Litter Box Training a Kitten: 5 Tips to Follow
Cats are naturally inclined to excrete in soil or sand, having been taught by their mothers sometime after birth. For that reason, most people don’t need to learn the right ways of litter box training a kitten.
However, there are instances wherein you will need to acquaint your new feline family member with the litter box and teach her how to use it. This generally applies when the kitten was separated prematurely from its parent, if she grew in the streets and is therefore feral, or if there were sudden changes in her immediate environment that stressed her, causing her to pee or poop outside the box.
The Right Method for Cat Litter Box Training
Regardless which situation you are in, you will certainly see a positive difference when you follow these tips for litter box training a kitten:
Tip 1: Get to Know Your Cat
Kittens are much like babies. They can’t tell you in words what makes them happy or anxious, but if you spend enough time with them, you will be able to tell what a simple syllable or purr means.
To choose the right method for litter box training a kitten, you must know your specific kitten’s background and personality. Does she normally act the way she does? Is she frightened by her new home or family? Was her cat mom able to teach her the litter box basics before coming to your home? Does she have a preference when it comes to litter box placement or material? Is she silently suffering from an illness? Knowing these things and more will give you a clear idea in how you should go about teaching her to use and love the litter box.
Tip 2: Ponder the Litter Box
Now, we move on to all the things that concern the cat litter box. First and foremost, felines need a box that allows them to move about before, during, and after the potty break. The box must be high enough that there is enough litter to fully cover their excrement, but the sides must be low enough that the kittens can easily go in and out.
The cat litter must feel natural and correspond to what the kitten has been used to, at least in the beginning. Once she becomes accustomed to using the litter box, you can slowly change litters until you find one that both you and your cat like.
Also take note of the box placement. It shouldn’t be in a closed-off room; it must be in a more open space where your kitten is given multiple escape routes. If you are training several cats, make sure there are more than enough litter boxes for them. If you have three cats, you must have four boxes in different areas around the house.
Tip 3: Clean It Like You Mean It
Your cat litter box training will be in vain if you keep the box dirty and smelly. Surely, you won’t use a toilet that has piled up pee and poop in it, right? So don’t make your kitten endure it. Scoop the excrement often, change litter once a day, and clean the entire box at least once a week using unscented agents. By keeping the litter box clean, you are encouraging your cat to use it over your carpet or other furniture.
To further reduce your cat litter problems, you can also use mats such as our Easyology Premium Cat Litter Mat. This huge mat, made with durable patterned PVC, is designed to catch sand that may have been stuck between your cat’s paws during her bathroom break. This effectively reduces cat litter spreading and the resulting cleaning time.
Tip 4: Don’t Be a Mad Man
Litter box training a kitten can’t be completed in a day, so don’t get mad when you see your cat still peeing or pooping outside the box after a training session. She might feel your angry energy, but she won’t understand your words and actions.
Don’t spray her with water, hit her, or hurl angry words at her. That will just worsen the situation. Rather, entice her to use the litter box by doing digging motions in the sand. If she doesn’t cover her feces, encourage her by pushing sand toward them with your fingers.
Tip 5: Offer Some Tasty Treats
One way to hasten the cat litter box training process is to offer treats to your kitten after using the box. Of course, this means you must be present while she’s doing her business. Generally, cats use the bathroom after eating, playing, or a nap. By observing when your cat usually does these things, you will be able to time your cat treats and greatly encourage her through positive reinforcement.
Have you tried litter box training a kitten before? What others tips can you offer to new cat owners? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below!