So, you treated your fur baby to a brand new automatic litter box, hoping it makes life a little easier for the both of you. However, your kitty is not quite sure about the new gadget at home and stays clear of it entirely. If this has happened to you, fear not!
Cats are curious creatures and love to explore new things in the home. However, some kitties will take to an automatic litter box easier than others. It may just be the case that your feline needs some time and a little assistance to get used to their new bathroom space and start using it with confidence.
6 Ways To Eliminate Your Cat's Fear Of Their Automatic Litter Box
If your cat seems more afraid of their automatic litter box than intrigued, there are quite a few tips and tricks you can try to ease their adjustment period.
Don't Remove Their Old Litter Box Straight Away
An automatic litter box can look quite different from your cat’s old traditional litter tray. Therefore it’s no surprise that your kitty might not use it immediately. When introducing a self-cleaning litter box, don’t just discard their old tray from the get go.
Let your cat have access to both boxes for the first few days so they can explore their new gadget without feeling anxious whenever nature calls. Wait until they have used the automatic box a couple of times before taking away the old one.
Place The Automatic Litter Box In The Same Spot As Their Old One
When you introduce your cat to their new high-tech litter box, try putting it next to their old one. This will help them to understand its purpose and explore using it as a new bathroom space. Plus, keeping your cat’s bathroom set up in the same location will minimize confusion and keep things feeling consistent for them.
Clean The Automatic Litter Box By Hand (Only For The First Few Uses)
One of the biggest fears cats have about a self-cleaning litter box is the cleaning process itself. If your kitty tries out the litter box, but the automatic cleaning process then spooks them for good, they might hold off using it in the future.
To prevent this, keep the box switched off initially. The first few times your feline uses the box, just scoop as usual until they've had time to get comfortable with usage.
This shows your cat that the new box is just like their old one, removing any fears and easing them into the process. Once they are using it regularly and appear comfortable, you can switch it on and gauge the situation accordingly.
Add Their Scent
Because cats are territorial, they like everything in their space to be marked with their scent. If something new suddenly appears in the home and doesn’t have their scent, they will naturally feel wary of it.
Cats commonly rub themselves on an object to mark it with their fragrance. However, if they’re particularly fearful of something with an unfamiliar scent, they might avoid it altogether.
If this is the case, you can mark the new box with their scent for them. A super-smart way to get your kitty to use their new automatic litter box is to put some of the litter from their old box right into the new one.
By adding just a few scoops not only will they associate their new automatic litter box with their scent but they'll come to connect it with the scent of their old bathroom set up.
Introducing a new litter box is not the right time to try out a different litter either. Luckily, the AutoEgg works will all clay clumping litters, so there should be no need to switch to any of the fancy types to match your fancy new machine.
Furthermore, another way to add your cat’s scent to the box and help them feel more comfortable around it is to take a blanket they lay on and rub it on the outside of the box. With just a little touch of the oils left from their coat they'll assume the AutoEgg is theirs and theirs only!
Remove The Hood
Many automatic litter boxes, such as the AutoEgg, have a hooded, enclosed design. This construction not only looks sleek at home, but it reduces tracking and keeps foul odors contained until the self-cleaning process is complete. Nonetheless, if your cat is not used to using a hooded box, this could be a big change for them to get used to.
All cats are different; some like hooded boxes because they give more privacy for hiding, whereas others prefer an open space where they can see what’s going on around them.
What's unique to AutoEgg is that the hooded design is completely removable. As long as you remove the tracking step along with it for balance the unit will remain entirely functional. You can try this method as your kitty gets more and more comfortable with using an automatic litter box and try popping it back on when they're feeling settled.
Reward The Good Behavior!
Cats are nowhere near as easy to train as dogs. However, all felines are willing to pay attention for treats. There are two ways you can use goodies to encourage your cat to use the automatic litter box and reward them for when they do.
Firstly, if your cat avoids the litter box altogether, place a treat next to or behind it. This will motivate them to explore it more from a closer angle to break the fear of approach.
If they are investigating around the box but not using it, you can try placing a treat inside along the panel or at the entrance. Once your fur baby starts using the litter box, reward them with a treat for good behavior. Be consistent with this, so they learn that using the automatic litter box is a positive behavior that wil be rewarded.
Keep Your Patience
Cats are the masters of many things (like sleep and sass for instance), but something they struggle with is change! Usually, if your kitty shies away from their automatic litter box, they’re not trying to be difficult; they are just struggling to adapt from what feels normal for them. As the caring, patient cat owners we are, it’s our job to ease them into anything new, showing them that change is okay!
At ChillX, we understand cats’ anxieties and preferences. We designed the AutoEgg with features to help your kitties adapt more easily to an automatic option. Check out the homepage to learn more about all of our features and benefits with AutoEgg.