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Toilet Training & Litter Trays

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Most kittens are used to using a litter tray by the time you get them home as they have learnt from the mother. If possible you should find out from the breeder which type of litter your kitten is used to as they will have developed a preference for this already. If this information is unknown it is best to go for a sandy/gravel type litter instead of pellets as cats like to bury their urine/faeces.

Cats are very clean and don’t like to go in an already soiled litter tray. If the tray is not cleaned regularly the cat will start to soil elsewhere. The best way to clean a litter tray is to scoop out any mess on a daily basis and thoroughly clean the tray with a ‘cat friendly’ disinfectant once weekly.

Litter trays should be placed in a quiet place away from the cat flap, doorways and human traffic, and ideally there should be one upstairs and one downstairs. This should give the cat enough privacy to feel happy to use the trays and allow for any kitten toilet urgency!

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If your kitten doesn’t know how to use a tray you should start by placing them in the tray after meals/drinking and when they wake up, as this is when they are most likely to go. Also watch their behaviour, they will often start to sniff/circle in an area before they toilet there. If they do have an accident don’t tell them off as they won’t understand why, just clear up the mess with a good biological washing powder and continue with the above methods.

The next big step is teaching your kitten to toilet outside. The litter tray should slowly be positioned closer and closer to the cat flap. You can also try using substrate (such as soil) from outside mixed with your kittens’ normal litter. You should then try and position the tray outside but as close to the back door as possible. Ideally the tray should be positioned in a private location which can be created by placing plant pots around it. Once they have got used to using the litter tray outside, move the tray to the desired toileting location. Then try removing the tray but leaving some of the litter in this area. It is advisable to keep an emergency litter tray inside for any accidents.

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Some cats may develop toileting anxieties if they are bullied or frightened when toileting outside. We always advise keeping a litter tray indoors so your cat has a safe and private place to toilet. This will prevent toilet anxieties and inappropriate toileting in the home.

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