Most of new cat owners have the same question after the first day with their cutest kitten: How to Litter Train a Kitten?
It is instinctual for a kitten to cover up their waste after they are done. It doesn’t matter if they are using a litter box, a sand box, or your potted plant. As long as they have something soft that can bury their waste they will use it. Chances are you would prefer them to use their litter box.
Even outdoor cats, which tend do their business in the garden outside, will use their litter box when inside if they have been trained to use it. This is why it’s important to start litter training when they are a kitten.
Things to Consider Before Choosing a Kitten Litter Box
Before you begin litter box training the kittens the first thing you need to consider is how many kittens you have in the house. Ideally, there should be one litter box available for each cat or kitten when doing litter box training. In addition to that, you should keep a spare box in another location of the home just in case your cat has a problem with one the other boxes.
How to Litter Train More Cats
If you have several cats, or live in a small apartment with limited space, the cats will usually learn to adapt and share their little retreat. Keeping this in mind, you should still try to have two boxes available for them. This does help during litter box training.
Going back to your cat’s natural instincts, and this is really important to litter box training your kitten, he or she prefers to have an environment where they can do their business and then bury it from sight. This is why, in a cat’s eyes, a litter box filled with pliable cat litter, is much more preferable than simply using your nice, clean floor.
The only reason why a cat would do their deed on the floor is because they are not aware that a litter box is available, or they have a problem with a particular litter box and refuse to use it.
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How To Train a Kitten To Use The Litter Box
When it comes to kitten litter training, the mother can teach the kitten how to use the litter box if she is around the kitten for a long enough time. Even other cats in the house can show the new kitten how to use the litter box. But if the kitten was taken away from its mother too early, or you have no other cats in the house, then the litter box training is going to fall onto your shoulders.
First, purchase a kitten sized litter box. You may be able to get a kitten into an adult sized litter box, but if the height of the door is too high then some kittens will not attempt to jump into their little box and avoid it all together.
When choosing the litter box try to pick the least scented and most natural clay-type litter that you can find. This will ensure your cat doesn’t get turned off by unnatural scents or clumping action. Just basic stuff that they would use outside works best for kitten litter training.
Second, find a location in the house that works well for you and for your kittens instincts. Also, remember that a kitten will want to have some privacy while doing their business, so a closet or somewhere behind furniture will be a good place to stash their little box.
Thirdly, remove all other options from the house. If you have floor potted plants, or even a sandy zen-garden inside, remove them until your kitten is litter trained. They will not know the difference between your potted plant and their litter box, as it all looks like stuff that they can bury their waste in!
Lastly, introduce your kitten to their litter box as soon as they come home. Place your kitten in it, and let your kitten smell around and figure out what it is. You can even mimic your kitten digging by taking the front paws and using them to dig a little. Your kitten should instinctively pick up what their paws are trying to do.
If your kitten does not use the litter box right away, then take your kitten to their litter box many times throughout the day. This will increase your chances of putting them in the litter box at a time that they have to go, and your kitten will quickly figure out that this is a great place to do their business.
Remember to keep the litter box clean at all times. Even kittens are picky and will not do their business in a dirty area. You want to make sure they are consistently using their litter box in order to train them quickly.
How to Litter Train a Kitten the Easy Way
Generally speaking, momma cats will teach their kittens how to use the litter box. However, if you are picking up a stray cat or getting a cat from a shelter they might not be trained. So here is how to litter train a kitten. Its not as hard as you might think.
How to litter train a kitten tip #1 – Choose The Right Litter Box
This is a very important step. You have to make sure the litter box you get is low enough for the kitten to get in and out of with ease. If you want to give your kitten a level of privacy you can get one with a cover over it. Plastic is the best material because it is easy to clean.
How to litter train a cat tip #2 – Put The Litter Box In A Quiet and Easily Accessible Place
Most people will put the litter box in the laundry room. This is a great place because it provides privacy and they are usually close to the kittens eating and sleeping area. If you have small children or other pets, consider putting up a small gate to keep the area safe for the kitten.
How to litter train kittens tip #3 – Use Unscented, Clumping Litter
Some kittens are very sensitive to the smell of litter. To help them adjust use a unscented litter to start with. You should also use clumping litter so you can easily clean it out. If you use litter that doesn’t clump it will be very difficult to find the waste and remove it.
