Toileting and litter trays

Want advice on toileting and litter tray placement?

The importance of your cat's litter tray

One of the most important resources when setting up your home for your new cat is a litter tray. There are many different types of litter tray suitable to your cat's needs and as your kitten grows up, the tray will need to be replaced with something bigger. Like humans, each cat is an individual and what works for one won't necessarily work for another. As a general rule, provide one litter tray plus one extra for your cat.

Privacy and placement

Toileting is a vulnerable activity for cats, so it's no surprise that they'll want their tray to be somewhere they won't be disturbed. If the tray is out in the open, they're less likely to use it and will seek a safer spot somewhere indoors instead.

Remember that cats like to have their litter tray away from the areas that contain their food and drink - keep the tray away from busy areas too. When it comes to litter, many cats have a preference for fine, heavy sand-like litter, similar to the materials their ancestors might have used. Avoid anything scented - although you might like the fragrance, your cat might not agree!

Cats are also fastidiously clean and will not use a dirty litter tray. Remove any deposits once or twice a day and completely clean the tray at least once a week. You can find out more about what to include in a litter tray in our guide to the perfect loo.

Inappropriate toileting

If your cat is toileting in the house, you might be both concerned and frustrated. Although inappropriate toileting can be a distressing issue, it is important not to punish your cat for what is perceived as 'bad behaviour'. Your cat may be toileting in the house due to stress, and punishing them is likely to make them more stressed and increase the likelihood of them toileting in the house again.

Instead, the first thing to do is to book an appointment with your vet. They'll be able to do a health check on your cat to ensure everything is ok. If you're still having issues, they may be able to refer you to a behaviourist who may be able to ascertain why your cat is behaving in this way.

See also - Soiling

Related topics

Managing cat behaviour - Topic

Your cat's perfect loo - Meow! Blog

Behaviour focus: litter trays - Meow! Blog

Photo credits

Banner image - Matheus Queiroz -