13th August 2016 | Behaviour,General Tips
There are many times that people have been driven to frustration is the course of toilet training their cat(s).
This is understandable. Cats can be hard to communicate with, and as with any training process it can be a stressful time for both cat and owner.
“Accidents” along the way – not to mention outright mutiny attempts- are predictable and common, and often trainers need to let their cats know that they’ve done the wrong thing. Here are a few tips…
Never smack your cat and never ‘rub their noses in it’. This is cruel and ineffective. Not only could you cause real damage, but the cat will not know why it got smacked, it will simply regard it as an attack. Thus, you will not solve the problem, and you will possibly damage your relationship with your cat (which should be based on trust), impeding further training. Cats – just like people – learn better through encouragement and reward as opposed to criticism and punishment.
If your cat continually goes in the wrong places, try ACTIVELY IGNORING the cat until it gets the right idea. This works especially well if your cat usually gets a lot of loving care (which all cats should!). Let them see you silently clean up the mess, then walk away from them without recognising them at all. Feed them before you are asked, without the usual fuss. Spend some time cleaning the LK while they watch. There is mention in one of our user’s blogs of one cat getting so upset with this means of “punishment” that they went into the toilet and “meeooweed” loudly until Mum came in to watch them “go” correctly.
Don’t lock your cat in the toilet with the Litter Kwitter as punishment. Even if they use the LK while they’re in there, it will not be in a positive mood and they will likely re-offend as soon as released! Also, if they are afraid of the LK, this will only serve to make things worse. They will resent the device and learn to avoid the toilet room altogether. Cats need easy, safe access to and from the LK.
When your cat “does the right thing”, reward them with praise, pats, cuddles, cooing and maybe even a treat (a morsel of their favourite food, for example). This is especially important at “firsts” and after ignoring them for misbehaviour.