Getting a new pet is a fun and exciting adventure in life! Whether you bought or adopted your new cat, it is important to be prepared for an adjustment period. Your cat will need some time to get acclimated to their new surroundings, new family, and new routines. One thing to consider is how you will be keeping your pet healthy and your home clean for the years to come. Let’s talk about a few ways to litter train your cat.
Litter Training Options for Your Cat
Looking into litter training can feel overwhelming because there are so many options; types of litter, where to put it, how to clean it, the list goes on and on. Let’s explore some options and what might be the best fit for your needs to make sure you have a happy, healthy family and home.
Litter training is usually instinctive for most cats, but you can speed up this process by providing a comfortable, easily accessible little box option for your feline friend. Introduce your cat to the litter box after meals, playing, or at times when you feel your cat may need to relieve them. Be sure to keep the litter box clean, but don’t try to cover up your cat’s scent as they adjust to their new facilities.
If your cat is taking longer than you would like to learn their little box routine, be patient. Scolding your cat may discourage them from using the litter box at all.
When picking out a litter box, consider the size of your cat. Choose an option that your cat will fit in comfortably. Some cats prefer an open box, others prefer an uncovered box. This is all based on your cat’s unique personality and needs. Some litter boxes come with a self-cleaning option. This is a great solution to provide a clean and tidy space for your pet, but be aware that some cats may feel uncomfortable or stressed by this.
While just one litter box may seem sufficient, consider buying more than one especially if there are multiple cats in the house. Each cat may feel the need to have their own territory or have a different placement preference than another cat. If your pet is showing signs of litter box aversion, try a different litter box option until you find one that works for your kitty.
Types of Litter
Clay litter comes in both clumping and non-clumping varieties. Because non-clumping litter does not leave obvious clumps, it is easy to miss soiled spots. Clumping litter is a highly absorbent option, which keeps your cat’s mess contained in an easy to scoop clump. Although clay litter may be cheaper than other varieties, it can be dustier and heavier to clean.
Cat litter made from crystals or gel beads is super absorbent. This a great option to use if you are worried about dust or odor. While this option may be more expensive, you may end up doing slightly less cleaning in the long run. If you decide to use a gel option, be aware of your cat’s behaviors. If they tend to lick frequently, gel may not be the best option as long term exposure or ingestion could cause illness.
Natural and Eco-Friendly Materials
There are many forms of natural material cat litter including pine shavings, ground wheat, walnut shells, and grass. Recycled paper is another great eco-friendly alternative to traditional cat litter. This option does not produce dust and does not expose your cat to any chemicals.
Much like the gel litter, it is important to be aware of your pet’s behaviors to ensure that they are not ingesting materials from the litter to prevent any potential illnesses.
Health and Safety Considerations for Cat Litter
When cleaning out your cat litter, no matter what method you have chosen, be sure to use good hygiene practices for health and safety. It is important to clean out your cat’s litter box 1 – 2 times per day. Clean out any waste containers and clean out the box completely once per week. Use hot water, and a natural fragrance-free soap. This will ensure that materials in the box are dry. This will provide a clean and safe space for your pet to relieve themselves.
Be mindful of your cat’s unique practices. If they seem to be struggling to get the hang of using the litter box, consider using a different method. They may be uncomfortable with the location of the box, type of litter box, or dislike the type of litter.
You want your cat to feel safe and comfortable. In the long term, this will help maintain a happy, healthy, and safe environment for both your whole family, furry feline friends and all.
Don’t want to leave your cat alone while you are away? Contact Space Coast Pet Services for help with your pet care needs, we’ll even clean the litter box daily!
Melanie is the owner and founder of Brevard’s premier trusted in-home pet care company. With a Sociology & Criminal Justice degree from the University of Tennessee, in 2016 she took her corporate security background and combined it with her lifelong passion for animals – that’s how Space Coast Pet Services was born! She is certified in Pet First Aid & CPR, bonded, insured, and proudly completed a full background check successfully. She is committed to ongoing training and education for herself and her team. To learn more, click here.
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