How to Teach your Kitten or Cat to Use a Litter Box

6 Effective Ways to Teach your Kitten or Cat to Use a Litter Box

Teaching your kitten or cat how to use a litter box is one of the early and essential stages of feline development. If you just started with your kitten, you’ll probably have some questions on how to litter train your kitten. I hope it’s a relief to learn that training a kitten to use a litter box is easy to do.

Kittens naturally have an idea of the litter box and will see why they need to use it if you give them the proper guidance and encouragement. Meanwhile, some kittens you may bring into your home may have learned how to use the mother cat’s litter box.

If you’re facing challenges in teaching your kitten how to use the litter box, this article is a premium guide. It includes possible answers to some questions you might have concerning your kitten and how to use the litter box. Before then, let’s talk about the materials you’ll need to put you and your kitten on the right part while teaching them to use a litter box

Litter boxes

It’s only ideal that you have more than one litter box than the number of kittens or adult cats you have. If this is your first pet kitty, then it’s okay for you to have two boxes.

Kitten litter

Cats are not too selective about the type of litter to use for them, while some cats are selective and won’t use a litter if they object; smell and texture are not friendly.

Toys and Treats

When you find your kitten using his/her box, I am sure you would be pleased, then, give him/her a treat or a piece of dry food. You can also try using toys to play with him/her just to show him/her that you’re happy. If he/she starts getting used to the treats you give him/her after using the box, you will have to wean him/her off, expecting treats and foods after using the litter box.

Now to know these supplies, you must have them while getting on the adventure of training your kitten to use a litter box.

How to Teach your Kitten or Adult Cat to Use a Litter Box

Below are a few highlighted points to note about using the litter box.

1. Introduce the Litter Box to your Kittens at the right time

Firstly, newborn kittens require stimulation to enable them to go to the bathroom; they won’t start using the litter box until after a few weeks of their tender stage. When your kitten is up to 3 weeks, it requires that you introduce them to the litter box.

Every kitten has their different Kitten development pace; be patient, continue stimulating your kitten until you are convinced he/she uses it whenever needed.

2. Pick a Kitten-Safe Litter

Kittens love to explore with their mouths, just like human babies do. Therefore you should put your kitten in a litter that is safe for it, so it doesn’t try consuming something toxic or harmful. Don’t pick litter products that contain toxic and harsh chemical substances and fragrances.

You will find a lot of ideas and options of the box to use, ranging from materials extracted from old newspapers, plastics, and pine pellets, silica to cheap non- clumping clay substances.

You should also avoid materials that contain clumping properties; litter boxes that contain clumping properties can be safe for adult cats. If you must use this, your kitten must be as old as 3-4 months and be well learned in using the litter box. Natural litter boxes and pellets are less likely to be inhaled or mouth picked by your kitten.

3. Pick the Right Box

Kittens need a box that has a shallow open top that is easy for them to locate and access. Don’t use a complicated box that may be too tall or using covered boxes.

Select a box that is easy for them to walk round in until they become an adult cat; then, you can switch to an adult litter box. Young kittens under seven weeks old can use full cardboard to provide a thin lip for the kitten to walk around.

The standard material for a cat is a clumping litter without a fragrance; if you want to check out a Kitten litter, you can do that when your kitten is fully learned.

4. Choose the best Place to Put the Litter Box

Where to put the litter box is also an essential factor to consider. Kittens love staying in a corner and other tiny areas away from the main house. With this idea, you can place the litter box in a neat and visible corner. If the litter box is put in an area too exposed, the kitten may not feel safe and will be unable to use the box.

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When litter training your kitten, keep the box in a corner very convenient to them. Kittens would want to cover their waste and will find any means to do so. It means you’ll need to keep them close to a box whenever they want to pass out waste.

Always give them a neat corner to enable them to pass out waste, don’t put them in messy areas, so they don’t develop bad habits. If your kitten is 4-9 weeks old, teach it to use the litter box in a confined room so it won’t be difficult for them to locate.

5. Praise Kitten When he/she does it right

Whenever your kitten uses the litter box right, do well to give him/her a pat on the back. Kittens love it when you cheer them, always give them a cheer and they do it more often.

If the kitten doesn’t use the litter box right by using the area outside the box, clean and disinfect it as soon as possible to avoid the foul and irritating smell.

