A Cat Lover’s Guide to Housebreaking
- August 19, 2017
You’re destined to be a model cat owner. When you first adopt a new cat, you make sure she has a safe environment, the right nutrition, and the best veterinary care. What you may not realize is that there are procedures you should take with regard to her litter box too.
According to Peteducation.com, cats will go to their litter box instinctively, but they can have elimination disorders. In fact, veterinarians say it’s and one of the most common problems for which people seek advice, and animal shelters report it’s one of the biggest reasons cats are abandoned. Disorders can include a cat’s avoidance of the litter box, eliminating their waste either right beside the box, or by balancing on the edge of it. Another disorder involves a cat neglecting to bury their waste in the litter.
Getting it right
The litter box should be in a quiet place that’s easy for you to reach. As cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy says, “the box must be attractive and convenient; in other words, a friendly place.” Galaxy also cautions against keeping a lid on boxes, and says that if the box is in a corner, it should “face the opening on a diagonal” so that the cat can see “pretty much the whole room.” This will reduce the chance of the cat becoming startled by sudden movement.
As for the kind or brand of cat litter, “observe what your cat likes/doesn’t like; there is no one-size fits all,” says Galaxy. “Each cat is an individual.”
When you bring your cat or kitten home for the first time, take him to the litter box when things are quiet. Take hold of his paws and gently show him how to scratch at the litter.
Then continue to place him in the litter box at the times throughout the day when a cat would normally eliminate – first thing in the morning, waking up from a nap, and after eating.
Remember that cats prefer privacy when using the litter box, so once you see that he is using the box, leave him alone.
If disorders arise, it is important to take the cat to the veterinarian to rule out a urinary tract infection or another medical problem. If it’s not medical, then it is most likely an aversion to the litter or the litter box as described above. In that case, it is important to make sure the box is clean – cats often avoid litter boxes that are dirty or that have a strong odor.
As Galaxy says, “Your cats don’t like navigating the minefield of nasty clumps anymore than you like to see or smell it. So scoop that litter every day. Not twice a week!”
It is also advisable to make sure the box is not too small or with sides that are too high. Also, if the cat or kitten has had a scary experience in the litter box, that may be what is keeping him out. In that case, the pet owner should relocate the box, exchange it for a newer one, or both.
In the event of an accident
When your cat has had an elimination accident, avoid scolding or punishing; cats are scared and confused by yelling. Instead, focus on dealing with the accident with the use of a pet accident cleaner. Of course, it’s best to use a pet cleaner such as Fizzion® because it is not only effective in cleaning pet stains, it is also one of the best products for eliminating a pet urine odor. It is also environmentally friendly and won’t cause harm to your pet like mainstream cleansing brands are apt to do.
In fact, Fizzion® is a C02 based cleanser that is non-toxic and biodegradable. It uses simple tap water mixed with concentrated tablets to create powerful C02 to take apart the protein at the root of all pet stains. Once Fizzion® pries open the proteins, it unleashes safe but powerful surfactants (soap) to eliminate all evidence that the stain was ever there. With rugs, it is a remarkably eco friendly carpet cleaning solution. In fact, it is thought by many to be the best cleaner to get pet stains out.
Hopefully, cleansers will not be necessary for long. Once your cat gets the hang of the litter box, they are not apt to keep making mistakes. But while your cat is in the process of learning – and/or if he has elimination disorders – keep Fizzion® on hand to help maintain a clean, odorless and toxic free home for your family and your pets.
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