Adopting a new cat is so much fun; there are toys and treats to buy, adorable pictures to take, and a kitten to play with! However, one of the most important aspects of kitten ownership is training your kitten to use a litter box. The sooner you’re able to do this, the happier you’ll both be!
When I had kittens, litter box training was a cinch. I took each cat to the litter box, put him or her in it, and scratched around in the litter with its paws. From that moment on both of my kittens had no trouble using the litter box.
It’s not always this simple, and even cats who are great at using a litter box can sometimes have a set back. Moving to a new place, for instance, can cause cats to revert to bad behavior when it comes to avoiding their litter box. So, here are a few tips that may help you overcome any difficulties in getting YOUR kitten or cat to use a litter box.
- Make sure the litter box is clean. You have to clean it at least once a day (clean out any clumps) and rinse it with warm water at least once a week. Each day when you clean it, add an inch or so of new litter too. Cats like a clean place to go, so if the litter box is dirty they’re going to avoid it.
- Be mindful of where the box is located. It needs to be in a quiet and easily accessible place. It does not need to be near where your cat sleeps. Make sure it’s a place easy for the cat to get to – not a place where a door might accidentally close and leave the cat without litter box access.
- If you’re training a new kitten, take it to the litter box and scratch around in the litter. This will show the kitten that this is a nice, clean place to use the bathroom.
- Make sure the litter box is one your kitten can easily get in and out of.
- It needs to be large enough for the kitten to turn around and kick a bit of litter around in order to bury any waste.
- At first, try to put your cat in the litter box after it eats, wakes up from a nap, or finishes with a play session. These are the most likely times for it to use the bathroom and if you begin taking it to the box early on, you’ll help the cat form a routine.
- Finally, the number of litter boxes in your house should ideally be equal to the number of cats you have plus 1. So if you have 1 cat, you need 2 boxes. 2 cats? 3 boxes. This will ensure that the cats always have a clean box to go to and are also able to have their own privacy.