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How to House Train a Cat

Unlike dogs, kittens and cats are easy to house train. In fact, you don’t have to train a cat to use a litter box at all. Your cat’s instincts will tell it to bury its stools in the litter box that you provided.

Litter Containers

Litter pans or boxes are available in a variety of sizes and colors. Be sure to buy one that’s at least 4 inches deep and large enough for your cat when they are fully grown. If you have multiple cats, you’ll want to acquire several litter pans, especially since some cats prefer not to share facilities with feline roommates. You’ll want a litter box that’s easy to clean and sterilize as well.


For litter, you can use sand, shredded newspaper, or wood shavings. However, commercially prepared cat litter made from ground clay or other materials is the most convenient and sanitary. There are two types of commercial littler available: clumping and standard (nonclumping) litter.

With standard litter, you will have to change all the litter whenever it is soiled. But with clumping litter, you can easily rake out dirty clumps of litter and leave the rest in peace. You may find that your cat has specific likes and dislikes about the type of litter you are using.

Litter Box Placement

Always place your litter box in an out-of-the-way yet convenient location. Add about 2 inches of litter to the bottom, anymore and your cat might scatter the excess over the surrounding floor. A good place to put your litter box would be the laundry room, closets and basements.

Training your Kitten or Cat

If you bring an older cat home, all you usually have to do is put the cat in the litter pan once to show it where it is. After that, the training is complete. Kittens might not always remember where the pans are located. For the first few days, keep the kitten contained in one or two rooms in close proximity to the litter box.

It won’t take long for it to know where the litter box is in the rest of the home after. But remember to not move the litter pan to another location too quickly or your kitten might continue to use the old spot – whether there’s a litter box or not.

Keeping it Clean

The key to a happy cat is a clean litter box, so change the soiled litter frequently. Cats are clean freaks and won’t enjoy using dirty litter. If the litter isn’t clean, they will find other nooks and crannies to relieve themselves.

My Cat is Avoiding the Litter Box. Why?

If your cat suddenly decides to stop using the litter box, there could be something wrong. Often a change in the house, or a bladder infection could also be causing your pet to urinate in unusual places such as your kitchen sink or bathtub. If it’s a bladder infection, you might see a bit of blood in the urine. If this is the case, take your cat to the vet.

Another reason could be your cat is not neutered. Male cats, in particular, might begin to mark or spray your house with urine to mark their territory. This is why if you haven’t gotten your cat neutered as a kitten, you should do it as soon as possible.