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How to Litter Train a Cat

By: Dr. Debra Primovic

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How to Litter Train a Cat

How do you litter train a cat? Litter boxes are hygienic and convenient, so it's worth trying to get your cat to use one. Surprisingly, it's much easier than you might imagine.

Cats naturally want to cover their waste. They normally seek soft, loose materials such as dirt, pine needles, sand or mulch for this purpose. Once a cat finds a suitable place to eliminate, they will paw and dig at the ground to make a small depression in the substrate.

Once a hole has been dug the cat will generally turn, squat and eliminate. They then cover their waste with the material around them.

The best way to litter box train a cat is to place a new litter box filled with unscented clumping litter in a quiet, safe area with a reasonable amount of privacy. Kittens can feel the urge to use the bathroom immediately after eating, which makes it a good time to gently introduce them to the litter box. Adult cats often need only be shown the box once before they will seek it out on their own. You can also make the box seem more appealing by sprinkling a little bit of catnip on the litter.

When your cat uses their litter, offer them soft verbal praise and give them lots of affection and treats immediately after. Remember that some cats are very shy and require privacy to feel comfortable, so try not to disturb them while they are occupied.

With a little patience, your cat can be litter trained in no time. I hope these tips have helped make that process easier.

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