Training a cat to use a litter box usually isn’t difficult. Cats are generally clean by nature, and have a natural inclination to bury their waste. Use the following steps to train your cat to start using a litter box:
- Place your cat and a clean litter box (the kind without a cover) in a confined area, like a room in your house.
- Be sure your cat has plenty of food and clean water.
- If your cat ‘goes’ outside of the box, place the waste in the litter box. (Sorry – needs to be done! The smell of the waste may encourage the cat to start using the box.)
- Usually within a day or two of being confined with the litter box the cat will begin to use the box regularly.
If your cat is doing some things that, well… you’d REALLY prefer it didn’t do, there’s a good chance that you can train that bad behaviour away. But first, try to understand why the cat is behaving that way. There’s a reason, and from the cat’s perspective, of course, the behaviour is perfectly reasonable.
If the cat is clawing your furniture, for example, it’s driven by instinct to do that. It needs to claw something – it’s a survival instinct. Doesn’t have to be your furniture, but something! So there’s not much chance of getting your cat to stop clawing. But you can train the cat to focus its clawing instinct on acceptable objects, like scratching posts. Train your cat to behave appropriately by using positive reinforcement, not punishment. DON’T hit the cat when it scratches the furniture. The cat won’t understand the reason for your behaviour, and will just learn to fear you. Instead, reward your cat by giving it a treat when it claws the cat tree.