5 tips to educate your cat to go to the bathroom


Most kittens already know how to use the sanitary tray when they arrive at their new home, because they learn it from their mother by imitation. Now, if you see that your kitten begins to sniff, scratch or crouch in a corner, you should put it delicately in the sanitary tray as many times as necessary.


It is important not to give the cat any excuse not to use the hygienic tray. That is why you must keep it clean and place it where your kitten prefers. It is very important that you are far from food and water, in an accessible but relatively intimate place. Avoid damp and dark places, remote rooms, areas where there is a noisy washing machine or those that are close to places of passage. Some more tips to teach the cat to use the toilet are:

- Place the tray in an intimate place, away from food and water.

- Avoid dark, humid places with a lot of passage or noise.

Choose a type of tray that your kitten can use comfortably. If necessary, during the first weeks you can improvise one, using a shallow disposable container and later you will teach your cat to use the sandbox.

As cats are extremely careful, they tend to meticulously cover their needs once they are fulfilled. Hence the importance of leaning over a tray deep enough to prevent cats from dispersing the toilet bed when they scratch it, and large enough so that they can take a full turn inside.

In the market there are open and other closed trays. If your kitty is shy and notes that he prefers to enjoy his privacy alone, buy him a covered tray equipped with a carbon filter to limit unpleasant odors. In this way, you will also prevent absorbent sand from spreading across the ground.

Regarding the types of sand, cats prefer one that is compact and binder. We recommend you try TIDY CATS ®, a brand of binder sand patented by Nestlé PURINA ®. It has granules longer and rounder than those of a common clay, which maximize the result of the product because they capture moisture. It has a great absorbent power to neutralize odors, gives off a mild aroma and is free of dust.

Fill the tray to the depth recommended by the sand manufacturer (about 7 cms). Once used, remove the solid waste with the help of a shovel, leaving the rest of absorbent sand clean and dry. When you change the sand, you must empty the tray completely and clean it with hot water and detergent. Avoid disinfectants because some are toxic to cats.


  1. Fill the tray with sand to about 7cm deep.
  2. Once used, remove the waste with a shovel.
  3. When you change the sand do it completely and clean the tray with water.

Never leave your cat indoors without a sanitary tray. If your cat retains urine for long periods, crystals may begin to form, causing cystitis.

If your cat urinates out of its tray, it can be a physical problem, such as feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD), a painful and potentially fatal problem, if the passage of urine is blocked.

Some of the signs of FLUTD are: going to the tray frequently, the presence of spots, dark or reddish urine, urine spots on the floor, cries of anguish or excessive cleaning of the genital parts. Whenever you suspect any health problem of your kitten, you should go to the veterinarian.

Finally, if you have more than one cat, put a tray for each one, plus a supplementary tray. Place them in quiet corners, little frequented and easily accessible.

And above all, if you are pregnant, do not handle dirty sand at the risk of toxoplasmosis.

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Teaching your kitten to use the sandbox or do their needs in the right place is not a difficult task. It only requires a little patience and will, it will take a few days to train it. In general it will be easier if it is a young cat, the older the pussycat, the more complicated it will be. However, it will never be such a big challenge so keep calm and follow the advice we give you below:

Leave the box in a comfortable and accessible place

It is important, especially at the beginning of the use of the box, that the place where it is located is easy to access. In other words, a place where hopefully there are no closed doors or impediments to enter. Nor is it the place where there is greater traffic of people and noise since it will get nervous. Look closely at your house and you will find the right place,

Choose box size

If you have a small cat you will need a small box so that it does not cost you to enter. However, as the box grows, it will have to be bigger or end up throwing all the sand out. With 7 centimeters or a little more height you should walk well. The issue is that it is comfortable for your cat, which will encourage him to do there.

Just guide them

Cats instinctively look for sand and places they can dig to meet their needs. Being able to cover their waste is vital for them in situations of survival since they hide their smells from possible predators. You just need to show them the right place. If they do in places like the pot where you have plants, you can put a maya around the plant, or lemon peels since they don't like citrus smells. You can also spray the contents of a tea bag occupied on the ground since it is another smell that bothers them.

