How To Litter Train A Kitten

Nick Durante
by Nick Durante
Credit: Shutterstock / New Africa

Kittens are loving, adorable, and tiny, but they can make big messes. While they quickly adapt to litter boxes, you may have to clean a few messes before then. Understandably, many homeowners struggle with how to litter train a kitten.

Put your kitten in the litter box for a few minutes at a time to train them to use it. Start with an open-top litter box, so it’s easy for your kitten to use it without feeling crowded. Move your kitten to the box if you see them crouching and sniffing or scratching the ground.

Scoop your litter box daily or empty it at least once per week. This will stop your kitten from having accidents in the house. Follow along as we explore how to litter train a kitten, so you don’t have to clean up messes all the time.

What Is The Fastest Way To Litter Train A Kitten?

Unfortunately, there is no fast way to litter train a kitten. The process can take several weeks before they become used to the litter box. That said, you can speed up the process with a few simple steps.

1. Set Up At Least One Litter Box

You can’t litter train your cat if you don’t set up a litter box in an obvious spot. Ideally, you should put your litter box in a spot that is easy to access from most parts of the house. That way, your cat can quickly reach it when needed and won’t be likely to have accidents.

If you are training multiple kittens, then you must set up several litter boxes. The general rule of thumb is to set up one litter box per kitten. Felines can be territorial, so this can help your kittens avoid conflict.

However, it’s a good idea to fill several litter boxes when litter training even one kitten. In the beginning, your kitten will need the extra option of an extra litter box. Once you have litter boxes set up, you can train your kitten how to use them.

2. Introduce Your Kitten To The Litter Box

Bring your little kitten into the room with the litter box. Cats are curious, so your cat will likely explore the box without much coaxing. Pick up your cat and gently put it in the litter box if it doesn’t get in on its own.

Let it sit in the litter box for a couple of minutes, if possible. Next, simply keep an eye on your kitten and look for behavior that shows they may need to use the litter box. For example, if your cat starts scratching and sniffing the ground out of the blue, pick it up and bring it to the litter box anytime you notice this behavior.

3. Keep Up With It

Don’t be surprised if your kitten has accidents in the beginning. This is normal, albeit annoying, so you must simply avoid negative reinforcement. Instead, bring your kitten to the litter box each time you catch it having an accident.

This will emphasize what the litter box is used for, and it will remain in your kitten’s memory more easily. Don’t be surprised if it takes up to a month for the accidents to stop. That is considered a long time for most kittens, but it’s possible. Luckily, your kitten is likely to adapt quickly if you keep up with the training.

4. Experiment With Litter

No two kittens are the same, and yes: cats have preferences about litter. For example, some cats don’t like clumping litter. This type forms clumps after your cat uses the box. While this makes it easy for you to scoop the litter, your kitten may not like it.

You can tell that’s the case if you notice your kitten playing with the clumps of litter. In that case, you may want to try some standard litter that doesn’t clump. You won’t be able to scoop in the same way, but it may make your kitten happy.

5. Cover Each Floor

Do you live in a multi-story home? If your cat has access to each of the floors in your home, you’ll need more litter boxes. Ideally, you should put one litter box on each floor of the home to avoid accidents.

The only downside of this option is that you will have more litter boxes to clean and empty. However, that’s much better than cleaning up accidents from the floor. Make sure to show each litter box to your kitten, so they know it’s there.

6. Change To A Different Box Eventually

While open-top litter boxes are great for kittens, they aren’t ideal forever. That’s because cats learn to appreciate their privacy as they get older. Covered litter boxes make it hard for small kittens to get in and out.

They can also be intimidating to kittens because they are somewhat dark on the inside. Once your kitten consistently uses an open-top litter box for weeks or a couple of months, switch to a litter box with a cover. These are usually larger, and in most cases, you won’t have to clean them as often.

How Do I Stop My Kitten From Having Accidents?

The best way to stop your kitten from having accidents is to keep the litter box clean. Cats hate a dirty litter box, and they will act out because of it. They will eventually look for other places, and that’s how accidents happen.

Ideally, you should empty your litter box once per week, or as needed. Scoop the litter box every day or two if you use clumping litter. Even then, you’ll still need to empty and replace the litter every 5-7 days.

Another way to stop your kitten from having accidents is to keep your house clean. Cats are drawn to piles of clothes and blankets, and those are common spots for them to have accidents. That’s especially true if there are piles of clothes near the litter box. The kitten will be just as drawn to the clothes as it is to the litter box.

Does Fixing Your Cat Prevent Accidents?

Having your cats sprayed can stop them from spraying urine. This type of aggressive behavior is common among unfixed male and female cats. Fixing your cats can curb aggressive and territorial behavior, and it can also reduce wandering-related injuries.

Ideally, you should have your kitten fixed when it’s roughly 4-6 months old. Always follow your veterinarian’s advice when it comes to having your cat fixed. They typically recommend you don’t have your cat fixed until it’s up to date on vaccines.

Summing It Up

To litter train a kitten, you must place them in the box a few times, so they become familiar with it. Keep the area around the litter box clean, so they aren’t tempted to go outside the box. Watch your kitten closely for signs that they’re about to have an accident. This includes crouching, scratching, and sniffing the ground. If you see this, simply put your kitten in the litter box so they know that’s where they should go.

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Nick Durante
Nick Durante

Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.

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