How to Train Your Kitten to Use the Litter Box

| February 14, 2010 | 6 Comments

When you first get a kitten, sometimes the thought might arise, “How to train your kitten to use the litter box.” For most kittens, using a litter box comes rather naturally. Other kittens require slightly more to keep your kitten from turning your bed into a litter box. But never fear! A few small steps can be taken by owners to ensure their kitten will understand how to regularly use its litter box in no time.

Preparation

Kittens that aren’t housebroken require smaller litter boxes so that they can easily climb in and out. You’ll want to make sure to place the litter box in a quiet corner of your house so that they feel safe and relaxed–this is an essential part of how to train your kitten to use the litter box. Show your kitten the litter box so that they know where to find it. Consider using unscented, clumping litter, as scents may be irritating to your pet. If you have a multiple story house, you may consider placing a litter box on each floor so that they have easy access to them. While kittens may seem to have a never-ending supply of energy, they may choose the convenience of the new duvet in your room over the litter box downstairs.

Training

When your new kitten scratches or sniffs at the floor, be sure to place them in their litter box immediately. As they prepare to relieve themselves in the litter box, speak in soothing tones. Give them a reward, such as a small treat, after they’ve successfully finished. Positive rather than negative reinforcement is key in training your cat—especially when it comes to litter box training.

If your kitten has an accident around the house, your best bet is to repeat the steps above, making sure your cat feels safe in the area where your litter box stays. Cats may have a favorite place in the house where they seemed to think their litter box should be. Try placing her food there in an effort to associate the corner with something else positive for them.

Your kitten should have no problem adjusting to using the litter box regularly; however, future accidents could be attributed to several factors. These include a litter box that is too small, a litter box that is not cleaned regularly or even a health issue. Be sure to check with your vet if the litter box abuse continues.

Return to Floppycats.com’s Litter Box Page

Contact Floppycats.com’s with suggestions of how to train your kitten to use the litter box or simply leave a comment below.

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Category: Cat Introduction, Health Care, Litter Box, Ragdoll Kittens

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About the Author ()

Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,

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  1. Natalie says:

    Hi, We have a 9 week old ragdoll kitten who thinks that he can do his business all over the house. Leo, the cat, spends the day in one room whist we are at work and uses the litter box all day but when he’s out of the kitchen he goes where he pleases. Do you have any advice on how to move forward? Thanks.

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Natalie – First and foremost you want to make sure there is nothing medically wrong with him.

      One of your problems is that the kitten was probably too young to be taken from his mother – who helps to teach him that litter boxes are where you go the bathroom.

      Here is an article on our site that will give you more suggestions and also how many litter boxes do you have? You might need another – as it might be hard for him to get to the one in time – http://www.floppycats.com/cat-peeing-outside-of-the-litter-box.html

      Have you reached out to the breeder?

      Let us know how it goes!
      Jenny

  2. Pat Mattos says:

    Hi, Natalie, I agree, the first thing is to make sure there is nothing medically wrong.

    Remember, Leo is just a baby and may get out of the room at the end of the day and play until he can’t hold it any longer and can’t get back to the litter box fast enough. It’s good to have multiple litter boxes anyway. The rule is one for each cat plus one extra. I have litter boxes in the basement, on the first floor and upstairs and my cats are older. If you have one level, you should still try to get another box at least until he is older.

    Another thing you can try to help teach him where to go is Cat Attract which is now at Petco. It is a litter that helps attract the cats to it. Money back guarantee, but I have had great success with it.

  3. Colleen says:

    Hey there! I’ve been fostering a kitten who was only 1 day old when she was found/when we got her. She is now a little over 3 weeks. Do you know when litter training should begin when there’s no queen/mother?

    I’ve been putting her in her litter box before and after meals, but she doesn’t seem to be ‘getting it.’ Maybe she’s still too young? I’ve also been stimulating her in there (she can now piddle on her own, but still needs help with larger eliminations). Thanks!

  4. Hi Natalie, The others have posted great suggestions and info sources. At 9 weeks of age having the whole house to roam could be the problem. Maybe it would help to keep him in the smaller area when he is not being monitored? Like Jenny said he may be so far from the litterbox he may feel it is not worth the effort to travel so far, but when he is in a smaller area it is no problem for him. I bet as he matures the problem will dissapear.

    Another thing that was not mentioned is that sometimes having a dog or another cat can cause litterbox issues? Other animals may want to play so much that they lay in wait at the litterbox to “ambush” the cat. They are smart enough to know to just wait for it to happen. Normally when this happens the cat will go up high like on a bed to go potty, so I doubt this is the problem but I thought I might mention it anyway.

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