Kittens – Litter Training 5 – In their new homes30 August, 2006
So here’s what I have to remember to do or tell kitten owners before they take their new kittens home:
1. Remember to fill the litter tray with both the fresh litter that the kitten is used to, and also add a little of the bag of “soiled” litter. That way the kitten doesn’t have to get used to new litter, and it can smell where it’s supposed to do its business.
2. When you get home, place the kitten in the litter tray and allow it to smell the litter. Scrabble its paws a little so it gets the message.
3. Do not locate the litter tray near the kitten’s food or drink – cats will not defaecate or pee near their litter trays.
4. Locate the litter tray somewhere where the kitten will have some privacy, e.g. not near a door where the neighbourhood cat can stare in. Cats like to poo & pee in private.
5. If you have more than one cat, the rule is one litter tray per cat, plus one. If you only have one cat, you might want to consider getting 2 litter trays because some cats will poo in one and pee in another.
6. If you live in a multi-story house, put litter trays on each floor – kittens are small and may not be able to get to a litter tray on time.
7. Whether you have a hooded or non-hooded tray is your choice, but if you do have a hooded tray, take out the charcoal filters which tend to obscure the air ducts and hence, the ventilation – cats do not like pooing in smelly trays.
8. Clean the litter tray frequently, at least once a day. If you are using a clumping litter, change the litter totally at least once a week.
9. Do not use air fresheners to try to take away the smell of the cat litter – the chemicals used in air fresheners may be poisonous to cats.
10. If the kitten makes a mistake, do not rub its nose in the mess. Cats do not generally like to soil their living environments. Put the mess in the tray and the kitten in the tray. Try putting the kitten in the tray after it has eaten as it may move its bowels then.
11. If you have a multi-cat household, messes may occur if the cats are stressed, so make sure there are enough litter trays so that the dominant bullying cat cannot monopolise all the litter trays at the same time.
12. To clean messes, use a biological detergent, and surgical spirit, or a good cat urine/poo remover.