How to litter box train a kitten tip #4 – Introduce The Kitty To Their New Litter Box
Once you get the litter box home, take the kitten and put him or her in the litter box. The kitten will probably sniff around and scratch the box trying to see what it is. The first time they use the bathroom in the litter box make sure you leave the waste in it for at least a day. This way the kitten will learn where to go based on the scent.
How to litter train a kitten tip #5 – Keep The Litter Box Clean
Have you ever walked in a home and got hit in the face with the smell of kitty litter? That’s because the owner wasn’t cleaning the box out on a regular basis. Once your kitten starts to grow up and use the litter box on a regular basis you should be cleaning it out once a day. By doing so you will eliminate odors and keep the area clean for the kitten.
Cat Litter Training Problems
A common problem with getting cats to use a litter box is that cats may find it hard to get in. If they are in a big hurry then they will go on the floor. This means that the smell and urine will have to be cleaned up. You don’t want to have to do this so you need to make sure your cat goes in the box.
Cats may have a problem with the type of litter you use and so they will avoid the box and use the floor or carpet to do the job. With small kittens the litter could get caught in their claws and so they will not use the litter. Cats may also have a serious health problems that makes them act this way as well.
3 Mistakes You Will Make in Litter Training Your Cat
Litter training your cat will save you countless hours of frustration but there are a few mistakes you may make while learning to litter train your cat.
How To Litter Box Train A Kitten Mistake #1 – Using the wrong type of litter:
In order for your cat or kitten to use a litter box it is crucial to use the right type of litter. If the litter has too much clay in it the litter may get stuck in the cat’s claw and it won’t want to use the box.
How To Litter Train A Kitten Mistake #2 – Placing the litter box in front of people:
Cats are very private animals and prefer to have their box in a private place in a corner so they can do their business privately. Your friends and family don’t need to see the box or your cat at this time as the smell could offend them.
How To Litter Train A Kitten Mistake #3 – Not using enough litter:
Cats are territorial creatures and nature has taught them to cover up their messes. The same is true when nature comes calling. Cats need enough litter in their box to cover over their messes. When your cat covers over its mess properly then you can praise it for a job well done.
When It Comes To Cat Litter Box Size Matters
Learning how to litter train a kitten does need your initial patience, but if you get it right it will have obvious rewards for you and your special new friend, for many years to come.
Think first of all about the size of your little pet, it’s tiny! A large space may be daunting, so consider a small quiet room, where the kitten is not too often disturbed, where you will be happy for your kitten to go to the toilet!
A small box with quite low sides would be ideal, although it needs to be sufficiently deep enough to hold the kitten’s toilet litter and ideally needs to be cleanable. Your kitten will bury its toilet movements into the litter very quickly, once it gets the idea, so a tray about the size of a shoe box would be a great start.
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Other Useful Tips on How to litter train a kitten
It may be prudent to spend some time with the kitten during the training days, as it will return over and over again to the place where it went to the toilet last time! So make sure that your new rules of how to litter train a kitten are safely passed on to your kitten. So he/she definitely knows where you want that to be!
If you find that the kitten goes to the toilet in an unsuitable different place, pick up the waste quickly with a tissue and place this, along with the dirty tissue, immediately into the kitten’s litter tray, ensuring that it knows that this is where it should be… And what it smells like!
Take the kitten’s paw and gently scratch the litter with it, giving the kitten experience of knowing what to do. Continue repeating this if mistakes are made. Alternatively move the tray!
A kitten is likely to use the litter tray, or go to the toilet, around 30 minutes after eating its food, so watch carefully and encourage the kitten into the right area. Keep doing this for a few days and it will soon get the hang of it.
Mistakes can be made if the kitten cannot find its way back to the litter tray in time! My tip would be to try and confine the kitten to a small space around the litter tray for a few days, allowing him more space as he gets older and bigger.
After a couple of weeks, or within a short period of time, you will have learned how to litter train a kitten and can look forward to happy days with your new fluffy new friend.
Kitten litter training is quite easy as long as you follow the above tips. Making it accessible to them, keeping it in a comfortable place, and consistently encouraging them to use it will help to ensure that they quickly know where to do their business.
Spencer Jordan says
It’s pretty amazing that other cats in the home will teach the kitten how to use the litter box properly. My wife and I are thinking about getting a kitten soon for our daughter who has wanted one for a long time. I think that it’s smart to get it litterbox trained soon so that we don’t have messes in the house.