It can be quite a tedious task on how to potty train a kitten, but many people out there have not thoroughly taken the steps to successfully train their kitten. For starters here, many people have the understanding that the kitten’s mother should do this during development, but this is not always the case. When you bring home a kitten for the first time, it would be great to have a kitten trained to use a litter box, but this is hardly the case.
When you are looking more into how to potty train a kitten, it is important to know that cats can be trained in many aspects. The best case scenario in the training though is from the mother. Some studies suggest that a kitten can effectively learn to use a litter box at only four weeks old, suggesting that cats can learn quite quickly.
How to Potty Train a Kitten: The First Steps
If your kitten is a bit older, say about seven or eight weeks old then your chances of training and learning can be quite efficient. However, some of the younger kittens may need a bit more instruction and time to master this task. The first thing you need to do when training your kitten is to slowly and effectively introduce a litter box to your kitten. So how can you introduce a litter box to your kitten? Let’s take a peek ahead on how to introduce a litter box to your kitten.
Gate or Fence your Kitten in an Area
It does not sound too great, but some suggest that fencing or blocking your kitten into an area for a bit of time can help to introduce your cat to a litter box. In this method, your kitten is bound to get curious as to what is sitting in the corner of its pen, so consider this a viable option. Some kitten owners have a pre-built litter box that is kitty ready, so consider smaller boxes to start with so you don’t startle your little one.
Place your Kitten in the Box
There is a good chance that if you simply introduce the litter box to your cat that the kitten will not attempt to use it. For this reason, consider placing your kitten in the litter box at certain intervals throughout the day. This may help your cat to slowly get used to the sand box and it is a way to train your cat to go to the box throughout the day. The best way to do this is to physically lower your kitten to the litter box and walk away. Some kittens enjoy privacy so giving them privacy can work quite well.
Select the Right Box and the Right Litter Sand
In order to have your kitten train effectively you need to take caution with the type of box and litter you select. After all, the wrong selection during your training process, especially in the early steps, can lead to failure and an unsuccessful attempt at litter training. For starters here, you should try smaller litter boxes so that your kitten doesn’t become frightened. Also, you should ensure that your cat is able to climb into the box, so make sure it is not too tall. Lastly, your litter should be made of non-absorbent materials unless you change it throughout the day. For this reason, avoid any cardboard material in the box as well. Some people describe the litter sand as being the equal to outdoor soil for best results; however, others recommend a certain type of litter sand. Many kitten owners suggest using clumping litter as a litter type for training, as many kittens tend to like this type more than the non-clumping litter.
How to Potty Train a Kitten: Making it Happen
Once you have introduced the litter box in some way to your kitten, now you will need to make the steps count. This is the stage where you need to regularly allow your kitten to see and use the litter box.
Just like with humans, your kitten will need repetition to learn something, especially if it is how to use the litter box. In order to make this happen, you should consider encouraging or placing your kitten in the new litter box as often as possible throughout the day, preferably at spread out and constant intervals. This type of training allows your kitten to have a regular schedule of returning to the litter box throughout the day and it may be a practical way to train your kitten to use the litter box often.
More Boxes in your Home
Another way to improve repetition with your kitten’s litter training is to have multiple litter boxes spread throughout your home. The more boxes there are, the better the chances your kitten will learn to use it. If you have multiple levels in your home, it would be wise to have a litter box on every level of your home; that way your kitten can go when needed on any level. If you want more success in your training, consider placing the boxes in a secluded area and if possible, a corner part of the room or house is ideal for privacy.
Don’t Overfill the Boxes
In addition to having multiple litter boxes spread out around the house, it is important to be mindful of how much litter you place into the litter box. This is one of the best ways on how to potty train a kitten because too much sand can also be very intimidating when it comes to doing the deed. Consider filling each box only a couple inches for best results and simply change the sand out more often as needed. Some experts suggest only an inch of sand for best results, but I feel that two or three inches is sufficient to get the job done.
Keep the Litter Box Clean and Free From Scents
Cats are quite clean creatures and they learn this from a very young age. If and when your kitten finally goes in the litter box, it is important to clean it as soon as possible so that you promote a clean toileting spot. If you keep the soiled litter in the box for extended periods, this only increases the chances that your kitten may not want to return so use every tool to your advantage during your training. With time and more learning, your kitten will soon learn that it is ok to have some soiled sand in place and that it can wait for you to clean, but when they are young make it a habit to clean or scoop it often.
How to Potty Train a Kitten: The Final Steps
The final steps are not many, as your kitten usually gets it quickly once it has been through this many steps. One thing that experts suggest is to provide positive reinforcement whenever your kitten uses the litter box. At no point should you ever scold your kitten when it is in the litter box because this creates negative reinforcement and it encourages the kitten to not enter the box. Some ways to provide positive reinforcement is to make a big deal in a good manner whenever your kitten is in the box and make sure to give plenty of praise. Seriously, it may sound off, but giving praise to your kitten after it does this is a positive way to reinforce entering the litter box and it encourages the box as a place for toileting.
If your kitten is having issues at this point in training then it may be a good time to invest in a covered litter box, or an enclosed litter box. This is a great way to provide privacy and it may be a reason why your kitten hasn’t caught on by now. In addition, your cat may enjoy the closed confines of the enclosed box as a place for respite and solitude for the making process, so consider this an option at the least.
The Conclusion on How to Potty Train a Kitten
So now that you have some background on how to potty train a kitten, you get the chance to put everything you have learned into action. Take each step little by little and allow your kitten as much time as needed. If you attempt to push your kitten to use the litter box too soon, the kitten could pick up on your anxiety and it could cause failed results. For this reason, you need to be aware of the training, but also mindful to your cat’s abilities.
Make sure to purchase a litter box that is suitable in size for your kitten so make sure to check out what Amazon has to offer. You should try to avoid excessively large litter boxes for best results, but you need a large enough box so that your kitten can move around for the right spot. Some kitten owners like the idea of large boxes because they grow so quickly, but be mindful that something large may hinder the learning process.
So How do you Start Training?
You have all the tools on how to potty train a kitten, but now you will need to purchase everything you need. Start off with purchasing a litter box that is not too big or too small and consider placing it where your kitten is comfortable going. You may need to purchase two or three of these boxes in an effort to effectively potty train and if your kitten is not comfortable with an open box then consider an enclosed litter box.
In addition to finding litter boxes for your kitten’s training, you should find some kitten-friendly litter sand. Some brands may state that it is good for kittens or that it is kitten friendly in an effort to make it easier for your purchase, but consider the clumping type of litter as your best option here. When you get your kitten litter sand, be sure to fill each box with only an inch or two of litter sand. Keeping your sand levels down will help to promote your kitten actually using the box, so make sure to not overfill it.
Once you get your sand and fill the litter box, you will then need to make sure you have scoops, litter mats, and the accessories needed to ensure your kitten is successful in training. You can find these tools easily on Amazon and they tend to be more affordable than other sources in stores.