I recently got a kitten when she was about 8 weeks old. Crying the entire way home, she seemed distraught and terrified enough to make me question whether I was doing the right thing in taking on the responsibility of taking care of this kitten on my own. My mom, down to visit for Thanksgiving at the time, reassured me that there would not be much to it. To own a cat, all you really need to do is feed them, give them water and some toys, and show them where the litter box is, she said.
In the first few weeks with my kitten, I found that my mom was totally right. Not only was she adorable, she was pretty much hassle-free. As long as I kept litter in her box, she was fine going to the bathroom on her own, and she never went in the house.
Unfortunately for me, her tastes have changed as of late. She is still fine using her litter box, but she has become much more particular about exactly how she wants her litter box to be kept, and, if not up to her standards, she will find other places to go. Unfortunately, I was a not quite in-tune with this change of preference. After too many moments of shock and despair, I finally decided to figure out the best ways to make sure she uses the litter box every time. Here are three simple things that can make a huge difference:
1. Scoop Litter Every Day
When my kitten was a baby, she was just a tiny little figure inside a huge litter box. Now that she’s older, she goes through litter more quickly and needs it scooped daily to keep it clean. If your cat is having trouble using the litter box, try this method.
2. Change Brands of Litter
Some cats can be finicky. My kitten has no problem with natural wheat litter, but hates cedar tree pellets. You have to keep trying different brands until you can find something you both agree on.
3. Change Out Litter as Soon as You Smell It
When you own a cat, sometimes the smell of cat litter can become such a regular scent in your home that you forget that, in reality, if the litter is clean, you shouldn’t be able to smell it. If your cat is choosing to use the restroom elsewhere, the smell may be too strong.