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    • 28 APR 15

    Don’t let toilet training put you off pet ownership

    One of the things that most puts off potential pet owners is their fears about toilet training, a requirement for cats, dogs and house rabbits. It can be a daunting process, particularly for new owners, but in most cases it is very straightforward.

    Kittens quickly learn how to use a litter tray as their natural instincts are to cover up their waste. If a new kitten is looking around in a panicky, urgent way, chances are it’s looking for a tray. Cats like different places to go throughout the day and while some may be happy using open litter trays, some prefer a covered tray. This also helps to keep litter and faeces inside the tray.

    Having more than one tray in quiet areas of the house encourages use, as does using a clumping clay litter. Avoid scented litters – they can cause discomfort to cats and cats just don’t like them.

    Puppies indicate that they need to go by sniffing around and turning in circles. When they do this it’s important to quickly encourage them to go outside. If successful, praise them and give them a treat to help install good behaviour. If not, take them back inside, keep a close eye on them and repeat as necessary.

    With cats and dogs, telling them off for soiling in the house at this stage will just encourage them to be secretive and hide where they go, so this should be avoided

    Rabbits instinctively choose one area as their toilet. The best way to house train them is to keep them contained in a small, easily cleaned area of the house until they settle on a corner. Placing a litter tray covered with bedding in this corner, with some food nearby, will help your rabbit learn to use the tray.

    Nearing puberty, rabbits may begin to defecate or urinate throughout the house. Neutering should reduce, if not completely remove, this behaviour.

    If you have any questions about house training or behavioural problems, book an appointment with us on 01453 752555.