Whether you’ve recently adopted a kitten or your adult cat has birthed a litter and you plan on keeping them, you’re in store for a lot of fun! Kittens are amazingly cute and incredibly playful. However, while they certainly bring plenty of love and affection to your life, they can also bring some frustration if they aren’t trained how to use a litter box.
A litter box is one of those must-have things that all cat parents need to have on-hand. Without it, your kitty is going to end up going wherever she wants whenever nature calls. But, don’t just assume that because you have put out a litter box that your kitten is going to use it. Like humans, kittens need to be taught where the appropriate place is to use the potty. If your kitten doesn’t know how to use the litter box, you might as well not even have one because undoubtedly, she’s going to go wherever she darn well pleases. If there are older cats around, she may follow their lead, but she may not. Therefore, it’s important to take the time to teach your little kitty where the proper place is for her to do her business.
Not sure how to litter train your kitten? The good news is that it isn’t as hard as you might think; most kittens will pick up on it rather quickly. To help ensure success, here are some litter training tips to keep in mind.
Introduce the Litter Box
First things first: you’re going to want to introduce the litter box to your feline friend. Place it in an area where she can easily access it. At regular intervals, pick your kitten up and place her in it; for example, right after she’s awoken or right after she’s eaten. Let her explore! Kittens are naturally inquisitive. She’ll probably sniff around and dig in the litter a bit. If, however, your kitten doesn’t seem to be investigating, encourage her. Try gently dragging her front paws in the litter so she gets the idea; more than likely, she’ll catch on quick. Once that digging starts, she may be inclined to eliminate; cats usually have the urge to go when they’re digging.
If you notice that your kitten is relieving herself anywhere but the litter box, quickly – but gently – lift her up and place her in the litter box. If she’s done a #2, you can pick it up and place it in the box to show her where it belongs. Never, under any circumstances, should you scold your kitten if she has an accident, as it will only deter her, which may lead to litter box aversion.
Select the Right Litter Box and Litter
Once your kitten gets the gist of using the litter box, you can make adjustments to the type of box and litter you are using. Cats can be picky about where they go to the bathroom; some prefer privacy and will do better in an enclosed litter box, while others like to have an open area so that they can see around them. In terms of litter, it really depends on personal preferences; mainly yours. Overall, as long as a feline can drag her claws through the litter, she’ll probably have no trouble using whatever you select. But, with that said, some cats can be picky. Your kitten may prefer softer, smaller grains of litter, or she may like larger, courser grains. How can you tell which one to choose? Test them out and observe. (Check out: Which type of litter should I use?)
Take notice of your kitten’s behavior when she’s in the litter box. Also, if she seems to be eliminating a lot outside of the box, then it’s likely that she doesn’t like the box, the litter, or both. Try different combinations until you find one that works for your cat’s specific needs. It’s also important to note that if you have more than one kitten, you should invest in more than one litter box. Cats are territorial and usually, they won’t share litter boxes. The best rule of thumb: have one litter box for each kitten. You’ll save your kitten – and yourself – a lot of aggravation and increase the chances of litter training success.
Want to learn more about your cat’s wellness or cat products? Check out some more Pure Bred Cats articles!