When people get a new puppy, they talk about house training. In fact, house training a new puppy is one of the main focuses when it’s brought into a new home. However, you don’t really hear people talk about house training a new kitten. In fact, many people believe that it isn’t even possible to successfully train a kitten to be house trained or do much of anything else for that matter. However, it is indeed possible. It requires some patience and a little bit of training on your part as well.
Can Cats Really Be Trained?
The short answer is yes, cats really can be trained. They may not be as easy to train as some dogs, the people successfully trained cats everyday. A cat that has never used a litter box isn’t going to know what that box is for the first time that he encounters it. This is especially true if you’re adopting a cat that has lived the majority of its life on the street. As a result, it takes a bit of time and effort in order to teach the cats and they’re supposed to use the bathroom in the litter box, not wherever it suits them. Rest assured, it can be done. As a matter of fact, it might even go better for you if you’ve adopted an adult cat that simply isn’t used to using a litter box. Kittens can be trained to, but they have shorter attention spans, just like puppies. It doesn’t mean that you can’t train a kitten to use the litter box, far from it. What it does mean is that you will probably have to show them repeatedly and spend a little more time with them in order to make sure that they understand what you’re asking of them. The good news is that in most cases, you don’t have any issues once the cat has figured it out.
Where Do You Begin?
If you want to train your kitten to use the litter box, where do you begin? Fortunately, it’s not as difficult as you probably think it’s going to be. In fact, people generally have a tendency to make the entire process more difficult than it really needs to be. The first thing you have to do is pay attention to your cat. This will give you a better indication of when your cat needs to go. When it does, show it the litter box. If your cat is used to going outside, it might help to move the litter box toward the door. Unfortunately, some people have cats that have a tendency to go inside. If you are experiencing this issue, move the litter box to that particular area, making sure that your cat sees it. You might even try tapping on the litter box in hopes of calling your cat to it. Remember, it’s likely that this will take a few attempts before you’re successful. If it doesn’t work the first few times, don’t get frustrated. The last thing you want to do is become frustrated with your kitten during the times when you’re showing him the litter box. That will only serve to make him associate your anger with the litter box and he’ll want nothing to do with it from that point forward.
Praising Your Cat
If your cat does use the litter box, it’s just as important to praise him as it is to praise a dog when you’re training them to follow certain commands. Granted, most cats don’t particularly appreciate someone telling them they are a good kitty over and over (although some certainly do enjoy it). The best thing you can do is allow your cat to do his business and then pet him when he’s finished. This shows him that you’re pleased with what he did. It’s also a good idea to incorporate treats. Cats like treats just as much as dogs. By giving him a treat, petting him or even playing with him after he has used the litter box, you’re showing him that he has done what you’re asking him to do. It won’t take very long for him to start incorporating the idea of using the litter box with pleasing you, thereby getting that praise. As he becomes more and more accustomed to using the litter box without you having to prompt him to do so, you can begin to dial back the trees and the phrase a little bit at a time until he simply uses the litter box on his own accord.
Addressing Certain Behavioral Issues
What if you’re doing everything you can and your cat is still not using the litter box? Worse yet, what if he is using the bathroom inside your home? Sometimes, this can be due to behavioral issues such as stress or jealousy, especially if you have another pet at home. There are times when a cat will display this Behavior because he is adjusting to new surroundings. If you’ve just adopted him, give him time to settle in. Another thing that you might try is engaging your cat with some dedicated Play Time, both after he uses the litter box and throughout the day. Doing so can help relieve any stress that he might be feeling, thereby eliminating the problem. If these techniques don’t work, it’s a good idea to take your cat to the veterinarian in order to rule out any physical issues that could be causing it.
At the end of the day, it’s all about making sure that your cat is happy, healthy, and becomes an important member of the family. It’s easy to get frustrated when you are house training any new pets, but it’s crucial that you don’t allow that frustration to show while you’re involved in a training session. That will only increase the level of stress that your pet experiences, thereby slowing the progress and making everything else worse. If you’re training your kitten to use a litter box, be patient, be kind and reassure your cat or kitten throughout the process. Before you know it, your cat will happily be using the litter box without issue.