Cats are naturally very clean and chances are your kitten will already have learned how to use the litter box from her mother before joining your home. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to help make sure this is an easy transition for you both!
- Buy a litterbox big enough for your kitten to move around in
- Fill it with enough litter to cover the bottom of the tray
- Remember that accidents will happen, and avoid punishing your kitten.
- Praise your kitten when they do use the litterbox and offer small rewards (like a training treat or piece of their kibble) for using it.
BEGINNING LITTER BOX TRAINING
As a general rule, you should have one litter box more than the number of cats in the house. As an example, a two-cat household should have three litterboxes. This ensures everyone has access when they need it, plus gives cats a choice in location, type, etc. As soon as you bring your kitten home, show them where the litterboxes are located. Watch them closely, and be sure to put them in or near the box after meals if you see behaviors like sniffing around, crouching, or behaving like they need to go.
LITTER BOX DOS AND DON’TS
- Put litter boxes in quiet, calm locations that are easy for your kitten to reach, away from noisy household appliances
- Place your kitten’s litter box away from his or her bed and in a spot that’s reasonably private
- Empty the tray regularly — your kitten will not want to use it if it’s “dirty.”
- Scoop out your kitten’s litter boxes daily and change the litter as needed
- Use disinfectants and bleach to clean the litter box. Some disinfectants are toxic to cats, so it’s best to only use hot water and detergent
- Attempt to clean the litter box if you are pregnant. Have someone else clean out the tray. If you must clean the litter box yourself, make sure you wear rubber gloves and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards. Thoroughly cleanse the litter box daily. This will minimize the risk of toxoplasmosis, which although very rare, can cause serious problems to unborn babies.
If your kitten won’t use the litter boxes provided, you may need to make them more appealing. Consider switching to another type of litter, providing litter boxes with lower sides, adding or removing covers to the boxes, moving them to quieter areas, discontinuing the use of deodorants, or cleaning them more frequently. Some kittens will stop using the litter boxes when they have a urinary infection, so please let us know if your kitten is exhibiting this behavior!
Hopefully these tips have helped get your kitten off to a great start. Remember, we’re always here for you and your four-legged family members, so if have any questions, don’t hesitate to call or email!