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.
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:
To litter train a kitten, follow these steps.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Positive reward, rather than punishment, works well with kittens. When kittens use the litter box appropriately, praise them and give them treats.
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.
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:
If you clean the litter box frequently, but your cat continues to litter elsewhere, consult your veterinarian to rule out any health concerns.