How to Litter Train a Cat

Have you brought home a new kitty to add to your family? Though adult cats can figure out the whole litter box routine, little kittens need a nudge in the right direction. Let’s take a look at a few different things you can do to ensure your kitten’s litter training will be successful.

Selecting the Right Litter Box

The first thing to know is to make sure that you don’t buy a litter box that is big enough for an adult cat. The ideal measurement for a litter box for kittens measures 13 by 9 inches. It should have low sides, so the kitten can enter and exit with ease. Any larger than this, and your kitten may feel intimidated. As your kitten grows, be sure to size up their litter box along with them. Ideally, a cat’s litter box should measure 1 ½ times their length.

Should you have older cats in your home, go ahead and provide your kitten with their own smaller litter box.

Provide Multiple Litter Boxes

Experts recommend providing one more litter box than the number of cats that you have in your home. For example, if you only have one kitten, he or she will need 2 kitten-sized litter boxes. However, if you have 2 cats, you will need to have 3 boxes, minimum.

Selecting the Right Type of Litter

It may be trial and error to see which type of litter that your cat prefers. However, many cats like the feel of litters that are finely-ground, perhaps because they feel softer to their paws. Using a clumping litter will make it easier for you to scoop out the waste.

Placing the Litter Boxes

It isn’t a good strategy to place all of your litter boxes in the same place. This is because it may cause problems with your cats not wanting to share them.

Many people like the idea of putting litter boxes in corners or closets, to hide them. However, keep in mind that cats don’t like the feeling of being cornered or trapped, so this may not be the best way for them to feel relaxed to relieve themselves.

Also, be sure to place the litter box in a location where there is ambient light so that your cat isn’t left doing their business in the dark.

If you have several floors in your home, be sure to place litter boxes on each floor.

Introducing Your Kitty to the Litter Box

Now that you have your litter boxes all ready to go, its time to teach your kitty to use them.

  1. To begin, show your kitten where each of the litter boxes are, and let them sniff around the area.
  2. Carefully place your kitten inside of the box. They may intuitively know what to do next. If they don’t, you can simulate pawing at the litter for them.
  3. If your kitten didn’t understand what to do during the first time, try putting him or her in one of the litter boxes whenever they are done eating, drinking, or wake up from napping.

Building up a Good Litter Box Routine

Once your kitten begins using the litter box accordingly, give them their favorite treat to build up their confidence and reinforce this positive behavior. To do this, be sure to give them the treat immediately after they get out of the litter box, in order for them to understand what they are getting rewarded for.

Should your kitten have an accident, avoid punishing or yelling at them. Simply clean it up without having any type of negative reaction.

Keeping it Clean

When you have an older cat, it is normal to scoop out the box on a daily basis. However, with a kitten, experts recommend scooping out the box each time the kitten relieves themselves. This is done to avoid having your kitten develop a disliking to it. In regards to how often to remove the litter and change it out completely, read the recommendations on the label of the kitty litter which you purchased.