If you have a new (or even not-so-new) kitty, litter box training matters to you. The good news is that cats are instinctively fastidious creatures. The bad news is that without a little help, your kitty may not be fastidious where you want them to be.
So, with a tip of the hat to Mother Goose, here are eight tips to keep kitty poop in its proper place:
1. Hush little kitty, don’t you cry! Cats like a quiet, relatively private place for their litter box, away from the bustle and rush of an entry way or high traffic area. Ideally, the box should be away from the cat’s feeding and sleeping areas.
2. A rose by any other name…still smells. When choosing kitty litter, avoid heavily scented ones. Your cat may not prefer the aroma, which could deter his frequenting of the box. Clumping kitty litter makes your job easier and helps you keep the area clean, which brings us to the next suggestion.
3. Clean, clean, clean the box. As mentioned before, cats are fastidious, and a litter box should be cleaned at least once a day. If the box is dirty, your cat may find a creative alternative like your teenage son’s open sock drawer or an obscure spot in the guest bedroom. A large slotted spoon and a supply of small plastic bags kept nearby make quick work.
4. One, two, buckle my shoe. You should have one litter box for each cat you own, plus one more. That means if you have two cats, you need three litter boxes.
5. London Bridge is falling down. London Bridge is falling down. The sides of a litter box should be low enough that a kitten can easily step over the edges. When you first bring the kitten home, take her to the box first thing. She may get the idea immediately. At the very least, he knows where the box is.
6. Don’t move it ’round the mulberry bush! Once the litter box is strategically placed where you want it, try not to move it. A location switch could confuse your kitty and lead to accidents.
7. Twinkle, twinkle little star. Positive reinforcement is preferable to negative. A treat given in the early days for use of the litter box could encourage your kitten to repeat that behavior.
8. Mary, Mary, quite contrary. Although no one wants to run across kitty poop or pee on the rug, yelling or making a scene could cause your cat to be stealthy and even strategic with her mishaps. Her revenge is not sweet, believe us.
Alas, there’s no more time for feline nursery rhymes. Go tell Aunt Rhody to call us and schedule a check-up for Winken, Blinken and Nod. We look forward to meeting the newest cat in your cradle!