How do I toilet train my cat to use a litterbox?
If you want to train your cat to use a litterbox, it probably won't end up being as difficult as it can be to train a dog. Cats aren't really "trainable," it's true, but this is one area where their natural instincts are working in your favor - they want to bury their waste, and the litter box will be the only place in the house to do it. So how do you convince your cat that the litterbox is the place to go?
1) Clean it, and often. Cats can be very finicky about the smell, and if you let it go for too long, they may just start urinating wherever. You need to make sure to wash it out about once a week, getting rid of all the litter and using some sort of cleaner to dampen the smell.
2) Use one litterbox per cat. If you've got more than one cat and are having trouble, that could be your problem - cats are territorial animals, and urine is their way of marking territory. Even if your cats are friendly with each other, they may not be willing to go to the bathroom in the same place.
3) Don't put the litterbox on the carpet. They will have trouble telling the texture apart under their feet - you want it to be on a hard surface.
4) Leave the litterbox in one place. If you move it around, they will have trouble getting used to the location. Also, don't put it where the cat eats, because they may not want to go to the bathroom there either.
5) Other than that, just put the cat inside the litterbox if they pee anywhere else. You don't need to yell at them - just show them that the litterbox is the toilet. Remember, they instinctually will prefer to go in the dirt - you usually just have to get them to know where it is and not much else. If they ultimately refuse to, you might want to talk to the vet to see if it's another issue.
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