Our feline friends have a reputation for being highly strung; so when it comes to cat litter and litter training it can be hard to know where to begin. This leaflet will help you choose the right litter for you and your cat, with some helpful tips and advice on how to successfully litter train your cat.
How to choose a cat litter Your cat will not be shy in letting you know if you’ve picked the wrong cat litter, so choosing one that best suits them is key.
Litters can be ‘clumping’ or ‘non-clumping,’ ranging from silica to wood. The choice of products can be overwhelming for even experienced cat owners, but our trained in-store team can guide you through the different litters available, helping you to choose the right litter for your kitten or cat.
We split our range into clumping or non-clumping; this will help you reduce the number of litters you would need to consider. Read about the benefits of each type of litter below and see which one suits your needs best.
NonClumping Litter -the benefits:
Clumping Litter -the benefits:
To select the right litter for you and your cat, look out for our helpful symbols and ratings on the side of the bag.
A kitten’s needs
Your kitten’s tiny paw pads are very delicate and may not be suited to some of the harder, clay based litters. A Wood litter is much softer and many breeders use this for their newborns and kittens. You can change to a clay based litter once they’re older. Consider using a non-clumping litter for little ones too, to avoid any risk of a digestive obstruction if accidentally swallowed by a curious kitten licking their paws.
Which litter tray is best for you and your cat?
Litter trays come in a variety of colours, shapes and sizes and can be hooded or open topped. Open top litter trays have lower sides, making them ideal for kittens or older cats, as they’re easier to climb in and out. It also allows you to keep an eye on kittens and young cats to check that they’re using the tray correctly.
Hooded trays offer extra privacy for your cat, which may help them to adapt to litter training more easily. The raised sides and lips help to prevent litter being flicked onto your floor, and built-in filters can reduce any nasty smells that could otherwise be lingering.
Choosing the right place for your trays
Cats are very private and successful litter training can all come down to where you put the tray in your home. We would recommend either a utility room or a bathroom, as these rooms have ‘low traffic’ during most of the day, and offer that important privacy they need.
Litter trays should be placed well away from your cat’s food bowls and bed as being too close can put your cat off from using the tray.
If you live in a house with more than one cat, then ideally you should have one litter tray for each cat, plus an extra one. This is to offer choice for your cat, should they decide they’d rather use a different one and reduce the chance of any accidents happening in your home.
Keeping it clean
Cats are notoriously clean animals, and most will not tolerate a dirty litter tray. Keeping it clean will encourage your cat to continue using their trays, and help to limit the amount of ‘little presents’ that may otherwise be left in your neighbour’s garden.
All litter trays need to be cleaned regularly whether you use clumping or non clumping litter; either by removing the clumps each day, or refreshing the whole tray of litter. Litter Liners can make your job easier. Put one in the tray before you add the litter. Then, when it’s time to empty the tray, just grab the corners of the liner, pick up and place in the bin. Many litter tray liners have drawstrings much like a pedal bin liner to make it even simpler.
Whilst litter training, if accidents do happen, use an odour-eliminating, antibacterial spray to thoroughly clean the area. Cats will often ‘repeat offend’ in the same area if they can still smell where they’ve been. These sprays are available in-store, or through your vet.
Hygiene for you and your family
There are some important hygiene facts that you need to consider, when having cat litter trays in your home. We’ll take you through some of these, to help you decide who’ll be responsible for keeping litter trays clean.
What you will needTo keep your cat’s litter tray clean and fresh, you will need a litter scoop, litter liners, a pair of rubber gloves and an anti-microbial spray.
Who shouldn’t clean the litter tray?Avoid emptying litter trays if you’re pregnant or if you’re unable to get anyone else to, wear rubber gloves and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards. Young children should also be kept away from any litter trays in the house.
Litter Training - it’s not as hard as you think
Most kittens and cats should already be trained to use a litter tray by the breeder or a re-homing centre. Kittens first learn to use a litter tray by copying their mother; use a low sided tray for your kitten to begin with.
Ensure the litter trays are placed in a private area that your cat is happy with, which will encourage regular use of the tray over time.
If your cat has never been litter trained, don’t worry! Even older cats can pick it up fast. To get them used to using a tray, a good tip is to regularly place your cat in the litter tray. Try, early morning, after every meal, and last thing at night as these are the natural times of the day that your cat may ‘need to go’ Accidents may happen occasionally, persevere each day, and your cat will take to it over time.
My cat keep’s having accidents in the house
There are three main reasons why your cat may still not be taking to litter training.
1. You may not be cleaning it often enough As mentioned earlier, cats are extremely clean animals and one of the reasons they may not be using the tray is because it’s not being cleaned frequently enough. If needed, empty twice a day and see if this makes a difference to your cat’s bathroom habits.
What if I need more help?
The team in-store have a wealth of knowledge and experience on pet care, and will be more than happy to help and advise you during your period of litter training. Many are cat owners too, and have first-hand experience of training kittens or cats, choosing the right litter and of how to keep your cat’s litter area safe and clean.