Cat lovers all over the world will sing the praises of their favorite feline. However, when you first bring home a little kitten, it may not know where to do its business. You’ll want to learn how to train your kitten to use the litter box quickly and these tips can help.
Before you bring your kitten home, ensure you have everything your kitten will need. These include:
- A safe environment
- High quality food
- Veterinary care
- Litter box and litter
- Lots of love
While it is true that cats instinctively will cover over the results of using the bathroom, they may not automatically use litter. They may use a rug, pull toilet tissue from the roll or even use the bathroom in your clothing. It is better to prevent a problem by training a kitten to use a litter box than having to break a kitten from using the bathroom elsewhere.
Kittens normally learn where to use the bathroom from observing their mother. If she is consistent in using a litter box, chances are a kitten will be, too. However, some kittens have problems learning because they were taken from their mother too soon. Kittens can begin learning to use a litter box as early as three to four weeks but you can still have success after that time.
Place the litter box in an easy-to-reach location and make sure the kitten knows where it is. Privacy is important to cats so you may want to place it in an out-of-the-way spot such as the bathroom. A plain, shallow litter box should suffice; there’s really no need to purchase the expensive boxes with lids.
As soon as you get your kitten home, put it into the litter box. Help the kitten scratch in the litter by gently taking its paws into your hands and making a scratching motion once or twice. Most likely the kitten will jump right out – that’s alright. You can put it back in a little later.
Cats will generally use the bathroom after waking up first thing in the morning, after they’ve eaten, after playing and again after waking from a nap. Your goal is to get your kitten on a schedule so you can take it to the litter box at the above times. Place the kitten in the litter box, watch to see if they are actually using the box and then leave it to its business.
Rather than yelling at or squirting a cat to help them learn to use the litter box, clean up their mess with an enzyme cleaner designed to remove odor and stains. Then place the kitten back into the litter box when you know it normally goes to the bathroom and soon you’ll have a kitten that is accident free and using the litter box all of the time.
Keep in mind that cats are clean creatures. They will spend much of the day preening. You’ll want to clean out their litter box after they’ve used it. Litter that clumps and can be scooped will help with this task. It is also important to remember that pregnant women should never handle litter boxes due to the health risks associated with cat feces.
When you bring home a new kitten you want to ensure it feels loved and protected. You also want to know you’ve done everything you can to help it do well at using the litter box. Following the above tips can help you and your kitten both succeed.