How to litter train a kitten?
Cats CareCats BehaviorCat Needs

How to litter train a kitten?

There is an opinion that training cats at home are a complex and impossible task. In fact, if you approach this activity correctly, then training cats will turn out to be not so difficult.

An important point in this process is that you need to find the right approach for your furry pet, taking into account all its features.

The best age for training is considered to be from 2-3 months to 18, but the period of seven to eight months is considered the heyday of training. By this time, the cat has passed the “childhood period” and is able to understand what are owner needs.

It would be reasonable if the training, care, and maintenance of the animal will be carried out by one family member, this will ensure good quality and speed of mastering the course.

Does age matter?

Undoubtedly, the age of the animal you want to potty train is important. It is best to start toilet training a kitten from the age of two months, but you can do it earlier. At the age of one month, the kitten is already able to understand what the tray is intended for and get used to it. The process of accustoming will proceed faster if the kitten has the opportunity to observe the behavior of the mother - already at the age of one month, babies are able to repeat the actions of their parents.

Adult cats can also be potty trained, but this will take longer. The main thing to remember is that it is necessary to start introducing the pet to the toilet as soon as it appears in the house.

Preparing for Litter Training

Choosing the Right Litter Box and filler

Choosing a litter box is an important step in toilet training your pet. It depends on how quickly your kitten or adult cat will get used to it. A small kitten will be more comfortable walking in a litter box that is appropriate for its size, so do not buy this item "for growth".

There are several types of cat litter, but, regardless of its type, the main requirement is the presence of boards of optimal height, through which the kitten will be able to get over. If your cat often digs litter, choose a litter box with high sides.

There are open (with a grid and without it), closed, and self-cleaning trays. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Open with mesh. Quite a convenient option, since such a litter can be used with and without filler. This type of tray is used only with absorbent filler, clumping in this case will not work. When using an absorbent filler, it is poured under the net - in this case, the pet does not scatter it on the floor. If the filler is not used, the toilet must be cleaned daily. In addition, the kitten's claws can get stuck in the net, which is a traumatic factor - such a tray is more suitable for adult animals.

Open without mesh. A less traumatic type of toilet for a kitten, it can be used with any filler that is convenient and safe for the animal. Remember that for kittens who are just getting acquainted with the outside world, a woody non-clumping litter will be safer, while for adult animals any hygienic litter that takes into account the individual characteristics of cats is suitable (for example, for long-haired cats it is better to use a litter with large granules, as it less will run out on the wool. Wood clumping filler will be convenient for owners as they can be flushed into the central sewer). In addition, this type of toilet stimulates the natural behavior of cats, which naturally buries their excrement.

Closed. This type is a small house with filler inside. This toilet prevents the spread of unpleasant odors thanks to the charcoal filters, and your pet may also like it more than an open toilet, as it allows animal privacy. It is recommended to choose a closed litter box in such a way that it is comfortable for the cat to be in it in a sitting position during defecation and urination. If the ceiling is low, the pet may refuse to visit such a toilet.

Self-cleaning. This is a new product on the market, which differs from previous versions in increased convenience and hygiene. The built-in mechanism removes the filler after the animal visits the toilet thanks to the motion sensor.

Remember that each cat needs a separate place for the toilet. If you have several pets at home, then follow the general rule: the number of trays should be one more than the number of cats.

There is a wide variety of fillers on the market. They can be made from wood, zeolite, grain or cellulose, silica gel, etc. The filler is selected individually for each type of tray and each animal. If the pet does not like extraneous odors, it is better not to use the flavored litter. In addition, such a filler is not recommended to be placed in closed trays. If your cat suffers from respiratory problems, do not use fillers that can collect dust when instilled. Dust from such fillers can settle in the lungs and provoke a deterioration in the condition.

Whatever filler you decide to use for a litter box, remember an important rule when choosing it for kittens: the smaller the pet, the smaller the filler granules should be.

The filler should be changed every two days or more often. It is also necessary to regularly wash the toilet, keeping it clean. Excrement should be removed with a scoop twice a day.

