A cat that does not use his litter box can be very exasperating. It is not that much of a problem when he is out of the house and free to roam your garden during the day, but it can be really frustrating when it is time to keep him inside the house. It is maddening to wake up to cat pee and poo littering your home, not to mention unhealthy since cat feces and urine contains bacteria and viruses that can be harmful to humans. You do not want your cat’s stubbornness to affect your family’s health, so you need to have your cat litter-trained.
Below are some tips on how to train your cat to use his litter box.
Check the Litter Box
One of the reasons why your cat will not use his litter box is because it is already probably very dirty. After all, why use the soiled, smelly litter box when there are cleaner areas that he can use?
If you want to litter-train your cat, then see to it that you always keep the litter box clean to entice him into using it. Clean the litter box thoroughly with soap and water, and if it still reeks of urine, then neutralize the odor with vinegar. Do not use ammonia though as this could worsen the smell. Finally, change the litter as needed.
Proper Placement of the Litter Box
It is important that you place the litter box in a good place. Make sure that the litter box is kept away from the place where he usually eats and sleeps, but see to it that the litter box is accessible to him. Do not place the litter box where the cat cannot reach it, say for example in the bathroom with a door that swings shut. If you want to keep it in the bathroom, then place a stopper against the door to keep it open and the litter box accessible to him.
Another way of making the litter box accessible to your cat is to place at least two more litter boxes in different locations, especially in places where the cat usually urinates or defecates. This will give your cat easy access to all litter boxes.
Reward Your Cat for a Job Well Done
You need to reward your cat every time you see him use the litter box. It can be kitty treats or a loving pat on the head. The important thing is that your cat realizes that good behavior gets rewarded.
Of note though; if you are still training your cat to use the litter box, you have to be aware of the time he usually urinates or defecates. For most cats, the time they usually relieve themselves is a few minutes upon waking up and after a meal. Some cats also relieve themselves after exercise.
If these tips do not help you in training your cat to use the litter box, then maybe it is time to seek help from a cat behaviorist. There may also be something medically wrong with him that makes him refuse the litter box, in which case you will need to visit his vet.
Jennifer Dagon is an article provider for a number of pet blogs. She mostly writes about dog and cat training tips. If you want to know more about pet health, she recommends visiting your vet, such as http://miamianimalhospital.com/