How to Introduce a Cat to a New Litter Box

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When a cat is introduced to a new litter box, place the cat in a slightly confined area with the new box so that she can find it easily and is more likely to use it. Make the litter box easy to find with help from a professional pet behavior consultant in this free video on cats as pets.

Part of the Video Series: Cat Care
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Video Transcript

So how to introduce a cat to a new litter box. So here's my cat, Butter. She's a little bit nervous to be here but if you do have a new cat you just want to put them in the same room as the litter box. You don't actually have to place them in the litter box, once you have just shown them where the litter box is, that's the most important thing and then you want to set up an area where the cat is slightly confined so that again they are more likely to come back to and find and use the litter box. If you have a big house, a couple of floors, it might be difficult for your cat to get to the litter box so if this is a new thing, you have a new cat that you just brought into your home or you are placing a new litter box somewhere, you'll have more success if you have a smaller area and they're more likely to find that litter box. If you do have several floors, it's probably a good idea to have a litter box on either every floor or if you have again a basement, two floors, maybe the basement and the upstairs. It will just make it easier in case someone accidentally closes a door to one of the floors or something like that that your cat will easily be able to find the litter box. Now if you are introducing a new litter as part of the new litter box you want to make that a gradual change. So let's say you are going from regular clay litter to something clumping, perhaps something like this which is a pine clumping litter you want to make that a gradual change because cats get used to what they have every day in their routine so what you can do is you can actually start mixing in a little bit of the new litter with the old litter until you have gradually transitioned over to the new litter. If you are changing a type of box from an open box to a covered box for example, you can go ahead and put the cover on but you might want to put another regular box beside that to find out if your cat has any concerns about the covered litter box. It would be better to give them an option of both the boxes just to see if there is going to be a problem. With long haired cats I tend to stay away from a covered litter box if that's what you are introducing because their hair can tend to get caught up in the box where it meets on the sides and then that's an uncomfortable experience for your cat that they'll associate with the litter box and the last thing you want is for your cat to stop using the litter box and start peeing somewhere else in the house.


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