Positive Pet Parenting
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Error Free Kitten Raising Tips™

by Rolan Tripp, DVM and Susan Tripp, MS

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Getting Started - Litter box Logic

Here are six reasons why cats stop using their litter boxes:

1) Boxes are not scooped enough (1 - 2 times daily minimum).

2) Boxes are in locations that makes cats feel uncomfortable.

3) Cat does not like the litter type (feel or smell).

4) Cat has an undiagnosed urinary tract infection or other medical problem causing discomfort.

5) The box is too old. Odors are impregnated in the plastic.

6) The box was cleaned with a chemical cleanser that left an aversive smell instead of cleaned with soap and water. 

Would you like to use a toilet that isn't flushed?  Most cats prefer you clean the litter box after each use. Felines are fastidious and value cleanliness.


For two-story homes, prevent your cat from getting side-tracked and not making it to the litterbox in time, by providing two litter boxes - one on each floor. Provide more than one litter box in a large home to keep toileting convenient for the cat. For multiple cats, the rule of thumb is to provide one more litter box than the number of cats.

Felines are individuals. Just like some people like rap music and others prefer classical, cats have personal preferences. Try different types of litter boxes, different types of litters, and different locations for the box and you will discover your cat's personal preferences.

Many cats value their privacy.  Do not place litter boxes in high traffic locations. Would you feel relaxed using a public toilet if there were no stall doors provided? 

Kitten Development Adolescence[1]:  17 weeks to 1 year

  • Sexual maturity if not altered; spraying and fighting to protect territory

  • If allowed outdoors, may wander farther away from home.

  • Keep a break-away collar with an identification tag on at all times.

  • Consider a microchip - permanent identification - to avoid losing your kitten

[1] AAFP. (2004). Feline Behavior Guidelines. Pg. 10.

Unwanted pet behavior is a leading cause of pet neglect, abuse, abandonment to back yard jails, surrender to shelters, and euthanasia 

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