How to Litter train a cat or more importantly how to litter train yourself!
So you are looking for information on how to litter train a cat ? Cats are naturally drawn to use litter as it is similar to what they would use in the wild. However if you are using paper or bark or crystals then your cats may find this weird and think that your carpet seems more natural. By far the best and most natural litter is clumping clay it has its pro's and cons but one of its biggest pros is it seems natural to your cat.
So the question is does your cat need litter box training or do you need litter box training? Most of the time due to an overwhelming market of products the simple question of how to litter train a cat becomes lost in a never ending amount of this is the best for you products!
Keep reading below and I will explain everything you need to know to train yourself and your fur friend for a happy house free of accidents.
If you have never had an inside cat before do not underestimate the smell and mess that can be made if you don’t properly plan for the cat litter box.
If you would prefer to watch my guide to litter boxes I have made the below video.
VIDEO COMING SOON!!!
Unfortunately, for most cat owners a cat litter box is a necessary evil in your home. If you don’t rent and can fully enclose your yard, I would highly recommend setting up your cat litter box outside under a patio or some other area out of the weather. Then you would just need to set up a cat flap so your cat can get inside and out when you’re not home.
So if you do rent or can’t fully enclose your yard and your feline friends are going to live inside with you then the below guide or above video should save you allot of bad smells and learning the hard way.
What you will Need
- Purchase a large cat litter box
- You want plenty of depth to hold lots of litter I prefer a hooded box with a carbon filter such as this CATIT litter box
- Use a good clumping clay litter
- I use and would recommend Catsan clumping clay cat litter if you live in Australia this litter is the best clumping on the market. The only negatives to this litter are that it tracks a little and is dusty when you first take it out of the bag but overall it’s the best all round I have used. (If you live outside Australia try this litter as it got really good reviews) Precious Cat ultra premium cat litter
- Use lots of litter
- It will tell you on the bag to only use a small amount on the bottom and change out regularly. This doesn’t work as urine makes it to the bottom of your litter tray and sticks. I use 2 x 7kg bags for my 2 adult cats and I get between 4-5 weeks per change out.
- Purchase a plastic boot tray or similar and cut out a section for the front of your litter box to sit in. (this will catch the initial tracking when they leave the litter box)
- Purchase a 1 meter x 1-meter sheet of fake grass from hardware store (dont pay more the $20)
- You will cut this to fit it your designated area this will be your secondary tracking catcher
- Purchase a good scoop
- You want a scoop with a nice wide grid pattern this will avoid you having to shake the scoop much as the litter will just fall through. This prevents you from breaking apart the clumped urine balls and spoiling your cat litter.
- Get yourself a small bucket and use freezer bags to scoop the waste into each day and dispose of
- If you have a more environmentally friendly option then freezer bags please comment and let me know? I would prefer not to use freezer bags.
Once you have set up you litter box and your cats are going about their business you are going to want to clean and maintain the cat litter box as follows.
- Scoop the cat litter box daily
- Some people do twice a day I have 2 adult cats that use the same litter box and once a day is fine
- When scooping the litter box don’t break the urine balls. These will break into smaller pieces and spoil your litter sooner.
- Vacuum the grass matte once a week or as needed
- Change out the litter when your urine balls are sticking to the bottom
- This means you don’t have allot of litter left and once the urine makes it to the bottom before clumping they will break apart and spoil your litter
- You would also change your litter if you have spoiled it early by breaking open too many urine balls or if it starts to smell or generally not look up to standard. For 14kg of clumping clay cat litter, I usually get 4-5 weeks.
- Each time you change the cat litter sanitize the litter box, scoop, bin & boot tray
- I take the litter box, scoop, bin & boot tray outside and hose out first then spray down with a solution of Domestos and water about 10:1 solution. I then hose it all off and let it dry outside or if you are in hurry dry off with some paper towel.
- Every second time you change the cat litter change the carbon filter and hose down and sanitize the grass matte
That’s it your now a cat litter box expert and ready to own a cat without being labelled the person who’s house smells like a litter box !
How To Litter Train a Cat
All that is great to know but is not worth much if your cat decides your carpet or brand new couch is a better place for them to go to the bathroom!
Whilst in some instances it may be necessary to figure out how to litter train a cat, most of the time it is not required. If you give them a clean environment and follow my above and below instructions your cat will probably just use the litter box.
For our 2 cats, we only had one instance where Mia our female cat went outside the litter box. We used a firm voice and the spray bottle with some water whilst she was in the act then directly after took her to the litter box and put her inside. For the next couple of hours every 15 minutes or so we took her to the litter box and put her inside.
You don’t really need to know how to litter train a cat as it comes natural to them but what you do need to do is reinforce to them that this is where they go.
How to litter train a cat steps:
- Start kittens off in a non-hooded litter box
- This will make a mess short term but that’s just part of owning a cat
- When introducing a new cat to your home and litter box periodically take them and place them in the litter box from wherever they are in the house at the time.
- I would initially do every 15 minutes for the first 2 hours, then hourly, four hourly, twice a day, daily and eventually when you are confident stop doing this
- After 2 weeks you could introduce the hood
- With the hood on, put your cat inside the litter box 4 or 5 times in a row and allow them to get out (show them how by moving the flap) then every 2 hours put them inside again for 2 or 3 times
- Then just monitor them to make sure they can get into the hooded box
If you notice any accidents and you catch them in the act or shortly after, use the spray bottle, a firm voice and immediately take them to the litter box and put them inside a number of times to show them that this is where they were meant to go.
Hopefully this helps you with how to litter train a cat and by reading this I hope you are litter trained enough yourself so that your cat doesn't require any training.