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How to Litter Train a Kitten? The Ultimate Guide to Litter Training Your Kitten

Updated by Sheryl on Nov 18, 2021

If you've recently adopted a kitten, the subject of how to litter train a kitten is definitely on your mind. It may come as a relief to learn that litter box training is usually an easy process. Many kittens come into their new homes, having already learned to use a kitten litter box from their mothers. And even those who haven't been pushed by a strong impulse to hide their elimination once they've done the job. However, if your new kitten needs some guidance, the methods below should be helpful.

cat walk out of a litter box
  • When to Start Litter Training Kittens
  • What Do You Need to Prepare
  • How to Train a Kitten to Use a Litter Box
  • How to Clean and Maintain the Litter Box
  • FAQs

Newborn kittens require stimulation to go to the toilet and do not begin using the litter box until they are roughly three weeks old. When the kitten reaches the age of three weeks, it's time to introduce them to the kitten litter box. At that age, a kitten can tell the difference between where it should litter and where it should not.

Every kitten matures at a different rate, so be patient with her and keep engaging her until you're sure she's using the litter box on a consistent basis. And make sure to not shout at it when it does not understand your commands unless you want to achieve the opposite of your objective.

You'll need the following items to get your kitten started on the road to developing healthy toilet habits:

  • Litter boxes: Place them in areas that are both accessible and private. Your cat might not feel safe enough to use them if they're too exposed.
  • cat in the litter box
  • Kitty litter: Kitty litter comes in a variety of forms, from low-cost non-clumping clay litter to high-end, environmentally friendly choices made from pine pellets, recycled newspaper, and even wheat. While many cats aren't fussy about the type of litter they use, some are. They won't use litter if they don't like the texture or fragrance. Start with a basic, unscented clumping litter, and once your kitten is thoroughly litter trained, you can try with anything else.
  • Treats and toys: Reward your furry bundle of joy with a cat treat or a piece of dry cat food when she uses her box. To assist in building pleasant connections with using the litter box, you can use toys and praise. However, you'll have to wean her off expecting a food-related treat every time she uses the box at some point.

To litter train a kitten, follow these steps.

Start at the Appropriate Time

As soon as she comes, show her the boxes by placing her in them and allowing her to sniff and inspect them. To avoid confusing her, don't move the boxes once you've shown them to her.

Select a Kitten-Friendly Litter

Kittens learn and explore using their lips, much like human newborns. This means you'll need to buy a kitten-safe litter to ensure they don't ingest anything harmful or hazardous. Choose a natural, pellet-based litter instead, which is less likely to be aspirated or eaten by a newborn cat. Litter products with scents, harsh chemicals, or clumping qualities should not be given to kittens.

Select the Correct Box

Kittens require a small litter box with an open top that is easy to reach and locate. Until they're large enough for an adult litter box, remove impediments like towering or covered boxes and offer something they can walk into and out of.

litter train a kitty

Select the Appropriate Location

The positioning is also crucial. Kittens are drawn to corners and other spots distant from their primary residence, so start by placing the litter box in a clutter-free corner. You also want to make it as easy as possible for kittens to find a litter box at all times while litter training them.

Kittens have a natural instinct to hide their excrement and will seek out the most convenient location. This means you should keep them near a box for the length of their transition and avoid offering any filthy locations, such as laundry heaps, where the kitten might learn negative habits.

Employ Positive Reinforcement Techniques

Positive reward, rather than punishment, works well with kittens. When kittens use the litter box appropriately, praise them and give them treats.

Maintain a Clean Environment

If the kitten goes outside the box, clean and sanitize the area afterwards to avoid foul smells, soaking or connections. Keep blankets and laundry off the floor if the kitten is using them. Place a litter box in the same position where a kitten usually uses it.

Nobody likes to use a filthy toilet, and cats are no exception! Clean the box throughout the day to encourage them to keep up their good behaviors.

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It's no secret that cats are picky, and their demand for cleanliness extends to their litter box as well. Your cat may prefer to eliminate somewhere else if the box is too full, untidy, or stinky; here are some helpful tips to help them love their box:


  • At least once a day, scoop out the droppings and clumps.
  • Put the trash in a sealed bag and throw it away in the dustbin.
  • The litter scoop should be washed and stored in a plastic bag.
  • With soap and water, clean the litter box's edge as well as the box lid.


  • once a week, completely empty the litter box and wash it with soap and water. Chemicals like ammonia or bleach should not be used to clean it because cats are extremely sensitive to odors. Your pet may shun the box due to a chemical odor. Certain substances can be harmful to cats as well.
  • Fill the litter box with new litter.

If you clean the litter box frequently, but your cat continues to litter elsewhere, consult your veterinarian to rule out any health concerns.

5 kittes in the litter box
What to do if your kitten won't use the litter box?
If you have followed all the above steps duly and yet, your kitten won't use the litter box, you should exercise a little patience. It may just need some more getting-used-to time. If that is not the case, you should consider talking to your vet for expert advice.
How to litter train an old cat?
To begin, Vetstreet recommends filling the box with outside soil. As your cat becomes accustomed to using the litter box, gradually replace more of the dirt with cat litter to allow her to grow accustomed to the new surface. Then follow the usual steps for litter training a kitten.
How to toilet train your kitten?
  • Make sure your kitten's litter box is exactly next to the toilet.
  • Gradually raise the litter box's height.
  • Each day, gradually bring the litter box closer to the toilet until it is exactly over the seat.
  • Use a "training box" instead of a litter box.
  • With time, make the transition to your cat only using the toilet.
Sheryl is an editor from iPetor, owns extensive pet care experience. As a professional writer, she can provide useful pet care tips for all "parents".
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