so they will find other places that are more comfortable for them to excrete. While the cats excrete in other places won't solve the pain, it's a very useful signal to the owner. Once you find that your cat is no longer using the cat litter box, it is best to contact your veterinarian immediately and give your cat a full physical examination. If the cat not only does not use the cat litter box but also does not excrete, the owner must take them to the veterinary hospital immediately, because if the cat cannot excrete normally for more than two days, they are likely to die of acute renal failure.