6. Keep it Clean

You wouldn’t want to use a dirty toilet, right? Cats are not different. So, you should clean the box at least once per day. It will encourage them to cultivate an excellent habit.

The litter box will be neat and will be pleasant for your kitten and make them want to come back whenever they want to use the bathroom.

The right size of the litter box to use

The size of the litter box to use depends on the size of your kitten or cat. A tiny kitten needs a small box with shorter and lower sides for easier access.

As the kittens grow, the small box would be switched to a bigger one. Some cat owners like to go for litter boxes with covers; this is okay if it’s good and acceptable by your cat.

You have to make sure your cat can open the table while it steps into the box. While it grows, always change the box to a better and more comfortable one, which will enable the catwalk inside it.

Step by Step Method on How to Train Your Kitten to Use the Litter Box you provided.

  • Show him/her the boxes when he/she arrives at home by placing him/her into the box and let him/her play with it. He/She examines it by sniffing.
  • Don’t move the boxes after showing him/her because he/she might get confused.
  • Set him/her into him/her box after each meal and after he/she wakes up.
  • If you notice him/her crouching or sniffing, this is a sign he/she wants to go, pick him/her up and place him/her in the litter box.
  • Cheer him/her whenever you notice him/her using the litter box, give his/her a toy or treat. Don’t scold or punish him/her whenever they does it wrong. It will make him/her stressed and lead to anxiety, which will lead to some problems that will make the litter training difficult. 
  • Cats don’t realize you are scolding or punishing them for what they did wrong, so; it won’t help in the preparation or help him/her not to do it again.

It is excellent that your kitten is confined to a corner with the appropriate litter box size; this allows you to take advantage of the cat’s tendency to litter is an open material.

As long as the litter box is most accessible and available, you won’t have to put much effort when litter training your kitten. If you have to keep your kitten confined for some time, it could be if you are going to work. 

Make sure the room contains all the cat needs such as the litter box, food, water, toys, and places to climb and play.

Some cats get attracted to outdoor beauty, such as the soil used for house plants. Ensure the cat does not enter the house plant; you can take out the house plants and place them into a difficult place; you can also place rocks and ornamental stones Kitten topsoil.

You shouldn’t keep your kitten away all the time; he/she should be supervised and kept on close watch to prevent accidents while he/she is placed in the litter box. When you put your kitten’s small pee (urine) or poop from Kitten’s excretion, it might attract the kitten and make it come back to the box.

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Litter Training for the Older Cats

Typically, an old cat would be used to using a litter box while they have lived with you. But you may find it challenging to train an adult cat if the cat was a stray cat. However, cats are known to learn new things quickly and have the instincts of what a litter box is used for—teaching them to use a litter box may be as you’ve just hit a big challenge.

When this happens, it is recommended you fill-up the box with soil to start with as the cats get used to going into the box and keep on adding fresh soil to enable the cat to become familiar with the box.

Litter Box Cleaning and Maintenance

It is essential to take care of your kitten’s litter box not just to eliminate the smell of cat waste but to make it more pleasant and comfortable for the cat to always want to come back to use it.
  • Scrape the box daily to remove the cat waste.
  • Take off the soiled litter; especially, it can no longer control odor, dispose of it, and get a new one.
  • Clean and disinfect the box when you take off the waste, use mild toilet soap and water to clean our water and vinegar (white), don’t use bleach or harsh chemicals and disinfectants. These could be a hazard to your cats.
  • You can use an enzyme to clean outside the box where your kitten may have had accidents while trying to use the litter box. Enzyme cleaner will help eliminate the smell from around the litter box. 
  • If this is left unlearned, it will prevent or discourage the kitten from going to the litter box.

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While training your kitten to use him/her litter box, he/she might not give in while trying to scold her, this may be because he/she doesn’t like the size, shape, texture, or smell of the box. If the box is covered, he/she might find it confusing, or if it’s open, he/she may see it as being too exposed and may not want to use it.

What you have to do here is to try out some other boxes until you find one that suits his/her, if he/she isn’t still using it, you’ll need to put his/her in a small room with the table inside until he/she starts using it. Always keep your Kitten’s litter box clean – don’t help your kitten develop bad habits!

You’ve equipped yourself on everything about litter training your new cat; you’re now on the right track and on your way to developing an unending bond between you and your new kitten.