How to Train a Kitten to Use the Litter Box in Pasadena, CA
Getting a kitten can be exciting. You probably have picked a cute little bundle of fur to move into your home and have gotten them food bowls, kitten chow, and a litterbox. But what if your kitten is refusing to use the litter box? This can make a huge mess in your home and can lead to training your cat not to use the litter box.
If you have a kitten and don’t have older cats to train them to use the litter box like they should, you might be feeling worried about getting them on track so that they will use the box properly. Cats are not the kind of pet that you can train to go to the bathroom outside like a puppy, which can lead to issues if litter box training is not going well.
If you are ready to learn more about how to train a kitten to use the litter box, you need to read on!
Check Your Kitten’s Litter Box First
Make sure that your litter box is inviting to your cat before you start training. You will want them to feel safe and comfortable using the box and if you have the wrong litterbox set up, this could lead to issues with litter box training.
Use Unscented Litter
Not all cats like scented litter. It is a good rule of thumb to use unscented litter so that your cat is not avoiding the box due to the smell of the litter itself. Unscented litter can be a much more inviting substance for your litter box during the training of your kitten.
Avoid Self-Cleaning Boxes
Self-cleaning litter boxes can scare some cats, particularly kittens. Not every cat will put up with using a box that makes a lot of noise when it cleans itself. You might want to avoid using a self-cleaning box in general, but you could potentially replace your basic litter box with a self-cleaning one when your cat is bigger if you want.
Keep the Box Clean
Keeping the litter box clean can help to make your kitten motivated to use it. You would not feel excited about using a dirty toilet and your kitten might be avoiding your litter box because it is dirty. Keeping the litter box clean is an important part of caring for your kitten’s needs.
Training a Kitten to Use the Litter Box
Training a kitten to use a litterbox is usually easy overall. Most cats are inclined to use a litter box anyway so you will just need to provide some gentle guidance to help train them. Most cats are inclined to look for places like a litter box to go to the bathroom, so they just need to know that this option is offered to them in your home.
Have More Than One Box
Having more than one litter box can help a lot with litter box training. You will want to be sure that you cover both upstairs and downstairs in your home or areas that might seem like good hiding places to a kitten that they will be unwilling to leave. You can also limit your kitten to a bathroom or a spare bedroom with one single box if you think that they will not venture out to use a box that is in the rest of the house.
Show the Box to Them Right Away
Make sure that your kitten knows where the box is right away. Place them in it almost as soon as they arrive so that they know that it exists for their use. You should not move the box around at all for the first few months that your kitten is in the house so that they do not get confused about where to find their litter box. If your kitten knows where the box is, this will help to make sure that they are good about using it when they need to go to the bathroom.
Reward with Treats
If you see your kitten using the litter box, you should reward them with a little treat. This can help reinforce and reward good behavior and your kitten will associate using the box with a fun treat. This can help make your kitten feel like this is the right thing to do in their new home. Cats are just as motivated by food as dogs, so you can use this hack to trick them into wanting to use the litter box. Treating your kitten can help them to understand that good behavior is its own reward and can cement good habits that will last them into adulthood.
Don’t Punish Them
If your kitten has an accident in the house, punishment will not help. Make sure that you think about moving a litter box to this area if this seems to be a place that they want to try and go to the bathroom. You will want to convince your kitten that the litter box is the right place for this activity, and you can help make this clear by placing the litter box where the accident occurred. Cats are very trainable this way and you can eliminate confusion about the location that you want this kind of activity to take place if you put the litter box where the accident occurred.
Training Your Cat to Use the Litter Box in Pasadena, CA Can be Easy
If you have a new kitten and are worried about training them to use the litter box, these tips and tricks will make it easy to get your kitten used to using the litter box. Keeping the box clean, using unscented litter, and making sure that your kitten knows where the box is can make a big difference in your success at making them litter box experts.
If you have older cats in the home, make sure that they are not preventing the kitten from using the box and that the kitten feels safe being able to access it at all times. This can make a big difference in your success at training as well. Most cats will be inclined to use the litter box because of instinct, so issues with litter box training are often related to issues with litter type, the cleanliness of the box or the box being inaccessible.
If you have questions or need to book an appointment for your kitten call your Altadena Pet Hospital veterinarians at (626) 798-0738 or use the online form!