Generally kittens are far easier to housetrain than puppies. Most kittens are already housetrained by their mothers at the age of six weeks.
Naturally, most cats tend to bury their excrement underground, and therefore do their business outside. But for some it is necessary to have a cat properly housetrained, especially when living in an apartment. In the beginning, one should carefully note one's kitten’s toilet habits, as it can be very difficult to change them.
Follow these tips to make the most of housetraining your cat:
- Find a good spot to place a litter box, preferably in a quiet secluded area where your kitten will not be disturbed by noise or movement. It is also a good idea to leave your kitten in one room, with the litter box as this could help your little feline become acquainted with his toilet.
- With regards to the type of pellets to be used in your cat’s litterbox, rather opt to using plain, unscented pellets. Many cats do not like scented pellets as they familiarise themselves with their own smell. Once you have found a litter that pleases your kitten, do not change it. The recommended amount of litter is usually clearly indicated on the litter packets. If unsure, ask your vet.
- Keep your kitten's litter box clean at all times. Scoop out all clumps and wet pellets daily and be sure to replace it with fresh litter. Regularly wash your cat's litter box with soap and water and ensure that you do not use a strong-smelling detergent.
- Make sure the litter box is always easily accessible for your kitten. For example, it would not be ideal to have a deep litter box for a kitten, as it will struggle to get inside.
- If you have more than one cat, it is recommended each cat have its own toilet. Cats are very reluctant to share the same litter box, as they see it as being another feline's territory.
- If your cat uses the garden as a toilet, make sure that it is always accessible. A cat flap or an open window (cats can get through burglar bars) will do the trick. Cats can get very distresses if they are locked inside a house and have no access to their toilet.
Throughout your cat's life, it is likely to maintain the same toilet routine, if you follow the above tips. If however you notice any problems, call your veterinarian as it could be due to a medical problem. On the other hand, it could just be a bad habit that your cat has developed. If this is the case, ask a professional for advice on how to curb the problem.
(Health24, updated March 2012)
(Photo of cute kitten from Shutterstock)
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