Author Topic: Litter Training New Cats and Kittens  (Read 1241 times)

Offline DeeDee

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Litter Training New Cats and Kittens
« on: July 06, 2013, 06:38:21 PM »
I often see requests for help with litter training in Twitter.

Could you all please write up some tips for "HOW TO" in this post so that I can refer people to it? I don't have a clue in heck how to help them; and the post about Jackson Galaxy is the only one I can give to people.

I just think it would be nice to have more info from those of you with a lot of cat experience to give to people.

Thank you in advance!
"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog." Edward Hoagland
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Offline Middle Child

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Re: Litter Training New Cats and Kittens
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2013, 07:04:17 PM »
I've never had to "train" a cat to use the litter.  Just showed the cat where it is. Including new kittens. Cats are naturally fastidious.  They want a clean private place to do their bathrooming.

But here are some tips.

If they have a miss, for pee: sprinkle some litter over the pee, sweep it up and put it in the box.  Bring kitten over to box to smell herself in the box.  For poop, same thing, just pick it up and put it in the litter box.

Very young kittens usually need a low sided box very close by.  Like any baby they don't always notice they have to go until the very last minute. They need something they can get to quickly, and get into easily. Disposable aluminum cookie sheets are very good for this.

Adult cats, even feral cats, just seem to know what to do with a litter box. There was a feral using my friend's garage as home quarters.  We know she was truly wild because she was the last of my TC's offspring, the one who avoided the trap when TC's kittens were caught and brought to rescue for socializing. She was a wild animal, pure wild.

 When the snow got deep I told them to put a litter box out there.  They scoffed saying she wouldn't know what it was.  I said your garage already smells like pee, just try it. They put a litter box in the garage.  She used it all winter.  When they didn't keep it clean enough for her liking she kicked everything out of it onto the garage floor. funny2 funny2

Offline Middle Child

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Re: Litter Training New Cats and Kittens
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2013, 07:14:34 PM »
PS One of my favorite memories of Little Cat is of the day she discovered the Big Cat litter boxes.  She was so tiny, and the first few days after her integration I still had a litter box in her Castle (large dog crate), even though she wasn't being shut in the Castle any more, she was still using the litter box in it.

Then, on the third day I watched her discover the stairs. She plopped down them one at a time as I watched carefully from the top.  Once she got down them she began to explore.  Then she discovered the litter boxes!  Such EXCITEMENT! 

Brrrmph! mrrrpmph! She called to me.  I hurried down the stairs and she ran up to me stretching herself up on my legs brruping a mile a minute. Then she ran back over to the litter boxes, turning to look back to make sure I was watching.  More brrups and mrrmphs as she jumped up onto the platform and walked through all of the litter boxes.  I could tell just what she was saying. "Look Mom!  Hey mom, lookit, LOOKIT Mom, there's a BATHROOM down here, LOOK, a BATHROOM!"  Goodness was she excited.  And from that moment on she never used her baby potty upstairs again, so I put it away.

Offline DeeDee

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Re: Litter Training New Cats and Kittens
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2013, 07:28:11 AM »
Thank you, MC! Any little bit here that I can lead people to helps.

That's an awesome story about LC! It's amazing how much pets can act like skin-kids!
"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog." Edward Hoagland
"Thorns may hurt you, men desert you, sunlight turn to fog; but you're never friendless ever, if you have a dog."

Offline Pookie

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Re: Litter Training New Cats and Kittens
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2013, 08:35:39 AM »
MC gave some great information.  I didn't really have to "train" Pookie or his sister, either.  They were litter box trained when I got them (they were 8 weeks old), and when I got them home, I put them in the box and let them explore.  They knew what it was and what it was for.  Later, when I moved the box to a different part of the house (more quiet), I brought them over and put them in it again.  It was never a problem.

Litter boxes should be in quiet, low/no-traffic private areas.  Dr. Pierson has a section about litter boxes on her website:  http://catinfo.org/?link=litterbox.  Confession:  I have one of the boxes she DOESN'T recommend--the kind with a lid.  It doesn't seem to bother Pookie at all.  He goes in, turns around so his head is sticking out, and does his business.  I scoop it twice a day (morning and evening) so it stays clean.

I hope this helps!
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Offline Lola

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Re: Litter Training New Cats and Kittens
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2013, 12:14:07 PM »
Our first cat was a kitten found outside.  We didn't train her to use the litter box.  We just put down a litter box, put her in it... and the rest is history.  :)  Any new addition, we just showed him/her where the litter boxes were located.  No problems. 

I think cleanliness and location are important factors.   We have a box pretty much in every room of the house, excluding the bathrooms.  There is always access to a box... wherever a cat may be hanging out. 

We currently have 5 boxes and 7 cats.  We used to have 6 boxes.  I recently tossed one, and and haven't replaced it yet.  No one seems to notice we are down one box.  lol  Obviously, I don't go by the "a box + one for every cat."  I think the number of boxes work for us, due to locations and cleaning schedule.   

We have covered and uncovered boxes.  There doesn't seem to be a preference.  BUT our covered boxes are extra extra large.  The litter (Dr. Elsey's) is virtually dust free.  It has no perfume-y or pine smells.  The cats don't need to plug their noses when using the potty.   :D 

I will NEVER (again) use a litter that has ANY kind of perfume-y, pine, etc. smell.  A litter box will NOT smell, if it is scooped and washed out on a regular basis. 

By the way, when I switched to Dr. Elseys litter (blue bag)...the ones sneezing stopped.  If purchased in the 40 pound bag, it is OFTEN cheaper than most other litters.  I mention that because, I don't know how many times I have heard..."But it is soooo expensive."  I don't know what "they" are buying, but is it totally in-line (price-wise) with other name brands. 
Also, the ones that would potty and SHOOT out of the box... stopped.  Best of all, everyone takes the time to cover their "deposits."  When I used ANY other brand of litter... someone would sneeze, shoot, or not cover. 

I personally think the number of boxes and location ...pretty much depends on the cat(s). 

If a healthy cat is eliminating outside of the box (assuming it is kept clean), YOU are doing something wrong.  Add boxes, change litter brands, change location, etc. 
« Last Edit: July 08, 2013, 01:41:47 AM by Lola, Reason: Was going to correct spelling error... can\'t find it now! »
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