Siba Adasou (BVSc)
We know that it can be quite a challenge to litter train our newly welcomed pets. As a responsible pet owner we need to make our pets learn how to use their litter box. It will be convienient for cats as well as the owners too. Fortunately, cats are naturally clean animals and training them to use the litter box isn’t challenging, with a little patience and understanding of their natural instincts you can guide your furry friend to use the litter box.
ABCs OF LITTERBOX TRAINING
-Make sure the litter-boxes are easily accessible.
-Have plenty of litter-boxes; a good rule is that the minimum number of litter-boxes=number of cat + 1.
-Place litterboxes throughout the house.
-Place the litterbox in a quiet, low traffic area and avoid placing it near their food and water bowl.
-Make sure the litter-boxes are big enough to comfortably accommodate your cat, about 1.5 times the length of your cat and your cat should be able to turn in it.
-Low height box works well for kitten.
C= Clean & consistency
-Keep the boxes clean, scoop the litterboxes daily.
-Dump and wash the litterboxes with mild soap every 4-6 weeks. Avoid using strong cleaning agents.
-Offer clumping clay litter. Most cats prefer unscen- ted and low dust litter.
-Stick to a routine for feeding, playtime, potty breaks. Kitten often need to use the litter box after eating, waking up from a nap or after an active play. Pay attention to these cues and place them in the litter box during these times, this will help in forming a habit for them.
-When you bring your kitten home, gently place the kitten in the litter box and help them use their paws to scratch litter, this action mimics what they would do in the wild. Such demonstration will make them learn faster.
CAT FRIENDLY LITTERBOX OPTIONS FOR CATS
-When it comes to litter boxes, larger is better. It should be 1.5 times larger the length of cat’s body.
-Commercial litterboxes can be small for most cats instead we can use plastic bins.
-Cut an entrance on one end to provide easier access .High sides of bin helps contain the litter when the cat digs and cover.
-Purchase clear or transparent bins, cats are vulnerable when they are in the litterboxes, and it is important what they can see what’s around them.
THINGS TO AVOID :-
-Clustering litterboxes in one location.
-Placing litterboxes next to noisy appliances like washers/dryers etc.
-Punishing or scolding your cat for elimination outside the box. Your cat may be suffering from a medical issue, behavioural issue or sometimes both.
-Avoid noisy, dark or difficult to reach locations.
-Do not place litterbox in the same area as where the food and water is kept.
-Use deodorizers or air freshners in or near the litterbox.
-Place the litterboxes in ambush areas, where the cat is blocked off, cornered, and unable to flee. The writer is a student of College of Veterinary Sciences & A.H., Aizawl, Mizoram