How to Litter Box Train a Cat

cat on tree

Taking care of or adopting your cat can be one of the most rewarding experiences that an individual can go through. Kittens are soft, super playful, and fiercely loyal as long as they are treated well and are loved. Although owning a cat is simply a dream, it comes with certain disadvantages such as dealing with the occasional hairball, the constant and endless meows for attention especially at night and, of course, cat poop.

Fortunately, cats are very clean, and if you adopt a cat from her mother, the chances are high that your kitten will already have learned how and where to use the box from her mother before she or he comes to live with you. However, you might still have to train your cat with a large enough litter box that can allow your cat to move around as they handle their business.

Remember that the first few days of training your cat are bound to be characterized by accidents. Whatever you do, avoid punishing your cat and instead continue to train her to use her box. Once she uses it correctly for the first time once or twice, reward her with a kitty treat and she will be on track before you know it. Please note that training can happen so instantly that the casual observer may not be aware that any active training has taken place. However, some cats do take a little longer especially if they were taken from mom before 4 weeks of age.

kitten and litterbox

Getting started
As a general guideline, have an extra litter box for every cat that you have. So if you have one cat, make sure to add an extra box for accessibility. Show your kitten where the box is located as soon as you get her and place her there regularly after meals. If you observe her sniffing around or crouching, that is an indicator that she needs to go. Ensure that you:

  • Place the litter box in a quiet and undisturbed location away. Cats like privacy so ensure that the space you pick is comfortable and away from her bed or the spot that she eats her food.
  • Empty the tray on a regular basis because your kitten will not want to use it if it is messy or stinky.
  • Scoop out your box daily to avoid odor and change the litter as regularly as needed.
  • Avoid using disinfectants and bleach to clean your little box. Some cleaning agents contain harmful substances that are harmful to cats so you should stick to water and regular dish shop.
  • Do not clean your box if you are pregnant. If you are pregnant, make sure that you get someone else to clean the box or use rubber gloves and wash your hands thoroughly afterward.

What if your kitten won’t use the box?
If you are still experiencing difficulties with training, try and make your box as attractive to the cat as possible. Consider changing the type of litter that you use, cleaning the box more frequently, or moving it to another quieter area. Please remember that if you got your cat from the outdoors, training may take longer because it could be a while before the cat gets used to it.