Not punish

If your cat shows some resistance to use the sandbox at the beginning do not hit or yell at him. Cats are very sentimental and remember everything so you will instill fear in him and contempt for you. Every time he makes a mistake, he picks up his stool and takes it to the box so that it can be guided by the smell. You also transfer the cat to the box so he knows where he has to do. When you do where it belongs, reward it with caresses and a treat.

What if it is a baby?

Cat mothers stimulate their little ones so they can urinate and defecate. If you received a kitten with less than 3 weeks of life, you probably have to fulfill that function. Dampen a cloth with warm water and rub the abdominal area and anus very gently until you need it. During that time you will not be able to train him to use the sandbox, but as soon as you see him being able to excrete on his own you can start showing him where. You can even take their legs gently and dig with them to acquire the gesture.

Keep these tips in mind and you will see that in a few days your kitten is already educated. It is not a long or tedious process, so it will be gratifying to see how it works. A final tip to keep in mind is that preferably pregnant women should avoid cleaning or be very careful to avoid contagion of toxoplasmosis, a bacterium that can be in the feces of cats.

Tips for teaching a cat and how to use the sandbox

In most cases, Kittens learn from their mother everything they will use in their daily lives. But those who have been picked up from the street or have become orphaned will not have those lessons.

Teaching a cat to use the litter box is a challenge, and it depends on the cleanliness of the home and the hygiene of the animal. Pay attention to the following tips to make teaching easier:

1. Buy a suitable litter box

Unlike dogs, cats are more "detailed" in their tastes and personal belongings. Therefore, to use the litter box, it must be to your liking. In pet stores you can find many different models, but not all are suitable for your pet.

As a first step, buy a large one so that it is comfortable and can cover your waste without problems. In case there is more than one cat, each one will have to have his own. And, also, consider its location: place the sandbox in a place with little traffic such as the laundry room or the bathroom. Never dispose of it next to your food or bed!

Another issue to consider is the sand you put inside. There are natural, synthetic and even with chemicals to neutralize odors. Look at which one is more comfortable and do not fill the container to the fullest: you should leave room for the animal to cover the feces without throwing them everywhere.

2. Pay attention to cat habits

To teach a cat to do anything, it is essential to respect their activities and their daily habits. For example, some make their needs after eating and others after napping.

Knowing this custom will help you direct it towards your litter box and prevent it from defecating in any other corner of the house.

3. Make teaching a game

This advice also applies to other activities that the pet may not like so much, such as brushing her hair. Play with the cat near its litter box so that it can get used to that vessel so far unknown or unknown.

You can also place it inside and tell it to dig or play with the sand, and even use your fingers to remove the material. If your cat does it there and does not cover it, take the shovel and bury it, so he will know how to act. Do not take the animal's legs and press it to follow you, because that will bring the opposite effect to what you want.

4. Do not yell or scold

To teach a cat you must be very serene and avoid frightening or yelling at him. Keep in mind that if you are very small, and nobody has explained where to do your needs, it is a lack of knowledge, not an act of rebellion.

Many make the mistake of rubbing the animal's nose in the waste left in the wrong places. You will only make the pet fear you.

Conversely, When you get used to the box and use it properly, you should praise and pamper it. Congratulating good behavior has better results than punishing when you disobey, especially in cats a bit ‘rebellious’ like the Siamese.

5. Take the waste to the litter box

If your cat uses a “non-sandpit” as a bathroom, instead of taking what he did to the trash, take it with a plastic bag and place it in the litter box. Then clean the area very well so that its aromas are not left. Repeat this as many times as necessary, until the animal understands that it must defecate there.

In the event that the cat does not learn to use the litter box, you can opt for the alternative of placing it in a closed room and leaving it there to get used to for a couple of hours.

Yamila Papa Painter is a sports journalist (Circle of sports journalists, 2006-2008). Between 2010 and 2011 he worked as sports journalist in "Argentinos Pasión".

Since 2011 he works in the article writing on different topics: health, sports, travel, pets and cooking recipes, among them. It is also radio and television broadcaster, and a great enthusiast for natural life. It is vegetarian and active participant of a foundation in charge of planting trees in his country of origin, Argentina. In terms of languages, he is fluent in English and Portuguese, and has a basic level of Arabic.

He recently completed his training with the course of: »Introduction to Food and Health» (Stanford University, 2019)

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