Tips for Litter Kwitter®Training by Dr.JO Righetti
Tips for Litter Kwitter®Training by Dr.JO Righetti, Animal Behaviourist & Consultant.
1. Go at your cat’s pace
If the progression through the Litter Kwitter stages is not going as quickly as you would like, it might help to remember that cats are individual characters with different personalities. While some cats welcome new experiences, most dislike being rushed or pushed into something. You need to build up their trust and you can do this by slowing things down a little. Go back to the previous stage for a while. Let your progress be determined by your cat’s needs.
2. Step by step
If your cat is ‘stuck’ at one of the Litter Kwitter stages, you may need to introduce a bridge between the current disc and the next one. Your cat may benefit by gradually reducing the amount of litter available in the Litter Kwitter, for instance, before moving on to the next stage. You could also try leaving the centre of the red disc without litter (to mimic the hole of the amber stage). It may take some cats longer to be willing to defecate through the amber or green disc, although they are happy urinating. Again, go at your cat’s pace until they are ready to progress.
3. Deal with toileting issues
If your cat has started to toilet outside of the Litter Kwitter, check that your cat feels safe in your toilet or bathroom. Cats need privacy to toilet and they like to feel safe and secure when they are in the vulnerable toileting position (after all, in the wild, they may be attacked by predators).
Ensure that the toilet in which the Litter Kwitter is installed provides safety and security. You may like to try leaving the bathroom door wide open or an open window, to provide an escape route and make your cat feel more secure. If you have a multi-cat household, ensure that another cat is not lying in ambush, waiting for your cat to leave the toilet.
Cats who choose to toilet over your belongings eg. briefcase, bed, or in other inappropriate places eg on computers, stove tops or air conditioning vents (which may disperse the odour very effectively!), are often communicating that they are stressed. Putting their scent around them or over unfamiliar scents makes them feel more secure. You have to make your cat feel safe.
Remember that your cat’s inappropriate toileting habits may have nothing to do with the Litter Kwitter and all concerns should be address by your vet. If you see your cat repeatedly straining while trying to toilet you should visit your vet immediately.
4. Kitty cleanliness is important
It is important that you keep your Litter Kwitter clean, otherwise your cat may not wish to use it. Some of our human cleaning agents may not be particularly pleasant for your cat’s nose and they may dislike entering a bathroom that has scented products in use.
If your cat has toileted in areas other than the Litter Kwitter it is important that you clean up thoroughly. Wash with non-ammonia based cleaners, then use an enzymatic cleaner to remove all traces of urine or faeces, as cats are often attracted back to those spots to toilet again.
5. When one cat is perfect…
If one of your cats is progressing well on the Litter Kwitter and others are not, you have 3 options:
(i) go at the pace of your slower cat
(ii) swap stages of the Litter Kwitter according to the individual cat’s needs (you may need to follow your cats around to do this).
(iii) introduce a second litter Kwitter on a separate toilet in your home
6. Reduce stress
Use of the Litter Kwitter should not stress your cat. If your cat tends to be stressed by anything new, then you might like to keep other routines constant eg. feeding, play. Cats may be calmed by use of lavender or chamomile products in the environment. Extremely stressed cats may benefit from medication from your vet.