Toilet Training Kittens
In most cases you won’t need to teach your kitten how to use the litter box but, in case you do, we’ve put together a list of techniques to help you get the job done as quickly and with as few accidents as possible.
You’re more likely to have toilet training problems with a cat you’ve rescued from the pound, a stray you may have recently adopted or very young kitten that simply hasn’t been taught yet. Some kittens are fast learners, others will take longer to get the hang of using a litter box. The most important thing you can put into practice early is patience; your kitten isn’t going to learn any faster if you rant and rave when accidents occur.
The first thing to be aware of is that you’ll need a brand new litter box, free of scent. Consider the size of your kitten when purchasing its first box. The sides will need to be low enough so that access is simple. The box shouldn’t be too large early on, as vast amounts of space can be intimidating.
Finally, before we dive into our tips for toilet training success, be prepared to experiment with a few different types of kitty litter. There are so many types and brands out there; all with different textures, coarseness, material and scents. Try to avoid falling for the trap of buying perfumed litter. You may be open to the smell, but it’s unlikely your kitten will be.
They may be naked, but privacy is everything
Cats like to do their business in private. When deciding where to put your cat’s litter tray, try to keep this in mind. The best locations are places that won’t deal with much traffic or places that are enclosed and quiet.
Be careful, the placement of your kitten’s litter tray is one of the most important decisions you will make early on. Once you’ve placed that tray down and begun the training process, it’s not a good idea to move it again.
Kitten is particular can easily become confused if you change the position of the litter, for example, from the laundry to the bathroom. Changes in litter tray position are usually fine with a more mature cat but, when it comes to kittens, try to be consistent.
Repetition is the name of the game
If your cat is having accidents, it doesn’t hurt to remind them about the kitty litter. Sometimes it’s difficult, but try to remember that you’re teaching them because they simply don’t know any better.
When your cat fails to use the litter or when you notice that they need to do their business, carry them to the litter box and get them used to it. It’s all about forming an association between urination or defecation and the litter.
Never punish a kitten for having an accident. Anything that will scare the kitten will lengthen the learning process and won’t help anyone.
Sometimes dirty is best
If you’ve ever had cats before, you’ll know just how fussy they can be. If it’s the wrong food, they won’t eat it; the wrong litter, they won’t use it; the wrong toy, they won’t even touch it.
Adult cats will resort to defecating outside of their litter box if the litter isn’t kept pristine. In the case of kittens, however, especially during the toilet training phase, it’s not a bad idea to keep some traces of the droppings in the litter box.
This will help the kitten to associate the litter with going to the toilet and in most cases will speed up the learning process.
Often it’s all in the timing
As the owner of a kitten you’ll need to act as its mother. You’ll need to observe the kitten’s toilet patterns and be on hand to act accordingly.
You’ll quickly notice that popular times to go to the toilet include after the kitten has either woken from a nap or finished eating. Get into the habit of carrying the kitten to its litter box at these times so that they know this is where to do their business.
With some cats this simple process is all that is needed to litter train them for good. Others will need more patience but they’ll come round in time.
Litter training for the outdoor toilet routine
If you want to progress you kitten to eventually go to the toilet outdoors, you can use their litter box to do just that. This technique is proven to work wonders, but bear in mind that it’s required that your cat be confident outdoors already.
Over a period of a few weeks, slowly edge your cat’s litter box towards the door to the outside. Remember, this is a gradual process; if you try to move it in one go, you may end up with a few accidents on the floor.
Then, once they are using their litter box by the back door, move it to the outside but still close to the door. Your cat will begin, perhaps tentatively at first, to use the litter box outdoors. After a while, remove the box entirely and your cat should find its own way from here.
Hopefully these litter training tips will help you to have your kitten toilet trained in no time. Remember, the process isn’t easy and after you think everything is working out fine, you may still come across the odd accident.
Be patient, keep at it, and you’ll find that, with the right techniques, toilet training your kitten isn’t the impossible task it once seemed.