One of the biggest reasons cats are returned to shelters is because of litter box rejection. Don’t let that happen to your new fur baby. Follow these tips so kitty is always thinking inside the box:
Cats like to have their privacy as much as humans. Place the litter box in a quiet, accessible location that’s easy to clean, like a bathroom, but avoid placing it in a garage or hard-to-find spot. In a multilevel home, it’s recommended that you put a litter box on each level.1
Set the stage.
Cats can be finicky about their litter box surroundings, and may reject litter that isn’t clean (wouldn’t you?). The box should be one-and-a-half times the length of your cat’s body.2 Place the litter box on a carpet remnant or a piece of AstroTurf®. Cats are both predators and prey, so a closed or covered box goes against their natural survival instincts since they can’t stay aware of their surroundings while they go. Opt for an open box to make sure they are comfortable.
Dude, where's my box?
Avoid moving the litter box once your cat has acclimated to its new environment. Your cat will become understandably confused. If you must move it, scoot it over about an inch per day.
A box for every cat.
Got more than one cat? Make sure each has his/her own litter box. Behaviorists recommend you have one box per cat and then an extra box in addition to those.3 For example, if you have three cats, you should have four boxes.
Keep it clean.
If only cats could flush (well, you can train cats to go and flush in a toilet, but it’s definitely an advanced cat-jedi move). Instead they look to you to keep their litter clean. Remember to scoop out solids once a day and follow the instructions on your Fresh Step® package on regular cleaning.
1. Litter Box Problems (n.d.) https://www.sfspca.org/resource/litter-box-problems/
2. Litter Box 101 (2015) https://www.nehumanesociety.org/for-pet-owners/behavior-help/litter-box-101.html
3. Cat Not Using Litter Box: Causes and Solutions (n.d.) https://resources.bestfriends.org/article/cat-not-using-litter-box-causes-and-solutions