How to teach a kitten to the tray
Kittens are angelic creatures, they can be endlessly admired when they study the world around them, play or sleep peacefully. Experiencing quite understandable emotion at the sight of harmless babies, their owners often condescend to the tiny puddles that they leave in secluded places. And completely in vain. A kitten that has not been accustomed to the tray from an early age may eventually turn from a family pet into a source of problems: an unpleasant smell in the apartment, puddles and piles found in the most unexpected places do not contribute to family idyll. It is not difficult to teach a baby to relieve himself in a tray located in a certain place, only patience and affection will be needed.
Basic Rules and Tips
Many kittens acquired from conscientious breeders are already accustomed to the tray, but this does not mean that, once in a new home, they will immediately begin to demonstrate the acquired skills. It is quite possible that the baby will have to go through the training course again. If your pet cat gave birth to a kitten, she herself can teach him a lesson on keeping order: babies usually copy the behavior of their mother. In such happy cases, the owner, who decided to leave the kitten in the family, will only need to purchase an individual tray for a new pet and clean it regularly. But, as a rule, the work on teaching a little fuzzy to the toilet falls on the shoulders of its owner. This important mission includes a number of mandatory points and the understanding that it will be impossible to cope with such a task in a day or two.
No matter at what age the kitten got to you, you need to teach him to go to the tray from the moment he found himself in your house. Already in a month, kids are ready to assimilate information, acquire new skills. It's not too late to develop the necessary skills for a two-month-old baby. But a three–month-old kitten, to whom Skoda was frivolously saying goodbye, will be very difficult to wean off shitting anywhere - by this time his character will be fully formed. After six months, re-education may be completely useless.
Limit the kitten's ability to move around the house. Let him temporarily stay in the room where you yourself stay most of the time – so you can observe the behavior of the baby and have time to move it to the tray at the right moment. Place the tray itself temporarily in the same room for convenience. When the kitten gets used to the box, move it to a more suitable place.
Periodically gently seat the kitten in the tray, providing an opportunity to study it, understand its purpose, sniff and get used to it.
Kittens, as a rule, go to the toilet after eating or after sleeping. Seize such a moment, gently pick up the baby under the tummy and take it to the tray. If the experiment was successful, be sure to praise the cat, caress it.
A kitten who has made a puddle on the floor should not poke its nose into it, shouting at the baby is also not necessary – he does not yet know what he is doing. There are other, more humane, ways to punish an outrager: you can lightly sprinkle water on him from a spray gun or clap your hands, but not deafeningly.
If the kitten has made a puddle in a secluded corner, blot it with an odorless napkin and put it in the tray. Do not remove it for several hours, be patient, waiting until the baby "takes the bait" – there will be no unpleasant aromas from the baby's bowel movements. The very place of the "crime" needs to be processed, otherwise the kitten will get into the habit of going there. Chemical agents should not be used in this case. Wipe the floor with water, in which a little squeezed citrus juice is diluted – cats can't stand this smell.
How to understand that a kitten wants to go to the toilet
Kittens can demonstrate their desire to go to the toilet in different ways. Tiny fuzzies usually squeak and behave as if they are looking for something: they look around, sniff. The kitten can sit down, scratch objects, rake with paws, demonstrate a desire to hide somewhere.
Growing up, many kittens acquire the habit of rushing around the room with their tail up, jumping sideways before going "on business" – in a word, they show suspicious hyperactivity.
Where to put the tray
Kittens need privacy for their toilet. This is a zone of his personal space. The baby will get used to the tray faster if you place it in a secluded corner where you can easily get to. Living rooms, kitchen, corridor, hall – places completely unsuitable for a cat toilet, you will have to choose between a bathroom, toilet and a balcony.
Usually the cats themselves prefer the toilet, as they perfectly understand what it is intended for. For the owners, such a choice of an animal is complicated by the fact that the doors there will have to be kept ajar: the kitten may not wait until you figure out why he meows so demanding, and will choose another available place for himself. The bathroom from this point of view is a more suitable option for the location of the tray.
