Litter Box Training for Your New Kitten
Most kittens are fairly easy to litter train and will generally begin to use a litter tray soon after being introduced to one. Your new cat may already know how to use a litter pan, since many kittens learn to use it from watching their mothers.
Keep in mind that cats can be very finicky. They can be easily put off by something for lots of reasons - some of which we may never understand! That's why its important to choose the right pan, and train your cat properly.
Kittens prefer to go outside to relieve themselves, and you should keep this in mind before you start litter training. Picking a cat litter pan that your cat likes and will actually use is important, as using a cat litter box goes against her natural instincts. In order to achieve success with litter training, you will need to bear the following things in mind:
1. Your kitten will litter train easier if she uses the same type of litter she's been used to. Find out what she's been using, and purchase the same brand and type.
2. You will want to pick a litter pan that's easy for your kitten to get in and out of. Fill the pan according to the cat litter manufacturer's directions. The litter pan should be deep enough so that your cat doesn't scatter litter all over the floor during use.
3. The litter pan should be placed in a traffic-free area of your home. It should be kept away from your kitten's food and water, and easily accessible. If necessary, provide more than one litter tray for your kitten to use, to allow her easy access to a tray throughout your home.
4. In multi-cat houses, you should purchase a separate litter box for each cat and place it in its own area. Most cats like to do their business in solitude, and are put off by having to share a litter box.
5. Acquaint your new cat to her litter tray by putting her in it often, particularly after she eats. Praise your kitten whilst it is in the tray, and give even more praise if he/she actually uses it.
6. Regularly clean your litter pan by removing any soiled litter when needed, and a more throrough cleaning at least once a week. Because many household solutions can be harmful to your cat, its always best to clean the litter tray with a litter box disinfectant made especially for pets. Some cleaners may also have a strong scent that your cat may dislike, and this could also prevent your cat from using her box. Never change a litter box when you are pregnant, as there is a risk of toxoplasmosis.
7. You should never leave your kitten alone without a litter tray, as cats can develop cystitis if they fail to go to the toilet for a long time.
Since cats don't typically respond to verbal commands like dogs do, you need to be very patient during the training process. Immediately pick up your kitten and place her in the litter pan anytime you see her scratching or crouching.
Be patient with your kitten, most catch on to litter training quickly, but others require more patience. If you're running into trouble encouraging your cat to use her litter pan, there are sprays available that are created to attract your cat to the litter and encourage them to use thir pan.
For the stubborn cat that decides to use furniture or another undesired area for relieving herself, there are cat deterrent sprays available to keep this from happening. With some encouragement from you, your kitten should start using the litter box on her own without any further issues.
For several products to help with litter box training, see our Litter Boxes & Litter Clean Up Products