When you introduce a new cat into your life and home, one of the first things to consider is toilet training. Teaching your cat to use a litter tray can be a daunting process at first, but these steps will help make sure your cat comes to consider it as part of their normal routine and in turn you can ensure your house stays as fresh and clean as possible!
Choose a quiet and private place for the litter tray and make sure your cat knows where it is; also keep the tray away from any food and water bowls as this can discourage them from using it. The best way to begin teaching your cat good toilet habits is to get them used to it by gently placing them into the tray, reassuring them as you do.
When you see your cat using the litter tray correctly, be sure to praise them in an encouraging voice and then once they’re finished, give your cat affectionate strokes and a treat. If you catch your cat about to go to the toilet elsewhere in the house, gently take them and place them on the litter tray. If you do happen to catch them in the act and not in the litter tray, do not shout at your cat as this may cause negative association with toilet habits; instead, clean the place they have used with pet odour-reducing cleaner so they won’t be drawn back to that spot again.
Keep the litter tray in the same place at all times; your kitten or new cat needs to understand and be shown where it is they should be doing their business so this becomes habit to them. For cleanliness, it’s a good idea to keep a washable mat underneath the tray so that any spilt litter can be removed and doesn’t get trailed around the house.
Litter trays can be the source of unpleasant smells but be careful which methods you use trying to reduce these; air fresheners can irritate your cat’s respiratory system and spray fresheners can even scare cats due to their hissing sound. Keeping the area well ventilated and frequently dispose of any litter or waste should minimise any odours. The type of litter tray you use can also help with this; the most advanced and convenient designs are the electronic, fully automatic devices such as our new ScoopFree range which senses when your cat has used it. Using the disposable litter trays, the clever device automatically rakes waste into a covered trap for you to then simply dispose of and replace, making life more pleasant and convenient for both you and your cat!