Preparing for Litter Training
Before bring home your new kitten, prepare for litter box training. Shop the pet supply section at your favorite store, or browse a local pet superstore for the varieties of litter available. Choose one that best meets your needs, and stick to it. Cats don’t like change, and if you try several brands while litter training, you will confuse your pet. Clumping, odor absorbing, reusable and natural litters are just a few options to consider.
Select a cat litter box that works well with your environment. Corner litter boxes are great space savers. Covered boxes provide privacy and hides your kittens messes from everyday view. Automatic cat litter boxes help keep the box clean after each use. Litter pans with high trays discourage accidental “misalignment” as the cat arches their back in the air to go potty.
Litter Box Training Tips #1: Don’t Move It
Choose a location for the litter box and keep it there. Changing the litter box location will confuse the kitten. Choose a quiet location without a lot of human traffic. A basement room, laundry room or porch area are good options. Cats enjoy having a little privacy while doing their “business”.
Litter Box Training Tip #2: Keep it Clean
Kittens are clean creatures, and prefer not to use a dirty litter pan. After the kitten has used the litter pan, be sure to remove solid waste immediately, and scoop out clumps of wet litter. Kittens don’t care to use a dirty pan, and may find another place to go potty if their litter pan is dirty. Once a week give the litter plan a through cleaning with a disinfectant, and add new litter. This will keep bacteria and odors under control, creating a welcoming environment for your kitten.
Litter Box Training Tip #3: One Each
Have one litter box available per cat in the home. Cats don’t like to share litter boxes, and if you try to train a new kitten to an established cat’s litter box, you may create enemies.
Litter Box Training Tip #4: The First Day
The first day your kitten is home, place him in the litter box once an hour. If he starts to dig at the litter, praise him with kind words. If he uses the box to go potty, praise him and offer him some cuddles after he is finished. You want the cat to associate the litter box, and the urge to go potty, with a positive experience, such as praise, so he will return to that location. If you find the cat pawing at the carpet, or digging at the soil of a house plant, he may need to go potty. Set him in the litter box for a few minutes and reward him if he goes potty.
Litter Box Training Tip #5: Disguise Plants
If the kitten keeps returning to the house plants, and digging in the soil, place small bark or mulch chips over the soil to discourage the digging. Decorative rocks also work well, and still allow for easy watering of the plant.