Teaching your cat to do its business in a litter tray is a must. Even if the cat can go outside, this learning process is very practical. Although this act is generally natural, it is not necessarily very simple, and here’s why.
It is usually something innate for a cat to do its needs in a litter tray. However, when you adopt a kitten that isn’t used to doing so yet, you have to teach it to use it by encouraging it to go there at strategic times, such as first thing in the morning or after each nap or meal, placing it directly in the litter tray, leaving it there alone and congratulating it when it does what it’s supposed to do. The cat will gradually realise that it’s the place to do its needs.
Which tray and litter to choose for the cat
But you still need to ensure the place is suitable! Herein lies the challenge. “That’s right”, explains Dr Stéphane Tardif, a behavioural vet, “a cat can be very fussy about litter. More specifically, its living space requires one or more means of removal, corresponding to precise criteria, but sometimes very different from one cat to another. Preferably, the place should be isolated and quiet, there must something to scratch and cover the waste and the surface must be absorbent. Some cats settle for one area to do all their needs, while others use several and some even refuse to use litter that’s already dirty.”
The first choice to make will therefore be the kind of granule. Absorbent litter is greatly appreciated, as it has the huge advantage of making the excrement clump, which means it can be removed immediately to keep the litter clean. Non-absorbent litters must be changed more regularly; there are also systems with plastic bags which cover the bottom of the tray and enable you to change the litter simply and quickly. Biodegradable granules are also useful, as the volume of clay used in litter generates a large amount of waste, and therefore it’s an eco-friendly gesture. But you should first make sure that the cat can stand the smell.
Additives which seek to reduce urinary smells are often insufficient; the owner’s nose doesn’t notice the odour, but cats have a much more sensitive sense of smell. If the litter smells, it is dirty and you need to change it.
As for the litter tray, choosing one depends on the cat’s tastes: some reject a place which shuts in the smells, while, conversely, others need to do their business out of sight. In this regard, the Curver toilet house is ideal because, as a result of its closed shape and removable swing door, the cat can do its needs in a place where it feels safe. With its practical drawer system it’s easy to clean, which is as pleasant for the cat as it is for the owner! Finally, bear in mind that an enclosed tray prevents the litter from spilling onto the floor, an important factor so that you won’t spend time hoovering or sweeping it up!
Finally, Dr Tardif states that “the litter tray should be at least 1.5 times larger than the cat, and it’s advisable to have one more litter tray than the number of cats in the house.” For example, if you have two cats, it’s highly recommended to have three litter trays located in different areas of the home.
As you’ll understand, you shouldn’t mess around with cat toilets! Hence the importance of choosing the right litter and tray, otherwise you run the risk of finding traces of wee all over the house…