How to Introduce a Cat to a New Litter Box - Pets
We are thinking about getting a cat as a companion for our current cat. We have a litter box in the laundry room now for our current cat (easy for her to get to, easy for her to run away if needed) and we would probably put the second litter box in the bathroom. We have a small, one bedroom condo. My concern is, if the bathroom door is closed, as it occasionally obviously will be, and the new cat has claimed the bathroom litter box as her own, would she know to go use the laundry room litter box? Any thoughts here would be appreciated.
For some- cats changing litter texture (clay to cedar chips or stripped newspaper) or switching to a scented litter may cause the cat to go elsewhere. Switching back to the former litter usually solves the problem. Changing the size/type of box (covered/uncovered) can also send the cat elsewhere. After all, that’s not what his bathroom looks/feels/smells like!
Your cat does not simply need a litter box - she needs a clean litter box with fresh litter. Your cat will be inhibited from using her litter box if it smells of urine. Think about it from the cat's viewpoint. When she soils your dining room carpet, the area is immediately and thoroughly cleaned. Given the choice between a regularly cleaned place and a litter box that gets changed only once or twice a week, your cat will naturally prefer the carpet. The litter box must be cleaned daily. The old litter must be discarded and replaced with about 1 1/2 inches of fresh litter. Rinse the litter box thoroughly with water. Adding a little vinegar or lemon juice to the water will help neutralize the odor of the cat's urine. Do not use ammonia; this will make the litter box smell worse.
Make sure that the litter box is in an appropriate place. Cats do not like to soil the areas close to their sleeping or eating areas, so place the litter box some distance away. However, do not place the litter box in an area that is too inaccessible. For example, if the litter box is placed in the bathroom, make sure the door cannot swing shut preventing the cat from getting to it. If the cat is new to your home, she may go into hiding for a few days so place a litter box close to her hiding place.
Some additional factor may be inhibiting your cat from using her litter box, so put down an extra one in a different location. If there is more than one cat in the house, have several litter boxes available.Place your cat in the new litter box. If it jumps out and walks away, try again later. Don't expect immediate usage, but look for signs that your cat is interested in the new box and is remembering its location. Sniffing the box and exploring the room are good signs that your cat is observing and remembering the box's location.Introducing a cat to a new environment can be difficult. Many cats have trouble adapting to change, especially when it comes to litter boxes. Even a well-trained cat can have "accidents" if a new, unfamiliar litter box is not set up properly. Properly introducing a cat to a new box involves more than throwing the litter box in a corner, pouring in the litter and hoping that everything will work out. By taking several proactive steps, your cat can become comfortable with a new litter box much faster, leading to less carpet-cleaning and a happier living situation for you and your feline friend.Next, set the new litter box next to his old one, but don’t plug it in or turn it on yet (if it’s electronic). The cat will continue to use his old box, and he’ll grow more comfortable with the automatic box as time goes on. Leave the box turned off like this for a few days, or until your cat seems to no longer care about it.