You already know that I’m a huge cat lover and I don’t think there’s anything more adorable than a baby kitten.
Very few things are more adorable than hearing a baby kitten meow softly or having one follow you around the house if you’re its new owner.
I’ve raised several litters of kittens and it never gets old.
As I discovered from raising so many baby kittens, there are many ups and downs.
And one of those downs is when a kitten instinctively goes when nature calls.
This is especially true if the kittens were just born.
For some owners, this can be a very wet, smelly and overall unpleasant experience especially if the kitten decides to let nature take its course on their bed, couch, floor, or any other place that isn’t designated for instinctive nature calls.
But this is one of the downs of being a new kitten owner that can easily be fixed and controlled.
Yes, believe me when I say that your kitten’s instinctive nature calls can be remedied.
It doesn’t have to be a constant pain to deal with every single day.
All it takes is a little effort and training to get you and your kitten on the same page.
And that’s what I want to share with you today.
So without further ado, let’s get into how to litter train your baby kittens.
Simple Steps to Litter Train New Kittens
Get the Right Kitten Litter Training Supplies
A litter box.
You don’t want something that’s too big or too tall.
Remember, kittens are tiny growing creatures and it will take them time to reach their full adult height.
You don’t need anything fancy here. A simple plastic container with high sides and easy exit and entry will do. I particularly like this inexpensive litter box which is a favorite on Amazon.com.
You want litter that’s fragrance-free-and non-clumping.
Kittens learn to navigate the world the same way human babies do: with their mouths. Highly fragrant litter is a big no-no because you run the risk of the kitten accidentally ingesting it if swallowed which could be extremely harmful.
Normal litter is also a big no-no. Paper-based litter is more than adequate enough for the job.
Purina’s Yesterday’s News Non Clumping Paper Cat Litter is a great choice.
Professional Strength Odor and Stain Remover
The reality is accidents are going to happen. When it comes to cat urine (and other messes) you’ll want a product that is specially formulated to remove stains and odor.
I also prefer something that is safe and natural and not chemical base (but it still has to work!).
You can go wrong with this enzyme-powered odor and stain remover from Rocco and Roxie. It’s a #1 bes seller on Amazon.com with over 8,500 customer reviews.
Introduce the Litter Box at the Right Time
You should introduce a litter box when your kitten is 3 weeks old.
Kittens don’t usually go to the bathroom during the first few weeks of life, which means you have to stimulate them to go to the bathroom by stimulating them with a soft tissue.
After 3 weeks, kittens usually start going to the bathroom in their bedding and that is the perfect opportunity to start teaching them to use the litter box. This also applies to recently adopted or rescued kittens who are also 3 weeks of age.
You also want to introduce them to the litter box right away. Doing it right away will save you the regret of finding out where they learn to go the bathroom on their own later.
Make Sure Your Kitten Uses The Litter Box
Make the litter box easy for them to find. When the kitten is still learning to use the litter box, it should never be more than 10 feet away from them.
By having the litter box nearby, it will teach the kittens where to go to the bathroom. Putting it far away to the point where they can’t see with their own eyes is a big no-no as they will find somewhere else to go to the bathroom.
Put out as many litter boxes as you can. It will take time for kittens to get used to learning how to use a litter box.
Ideally, you should put one in each room of your house so you can help them learn faster and minimize the risk of them going to the bathroom where they’re not supposed to.
Use Positive Feedback
When kittens use a litter box like they’re supposed to, praise them! Congratulate them.
Make them feel good by petting them, cuddling them, and telling them what good kittens they are and how proud you are of them. Make them feel like they’re one of your own.
Just like with humans and other pets; positive reinforcement can go a long way to develop desired behavior.
Another tip here, if you have other cats in the house that already know how to use the litter box, is to bring the kitten over to its litter buddies so it can learn how to use the litter box. By watching other kittens use the litter box, it will help that kitten learn where to use the bathroom.
Keep the Litter Box Clean
Check the litter box regularly and clean it as often as you can.
By checking the litter box regularly and cleaning it, you minimize the risk of having a kitten’s waste sit out in the litter box for a long period of time and letting it stink up your house. You can easily dispose of the waste in the toilet or a trash bag.
By keeping a litter box clean, you will incentivize the kitten to use it. If you just let a kitten’s waste accumulate in the litter box without cleaning it, the kitten might be discouraged by the smell of its own waste, stop using the litter box altogether, and start finding other places to go to the bathroom.
If you’re keeping the litter box lean and your cat still isn’t using it you may want to see these other reasons why you’re cat won’t use the litter box.
Not only do you want to keep the litter box clean, but you want to avoid giving your kitten alternative places to go to the bathroom.
For example, if you have a pile of dirty laundry sitting in a corner, a kitten might accidentally mistake that as an appropriate place for them to go to the bathroom. Remove it.
Don’t give them a chance to learn to do something that they’re not supposed to learn. The sooner you remove alternative places to go to the bathroom, the better off you’ll be.
Video: How to Litter Train Baby Kittens
If you’re not sure how to train kittens to use a litter box or you’re not sure that you’re doing it properly, don’t worry! I have you covered. Just check out the video below to see some of these tips in action.
Key Things To Remember About Kitty Litter Box Training
- Kittens will need all the learning they can get from you as their owner. You’re the teacher and they’re the students. Teach them right and they won’t go wrong.
- Understand that teaching them how to use a litter box can be a smelly process at first, but it can be remedied if you teach them the right way. The kittens will learn faster if you stay on top of things.
- Use positive feedback whenever kittens use the litter box like they’re supposed to. The kittens will love you for it and will be encouraged to keep using the litter box in the future.
- Don’t get discouraged if they fail to get it right the first time as it is a learning process. They will try and fail, but it’s up to you to make sure they succeed.
- Have fun and enjoy the process of raising them. Remember, they are one of your own. Treat them as such.
Final Thoughts On How to Litter Train New Kittens
Training baby kittens is an up-and-down process with trial and error, but with time and effort, anyone who owns a kitten can have a properly trained one in very little time. So go ahead and try the above tips. Your kitten will thank you and you’ll thank yourself later on.