cat in a litterbox

Litter Box Management for Kittens and Cats

It is amazing how kittens can be litter box trained so easily!  However, here are some principles to keep in mind when introducing a kitten or a new fully-grown cat into your home.

Rule Number One

Cats are naturally very clean!  Make sure you scoop the litter regularly to keep it as clean as possible or purchase a self-cleaning litter box that clears waste after each use.

Think like a Kitten

Until your kitten grows up into his gorgeous cat self, he is a tiny creature so introducing him into your house is like dropping him on a new and unfamiliar planet with no road map.  Decide where the litter box will stay and confine him within that space for a day or two and accompany him while he explores so you can remind him how to get back to the litter box.  If you have a two story home, one litter box on each floor is ideal.

Choose a Litter Type

There are many types of litter boxes available today, some of which are self cleaning, but if you decide on an old fashioned litter box, the scoop-able litter is easiest and cleanest.  Some cats are particular about their litter and may prefer softer litter touching their little paws.

Number of Litter Boxes

The general rule is to have one more litter box than the number of cats you have.  This ensures that your cat will not have to wait in line.

Litter Box Location

Just as you probably don’t eat in your bathroom, your cat won’t want to eat near his bathroom either so please do not put your cat’s food and water near the litter box!  Not only are cats very clean (see Rule Number One) but they are also very proper and do not want to eat where they go to the bathroom.

Litter Box Zen

The litter box location should not cause any stress for your cat.  For example, placing it next to a noisy washer/dryer will discourage him from using it.  If you have other pets who cause your cat any angst, make sure your cat always has an escape route and easy way to get to his litter boxes.

These guidelines will ensure that your kitten will grow into a cat who never misses!  When clients visit their vets because their cat is not using the litter box, the first line of questioning should be these litter box basics.  If all these are met and there is inappropriate elimination, looks for an underlying medical problem.

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