Things can get uncomfortable when you get a nice little kitten into your homestead and it relieves herself anywhere. That was my experience, so how do you train your new kitten to use the litter box? In other words, how do you potty train a new kitten? This article will give you some tips on how to go about it.
Table of Contents
When is the right time to start litterbox training?
When caring for an orphaned kitten you will need to stimulate her using soft tissue or baby wipes by rubbing them gently on their stomachs. This is so because kitten’s mothers often lick their bellies to stimulate to relieve themselves hence this is an adoptive active to help the orphaned kitten. This is the case for a kitten that is three weeks and below before they can be able to poop on their own.
Kittens tend to pee or poop once they have fed and this is the best time to introduce them to the litter box. That is an appropriate time for the kitty to can learn good litter habits and practice. This will help them associate their scent with the litter box so they will naturally go there to relieve themselves
ABCs on How to Train Your New Kitten to Use the Litter Box
- Introduce kitty to the litterbox
- Choose the proper litterbox and litter
- Reinforce good habits
- Cleaning of the litterbox
- What to do when the cat is not a fast learner
Introduce Kitty to the Litterbox
From day one set up a box with litter or sand then put your cat in and keep her inside it to enable her to acclimatize with that surrounding. Sometimes the kitty may try to leave that area and come where people are so you may need to return her time and again.
The litter box is the first thing a new pet owner should introduce them to when you bring them home. The same is the case when you tend to move into a new home or room with your kitten for them to adjust to the new surroundings to avoid toilet accidents.
Choosing the proper Litterbox and Litter
The first thing you need to do is to pick a litterbox that suits your cat’s needs and yours.
Do not use a covered box since this will become a hindrance for the kitty to use. In fact, you can use simple cardboard that is open and not high for the kitty to climb in.
Avoid using highly fragrant litter for the kitten as this is a repellant to the kitten and can be harmful to your cat. Using non-fragrant cat litter will help the kitten adapt quickly to litter box training.
You may use the unscented paper-based litter, corn, or wheat-based litter for baby kittens which is easy to dispose of.
Get a plastic litter box once the kitten is all grown up, this is by the time she is three months old since this is more durable than cardboard. At this age, the kitten is able to get in and out of her litter box with ease compared to when she was vulnerable.
Reinforce Good Habits
Offer her some rewards or favorite dish when she does the correct thing by covering their waste so as to offer positive reinforcements.
Give extra pats and rubs on the kitten’s head and back to show her she is doing the right thing. You can also talk to the kitten in a kind voice reassuring her of the good habits.
Cleaning the Litterbox
At night get her into her box which has a warm rug in it on one side so as to train her to know one part is for sleeping. The other part of the litterbox having the litter or sand part is for relieving herself covering the poop after use.
This can be the case if the cat sleeps in the litterbox before she can learn to sleep in a different place like a perch.
Ensure you change the litter the next morning so that it may not stink and discourage her from using the litter box. Scoop the poop and dispose of it in a cat litter trash can that does not is odorless. You can check out the best cat litter trash cans in the market.
What to do when kitty is not a fast learner
If you have a bunch of kittens and one of them is not learning to use the litterbox, bring her to the others that have learned how to use the litterbox effectively. This is the case because they learn through seeing what the mates are doing and aping them.
Kittens are fast learners put them in the litterbox or cardboard then start digging with your fingers in the litter to show them. And they will copy you right away noting that it is okay to dig thus learning how to cover their waste once they are through.
Dos and Don’ts
Kittens won’t use a litter box that is placed next to their food or milk so do not put it there trying to bait your kitten. Kittens just like humans tend to be clean creatures
Putting the litter box in a dark corner to avoid the smell will not entice the kitten to use it either so do not attempt to do so.
Let the cat dig around, play as well as sniff its litterbox, you can show it by running your fingers in the litterbox as it watches.
Ensure the litter box is easy to find by the kitten so do not hide the litter box put it somewhere open or else they may poop or pee elsewhere which might not be so pleasant. You may even wonder what went wrong so alternatively, you may put a couple of litter boxes in different positions for easy location by the kitten.
There is that frustration when the kitty tends to relieve herself where you did not intend for her to do so hence the need for patience. There is the temptation to scream at her or even unleashing punishment when this happens so restrain yourself in time she will learn
See also best-cat-shelves-and-perches
FAQS on How to Train Your New Kitten to Use the Litterbox
Q1. Is it wrong to keep a kitten locked in a room to potty train it?
No, keeping the kitten in a single room if it is still young until she learns how to use the litter box then lift the restrictions is acceptable. Once they start to use the box on their own that is the right time to reward them. This is done through petting them or the use of encouraging voice.
Q2. How can I stop my cat from pooping on my clothes?
While to humans a pile of dirty laundry is sometimes thrown down, Kittens tend to think that a pile of clothes is an ideal place to poop and cover. Avoid putting dirty laundry on the floor instead keep them in the dirty laundry basket to avoid such messes in the future.
Q3. Why is my kitten not covering its waste?
It’s true some kitten don’t cover their waste due to sensitivity to the smell of the litter brand you use. Try to change the brand to odorless or scent-free litter to see if that was affecting the kitten. Another kitten may just prefer the texture of one litter over another so try changing them.
Another reason could be the litter has overstayed and needs to be discarded for fresh litter to be poured into the litterbox. If the cat is a feral kitten used to outdoor life then its behavior can be a determinant. In this case, training it to use the litterbox consistently is the answer.
Kittens can be a source of joy in the household and need to be trained on how to use the litter box. By being patient and persistent they will learn how to use the litterbox. All it takes is starting early to introduce the kitten to the litter box or when moving houses, positive reinforcement, and putting the box where it can be easily found. Keep the litter box clean by scooping the poop and throwing it in the litter trash can which is odorless. You can check the best cat litter trash cans available in the market. This will help the kitten good litterbox habits. If the litterbox is smelly the kitten will look for alternative places to relieve themselves because they hate a smelly place. Do not punish the kitten in case of an accidental toilet mess.