Location selection

At any age, a cat needs to feel comfortable, so it is best to place the tray in a quiet, secluded place that is accessible for unhindered visits. Place the toilet in the chosen location and do not move it. And remember: the farther you place the toilet from the feeding and rest area, the better!

You can let your pet choose the type of litter box, filler, and location by providing two litter box types with different fillers. When you realize that the cat likes more one of the options, you can remove the other potty.

Litter Training Techniques

Litter training a kitten without a mother can be divided into several stages. All these stages can take from several days to several months.

Stage one - getting to know

The acquaintance of the kitten with a new object should be going in this way: put the pet in the tray, take its paw in your hand, and make several “burrowing” movements with it. It is necessary to allow the kitten to sniff the toilet and the filler. If the kitten starts digging the litter itself, this is a good sign!

It is better to put the kitten in a tray after waking up and after each meal. After meal time is the best one because this is when cats most often have the desire to go to the toilet.

Stage two - observation and assistance

You may need to keep an open eye on the kitten for some signs that it is ready to go to the toilet. The kitten may exhibit restless behavior, fussing, vocalizing, and running around the apartment. In this case, you need to take it to the tray and wait until he goes to the toilet.

Stage three - fixing

Reinforce the "correct" behavior of the kitten with praise and affection. If the pet relieves himself in the wrong place, it is significant to transfer the excrement to the tray to fix the specific smell there. Do not punish the kitten and do not raise your voice if the pet goes to the toilet in the wrong place.

Usually, all these steps take from a few days to a month, but it may take longer, so be patient. It will be easier for you to accustom a small kitten to the right place if he observes his mother or other cats. It means that for a kitten without the mother( who was taken before the time he learned about the litter box), it will be a more difficult process. But if you will follow the steps and advice that we wrote, it will result in success.

Features of learning at different ages

The younger the pet, the easier it is to accustom him to the tray. Small kittens at the age of 1-2 months are usually easily trained by observing the behavior of the mother. If the kitten does not have the opportunity to watch the parents, the owner will have to deal with his upbringing on his own - it will take a little more time and effort. However, kittens quickly learn new rules, so toilet training a small pet should be successful.

If you are training an adult cat, keep in mind that the animal has already developed its own character and reflexes, so training an adult pet may require a little more perseverance and patience on your part. The basic instructions for toilet training an adult cat boil down to the kitten training steps we talked about earlier. The difference is only in the time and complexity of the process.

Tips for Success

If a kitten or an adult cat goes to the toilet and passes the tray, get a larger and wider tray, perhaps this will correct the situation;

If your pet is ignoring your chosen litter box, try changing the filler, the tray itself, and its location. Perhaps the cat does not like the smell or shape of the litter, or the tray is uncomfortable for her;

If an adult pet continues to go to the toilet in the “wrong” place, move the tray there, perhaps this will be a compromise that will help you toilet train your cat.

Conclusion

Litter boxes and cats are an eternal problem, but of course, it is also a solvable one. Cat training isn’t an easy procedure and it always needs a special approach, and we hope that this article helped you to understand better how to make it right. Patience, time, and attention to your favorite pet- are all you will need in the nutshell. 


Frequently asked questions

How to litter train a kitten?
  • The acquaintance of the kitten with a new object should be going in this way: put the pet in the tray, take its paw in your hand, and make several “burrowing” movements with it. It is necessary to allow the kitten to sniff the toilet and the filler. If the kitten starts digging the litter itself, this is a good sign!

  • You may need to keep an open eye on the kitten for some signs that it is ready to go to the toilet. The kitten may exhibit restless behavior, fussing, vocalizing, and running around the apartment. In this case, you need to take it to the tray and wait until it goes to the toilet.

  • It is better to put the kitten in a tray after waking up and after each meal. After meal time is the best one because this is when cats most often have the desire to go to the toilet.

Reinforce the "correct" behavior of the kitten with praise and affection. If the pet relieves himself in the wrong place, it is significant to transfer the excrement to the tray to fix the specific smell there. Do not punish the kitten and do not raise your voice if the pet goes to the toilet in the wrong place.