If you decide to place the tray on the balcony or loggia, keep in mind that there should be no boxes and pots with earth: the kitten will undoubtedly prefer them to a plastic box. The toilet on the balcony is an ideal option if it is glazed and connected to the room not only by a door, but also by a window with a window pane, which can always be kept open even in winter. The way to the tray through the window, of course, is a plan for the future. While your pet is very small, you will have to make sure that he always has access to the balcony through the door. If the balcony is not glazed, it is dangerous to leave a kitten there alone.
How to choose a tray
Your little pet's toilet should be liked, first of all, by him. Choose a tray made of light but durable material. As a rule, it is plastic. Check that the material does not emit a rich chemical odor.
The box should be stable, lightweight options are dangerous because they can turn over at the moment when the baby will actively rake his feces with his paws. A toilet "accident" with the rumble of an overturned box will certainly scare him and quite predictably discourage the desire to use a dangerous tray for a long time.
Today there are trays of all kinds of models and sizes on sale. Which of them is more suitable for your kitten, can only be found out over time, when the temper of the baby will manifest itself. A lover of actively raking will like a box with high sides, for a shy pet, a tray with a voluminous roof will be a good choice, where he will be provided with complete privacy. By the way, a nice tray-house can be put in the corridor. There are trays with nets and those in which you can insert disposable film bags. Automatically self-cleaning trays are also sold. Each of the options has its pros and cons, the main thing is that the cat is not cramped in the tray, and he had the opportunity to move freely in it, turn around and roam freely. As soon as the baby satisfies his needs, the tray needs to be cleaned.
For kittens belonging to large breeds – maine coons , ragdollam , siberians and others, it is better to immediately purchase large-sized comfortable trays, so that over time there will be no difficulties with replacing the toilet for an older pet.
Not so long ago, the traditional fillers for cat toilets were torn newsprint, sand or earth brought from the street. This is not very hygienic and may even be dangerous for the animal. Today, it is convenient to lure a curious kitten into the tray with the help of fillers sold in specialized stores. With them, you can quickly accustom the baby to a permanent place. In a tray with an attractive filler, he can bask to his heart's content, study it, sniff it thoroughly, in general, have a good time.
There are chemical and natural fillers. The first are included in the expensive segment and are silica gel granules capable of absorbing not only moisture, but also unpleasant odors. However, despite the "high technology", owners are often convinced that this is not the best option for kittens. Kids often do not perceive silica gel as a toilet surface, they begin to fall out in it, as on a couch, taste the granules, which, however, is not dangerous.
From mineral fillers for kittens, it is better to choose wood, which is pellets from sawdust of coniferous trees. They are inexpensive and completely safe for babies, unlike another natural filler in bentonite clay granules. An unintelligent kitten may accidentally swallow such a clay pellet, which is fraught with blockage of the food tract.
Some kittens are quite willing to go to the tray without filler. Among them are mostly those who have been taught good manners by the cat-mother.
Reasons why the kitten refuses to go to the tray
Kittens very rarely refuse to go to the tray because of harmfulness or malice. This usually happens with adult animals, characterized by touchiness and quarrelsome nature. Most likely, the reason lies elsewhere.
A kitten may not like even the most beautiful tray, and only he knows why this happens. Try replacing the toilet. Do it in front of the baby, try to interest him in a novelty. If the kitten is already used to the tray, do not change it to another one, following the fashion.
Even the tiniest cats are very clean. A bad-smelling tray can cause them rejection. Keep an eye on the cleanliness of the scoop with which you type the filler.
Small kittens are subject to stress and after moving and parting with their feline family, they may not go to the tray for several days, but also to the toilet in general. The owners of the newly-settled pets can be advised to provide the baby with complete comfort in his sleeping corner by putting a soft toy, a warm hot water bottle there, and treat him during this period with special tenderness and care.