Congratulations! You just brought home your first feline friend. It’s an exciting journey - but first, you have to make sure your new family member doesn’t make a mess in your home. The key to that is litter training your kitten early.
While most kittens take to their litter box instinctively, others may need a push. Regardless, it’s important to understand ahead of time what tools you need for litter training and how you can start your cat on the right paw.
Cat Supply - Litter Box Tools
Before you even begin litter box training, make sure to get all necessary tools prepared ahead of time. This will make kitten litter box training an absolute breeze!
First and foremost, you need a litter box! Cat litter boxes come in many different sizes and materials. Picking the right one is paramount to having a happy and well-trained kitty.
For kittens, you may want to start with a small litter box like Unicharm’s Deo Toilet Cat Litter Box for Kittens. Many litter boxes have a lip to prevent litter from leaking out of the box - so make sure your kitten is able to get over it without jumping.
Other than its size, the next important thing to look out for in a litter box is the way the litter box is built. Kitten litter boxes tend to be made of nonabsorbent material like plastic. Many of these litter boxes also have a cover, hiding litter and waste and blocking odours.
However, not all cats like to use covered litter boxes so it may be good to invest in a litter box with no cover to start with.
Next step - filling up your litter box! Cat waste can smell and it’s never fun to clean up. Having the right type of kitty litter can help make your life so much easier as kitty litter soaks up waste and is much easier to dispose of.
However, some cats like to explore with their mouth - hence the creation of cat-safe litter. While your cat is under 4 months old, it’s best to avoid these types of clumping litters to prevent your cat from getting an upset stomach.
Once your cat is old enough, you can experiment with other types of cat litter - from clumping to non-clumping, crystal-based cat litter to pine, wheat or even paper litter. Here’s some things to note about each type of cat litter:
Clay Litter - Clay litter is popular because it’s affordable and easy to clean up. However, it isn’t very environmentally friendly and creates litter dust floating around the house.
Silica Gel Litter - These types of cat litter are getting more popular as they offer excellent odor control. However, they tend to also be more expensive
Tofu, Pine, Wheat, Corn or Grass Litter - These types of cat litter make use of natural ingredients to create environmentally-friendly options.
Paper Litter - Another common type of cat litter, paper litter is soft on your cat’s paws but can be smelly and hard to clean.
While this is not entirely necessary, if your cat seems very unwilling to go to the toilet in their new litter box, a tasty treat can be the solution you’re looking for.
Good training treats like Ciao’s Churu Tuna for Kittens are easy for your cat to eat quickly so you can move on with your training without waiting for your cat to finish their treat.
Litter Training Kittens
Kittens up to 3 weeks of age can’t go to the bathroom on their own - but after they start going on their own, you can begin litter box training! Take note that different kittens react differently to their litter box and may need some time to get used to it before they can confidently use their litter box!
Here’s some tips on kitten litter box training:
#1 Place it Right
The location of your cat’s litter box can factor into whether your cat chooses to even use it. The best place to put a litter box is somewhere quiet and private yet easy-to-reach for your cat. If you’ve noticed your cat enjoys hanging around in a certain room or area around the house - try putting their litter box there.
It’s also important to keep their litter box far away from their food and water. Once you’ve selected the right place, try not to move the box any further as it may confuse your cat.
#2 Be Patient
As mentioned, learning to use their litter box can be a challenge for some kitties - but never fear! All your cat needs is more time and the right guidance. Avoid yelling at or punishing your cat when they do their business in the wrong place.
Instead of scolding your cat for bad behaviour, reward good behaviour with plenty of love, pats and of course, kitten treats.
#3 Take it Step by Step
When you first bring your kitten home, make sure to show them their new litter box. Give them the time to sniff around and examine them. Once your cat knows their litter box is there, don’t move it anymore.
If your kitten doesn’t immediately take to their litter box, try setting your cat into their litter box directly after meals or after they wake up from a nap. This may help trigger their need to go to the potty, but in the right location.
Make sure to also keep an eye out for signs of when your cat may need the potty, such as sniffing or crouching in a specific place.
After they’ve completed their session, give them a treat or toy to help them associate their litter box with positive, happy experiences.
#4 Keep it Clean
If left alone, litter boxes can start to smell really bad and cause bacteria to grow in it. Your cat may not appreciate it very much and it could even make your home smell unpleasant.
To prevent this, make sure to keep your cat’s litter box clean and hygienic. For one, scoop up any waste at least once a day and replace litter as needed. Then, clean and disinfect the entire box at least twice a month. Throw away old cat litter and use mild soap and water to clean the inside.
If your cat is leaving bits of litter outside their litter box, you may want to place a cat litter mat outside to catch this dirt. Wiping your cat’s paws with Kit Cat’s 5-in-1 Cat Wipes after they go to the bathroom can also help keep their paws squeaky clean!
Good litter box behaviour should come naturally to your kitten, but even if it doesn’t litter box training should be a breeze for most cats. These smart felines are naturally clean and tidy - making it much easier on us cat parents! Just make sure to reward your cat for a job well done and clean up as often as you can!
HERES TAMMI'S INFO
Tammi is an avid writer, but especially loves learning and writing about animals! She spends her free time visiting cat cafes, playing video games and having plenty of cuddle time with her pup.