While kittens may require some training, the vast majority of older kitties are already experts at relieving themselves. They’ve been doing it for years, and won’t need any training even when transitioning into a new home. However, sometimes a change in environment - such as moving in from a shelter - can cause a cat to stress and regress in the toilet department. If this has happened to your kitty, read on.
Making the right preparations
Before you start any training, make sure conditions are optimal. Often, correcting one of these issues will solve the whole problem:
Training your cat
If everything is in proper order and your Persian cat still prefers peeing on your Persian rug, then it’s time to deploy some bribery. Litter training your cat uses the general cat training principles found in this article - namely, let your cat investigate the litter box on its own time, and immediately reward its explorations to create a positive association. Give your cat a tasty treat when it comes close to the litter box, give it another treat for sniffing, another for pawing at it and so on until your cat is comfortable stepping into the box. Once your cat feels safe inside its litter, you should have no more smelly surprises. Keep training sessions short, and frequent, and you’ll have a well-mannered kitty in no time.
If a cat is still not using its litter box, or suddenly stops using it, it’s often a sign of other problems. This can be as simple as stress caused by a change in its living situation, or it can be a medical issue. If your cat seems to be having difficulty urinating or defecating, its urine or faeces is a strange colour, is drinking unusual amounts of water, or is showing any other signs of illness, you should talk to a vet right away. These can all be signs of serious health problems.
If you want to know more about these symptoms, check out our Healthy Cat Checklist.
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