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  • The Ultimate Guide For How To Train Your Cat to Use the Litter Box

    The Ultimate Guide For How To Train Your Cat to Use the Litter Box

    Do cats naturally use the litter box? Or is a little potty training required before you can relax about the safety of your rugs and furnishings? And if so, what's the best way to housetrain a cat fast? 

    Ultimately, how to train your cat to use the litter box depends on their age and experiences. But it’s fairly straightforward.

    Read on for our favorite tips and tricks for cat litter box training for kittens, seniors cats, and strays.

    Do you have to train a cat to use the litter box?

    This is a question of nature vs nurture

    A cat naturally wants to bury its waste, so cats usually learn how to use the litter box quickly. However, if you want your cat to use the litter box consistently and correctly, some teaching could be necessary. 

    Cats already have the natural instinct to bury their waste, but young cats may not immediately recognize the proper place to do so. Cats learn best with positive reinforcement, so rewarding them for using the litter box correctly is a great way to encourage good behaviors. 

    Do new cats need to be litter trained? 

    Kittens learn through trial and error. As a result, they often figure out how to use the litter box soon after you introduce it. 

    Do cats naturally use the litter box? 

    Yes, cats instinctively understand that they should bury their waste in the litter box. That doesn't mean a cat is going to be 100% reliable, though.

    How often do cats use the litter box? 

    Generally, cats need to use the litter box about two or three times a day. If your cat is not using the litter box enough or is having accidents outside of the litter box, consult your veterinarian or a pet behavior specialist for advice.

    How to litter train your kitten

    To start litter training your kitten, place the litter box in a quiet area of your home, away from other animals and noise. Make sure to put a small amount of litter in the box and show your kitten how to scratch and cover their waste with the litter. A smart kitty will learn fast.

    When should you start litter training kittens? 

    Kittens are able to learn new skills quickly, and early training will help your kitten become comfortable and familiar with the litter box. Start litter training kittens by placing them inside the box after meals, nap times, and play sessions.

    What type of litter is best for kittens?

    Go with a natural, environmentally friendly cat litter that is unscented, biodegradable, and dust-free. Avoid clumping litters as they may be too heavy and difficult for kittens to scoop out of the box. Also, avoid any type of scented litter as cats are sensitive to certain smells and the scent may turn them off from using the litter box.

    What type of litter box should I buy for a kitten?

    A simple open litter box works best for kittens, as it allows them to easily enter and exit the loo without feeling trapped. Make sure the litter box is big enough for your growing kitten.

    Where should a cat's litter box be placed in the house?

    Cats prefer their litter box to be in a quiet spot that offers some privacy. If your cat feels uncomfortable with where their litter box is located, they may avoid using it or even start going to the bathroom outside of the box. 

    Ideally, the litter box should be placed in an area that is not too far from your cat's food and water dishes. It should also be away from any noisy or chaotic areas of the home, like laundry rooms or near the front door. The litter box should be easily accessible for your cat but also convenient for you.

    If you have multiple cats, you need multiple litter boxes. Use the "+1 rule" to discover how many litter boxes you need: # of cats + 1 extra box. If you have two cats, you need three boxes. Three cats? Four boxes. And so on.

    Cat litter box training problems

    Common problems that can arise when trying to train a cat to use the litter box include cats not using the box, falling asleep in the litter box, or even eating the litter! 

    If your kitten isn't using the litter box, this could be because of stress or anxiety issues. To combat this problem, try to make the environment as stress-free as possible and make sure the litter box is in a quiet place in your home. If you suspect a medical issue, take your cat to the vet for a check-up. 

    Cats can also fall asleep in their boxes due to anxiety or stress. If possible, try to provide a more comfortable sleeping area for your cat in a place far away from the litter box. 

    It is also not uncommon for cats to eat the litter. But it's not a good idea. Check with your vet about how to improve your cat's diet. We also recommend you switch to a non-toxic and non-clumping litter in case your cat persists in this behavior. Also make sure that the litter box is scooped frequently and keep it clean at all times. 

    With these tips, hopefully, you will be able to successfully train your cat and get them using the litter box without any hiccups!

    Do you have to train an old cat to use the litter box?

    Yes, it is possible to teach an old cat to use a litter box. Even if your adult cat has not had proper litter box training in the past, you can still train them to use the litter box correctly. 

    Start by choosing the right litter box. Make sure it is large enough for your cat and that it is placed in a quiet area of the house. Also, you may want to consider a covered litter box if your cat does not like to be disturbed when using it. 

    Once you have the correct litter box setup, take the time to acclimate your cat to the new environment. Place them in the box and provide plenty of positive reinforcement in the form of treats and verbal praise. If your cat is hesitant at first, be patient and let them get used to it at their own pace. 

    You can also try incorporating litter box training into a routine with your cat. Whenever they approach the box, reward them with treats and positive reinforcement. Additionally, make sure to keep the area around the litter box clean by scooping out any waste and changing the litter as needed. 

    With enough patience and persistence, your cat will eventually get used to using the litter box. 

    Do stray cats know how to use a litter box?

    Stray cats, or cats that have been abandoned, may never have been taught how to use the litter box. Some strays get the hang of things right away. Others may need more time. If you've taken in a stray, and she hasn't quite adapted to using the box, consider the following tips:

    • Spay or neuter the animal.
    • Keep the box squeaky clean.
    • Experiment with different litters, box types, and locations.
    • Check with your vet to make sure your new pet doesn't have a medical issue that causes litter box problems.

    With patience and training, you can teach a stray cat how to use the litter box.


    By using these tools and following the steps outlined in this guide, you will be on your way to successfully teaching a cat to use a litter box. Shop the Modkat litter boxes and accessories to freshen up your cat litter area today!

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