Last Updated: 5 months ago

Looking for easy ways on how to litter train a kitten?

Here’s the good news: it’s actually quite simple!

Check out five tips on how to litter train a kitten or cat successfully!

5 Tips On How To Litter Train A Kitten Or Cat

Litter training a kitten or cat is a fundamental aspect of responsible pet ownership.

Whether you’re welcoming a new furry friend into your home or helping an older cat adjust, proper litter training is key to a clean and harmonious living environment.

Let’s embark on this journey to ensure a stress-free and comfortable experience for both you and your beloved cat.

#1 Eliminate Health Concerns

how to litter train a kitten

One of the ​first considerations – as with most things related to your pets – is to make sure that there are no underlying health issues causing your cat’s reluctance to use the litter box.

This is especially crucial if you have a cat that was using the litter box but stopped suddenly. Cats don’t like to show pain, but sometimes their behavior gives it away.

If they are uncomfortable using the box for whatever reason, they may associate the location itself with the pain and begin to avoid it whenever possible.

Urinary tract and bowel problems can be dangerous or even potentially fatal to your cat, especially with infections and/or blockages, and time is of the essence with their treatments.

Once you know your cat is in good health, there are a few tricks you can try for litter training.

#2 Location, Location, Location

Cats are very private animals.

It’s hard to believe when they’re lying spread-eagle in front of you, licking themselves while making inappropriate eye contact, but it’s true nonetheless.

Placing the litter box in a secluded location in your house where your feline friend feels secure may appeal more to them than an open area in full view.

#3 Add Them Up

kitten in the litter box

Experts recommend one litter box for each cat in the household, plus one extra.

Cats can be somewhat territorial and may not use a box that smells too strongly ​of another animal.

If you have recently made an addition to your family, it may be necessary to add another box to ensure that your new family member and the already established members continue to follow the house rules.

#4 Clean Thoroughly And Often

Litter boxes should be cleaned frequently to keep your cats happy and to keep them from stinking up your home.

Monitoring the litter boxes has the added benefit of keeping you aware of anything that might be unusual with your cat’s system.

It is more complicated if you have multiple cats, but knowing that there is something to look for can alert you to further symptoms that otherwise might not have been alarming.

Cleaning up any places where there have been accidents is also vital, as the smell of urine can draw cats back to the spot to repeat the process or draw other cats in the household there to dispute the territory.

#5 Try Different Litter Box Styles And Litter Types

kitten using the litter box

We have five cats at the moment. Two of them will not use a covered litter box; one has to have high-backed boxes because he will pee over the edge of the box otherwise, and two will not use a litter box that isn’t covered.

If your cat is refusing to use a litter box, especially if they are new to the household, it may be that there is something about it that they don’t like that is causing them anxiety in the form of claustrophobia or feeling vulnerable.

By the same token, the litter itself and the fact that there are so many litter types out there may be the problem.

Some cats will not use a litter with any scent, while others don’t like the feel of granular litter under their feet, especially if they’ve been declawed.

Successful Story

At the age of 17 and still living at home, her parents brought home a beautiful long-haired dilute tortoiseshell cat from the local Humane Society. Sasha was just shy of a year old and had nothing but skin, bones, and fur.

She limped horribly from a badly broken hip that never healed properly, and her back leg would slip out to the side on the wood floors, giving her an almost peg-legged walk.

They were thrilled when she began to gain weight after only a week or so with them, but that all came to a head one morning at the breakfast table when she casually pointed out that all of her new-found weight was in her stomach.

A quick examination confirmed their suspicions: she was pregnant; their new cat was a package deal. You might be wondering where this is going; don’t worry. There’s a point, and it’s even related to litter training.

Sasha was perfectly litter trained before they got her; they don’t remember once in her 15 years with them that she ever made a mess.

When she was getting close to giving birth, they gave her a cardboard box lined with towels and an aluminum pie plate filled with cat litter, which fit neatly in the corner of the box.

When the kittens were born, she had to help them eliminate for the first while, but once they were on their own, they used the pie plate exclusively until all had graduated from the cardboard box.

After that, they used the regular litter box. The extent of their training with Sasha was to show her where the box was the day they brought her home.

She taught the kittens to use the pie plate and to cover their own waste. She even showed them where and how to use the big boxes when they were ready. Those kittens never had any accidents, either.

The point? Right. Getting to the point: cats are incredibly tidy animals. They will do what they can to toilet away from their living areas, both for neatness’ sake and in order not to attract predators to their young.

In most cases, a cat wants to use the litter box, and typically all you will have to do to litter train your cat is show them where it is.

If this isn’t the case, however, there are things you can do to convince your cat to “go” where you want them to.

Wrap-Up

As frustrating as it can be, the best way to get your cats to use the litter box is often patience and trial and error.

If their mental and physical health are taken care of, your cats will most likely settle into a tidy routine quite happily.

Do you have any other tips for how to litter train a kitten? Please share in a comment below!

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Tamsin
Tamsin

Hi, I’m Tamsin. I’m a serious animal lover and dog behaviorist and trainer. In fact, I live on a farm with nine rescues! So, I love writing about and creating awareness around the health and wellness of all animals.