Kitten in litter box
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Using A Litter Box: All The Questions New Cat Parents Want Answered

Kittens in litter box
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Kittens and cats come hard-wired to pee and poop in a particular spot and then hide the evidence by covering it up. However, when it comes to using a litter box, many new cat parents have questions that they’re embarrassed to ask.

Well, if that’s the case for you, you’ve come to the right place!

When we’re talking about domestic cats, you’ll want to take certain steps to ensure that your feline’s special spot to go potty is always their litter box and not, say, a patch of your carpet or the kitchen floor.

Let’s run through some common questions cat parents have and some litter box tips to get you and your new cat ready.

What Size Should The Litter Box Be?

Kitten in litter box
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You’ll need a litter box that’s large enough for your cat to turn around and dig in. However, you don’t want a poop box so big that your cat can’t easily climb into it.

As a general rule, aim to pick up a box that’s one and a half times longer than your cat’s body.

Where Should I Place The Litter Box?

Cat beside litter box
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Ideally, try and find a private location that will give your cat an escape route if they’re interrupted by another pet or young child. A utility closet or a secluded corner of a room are ideal.

Also, make sure the litter box isn’t adjacent to your cat’s food and water bowls. Why? Because cats don’t like to poop in the same area where they eat. Which is fair enough.

How Do I Get My Cat Used To The Box?

Cat in box
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When you bring your kitten or cat home, confine them to a single room with the litter box until they’ve had time to adjust to their new surroundings.

Depending on the cat, this can take less than a day or up to a couple of weeks. But the important thing is the cat will learn that their box is the place to poop.

What If My Cat Seems To Ignore The Litter Box?

Hands holding litter
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You can show your cat the litter box and encourage them to explore it by making digging motions in the (clean) litter with your hand. Your cat should be attracted by the movement and the sound of the litter.

Also, praise your kitty every time you see them using the box. But balance this with a degree of privacy — after all, do you enjoy having people watch you sitting down to pee?

How Should I Clean The Litter Box?

Cat pooping
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Make sure to keep your kitty’s litter box scrupulously clean; otherwise, your cat might start looking for a new spot. Scoop it every time you see it’s been used, and change the litter according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Also, only clean the box with a mild, unscented dishwashing soap. Harsh chemicals and smells are usually off-putting to a cat.

What other tips do you have for beginners who want their cats to use the litter box? How did you get your kitty used to the box? Let us know in the comments below!

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