Litter Training Your Kitten
Learning how to use a litter tray is a key life skill for your pet
More about litter training
You need to make it as easy as possible for them to use the litter tray.
- Private – just like us cats like privacy, so keep the litter tray somewhere quiet and without a lot of footfall.
- Familiar – cats really don’t like change, so if your kitten has been used to a specific type of litter from the breeder or rescue centre then get the same type, at least to start with. You can change it later if you want to, once your kitten has settled in.
- Lots of options – if you have a larger house, consider getting more than one litter tray so your kitten is always close to facilities! If you have
- Easy access – kittens are only little, so a high sided tray might be a challenge! Make sure your kitten can get into the tray easily to use it.
- Away from food and water – don’t put litter trays too close to food and water as, understandably, this might put your kitten off using it.
- Clean - clean litter is imperative. Many cats will not use a soiled litter tray so urine-soaked litter or faeces should be removed from the tray as soon as possible. Clumping cat litter can be lifted out with a scoop, but you will still need to clean and disinfect the whole tray regularly.
Get into the habit of placing your kitten in their tray whenever they show signs of needing the toilet, or are likely to want to go:
- When they wake up
- After feeding
- If they start sniffing or scratching in a corner
This will help your kitten learn where to toilet.
You could give your kitten a small treat after a successful use of the litter tray to help them develop positive feelings towards toileting appropriately.
You should expect a few accidents while you are toilet training your kitten, but keep an eye on their behaviour and you will soon see an improvement.
Never chastise or punish your kitten for toileting outside the litter tray , as they won’t understand and may then try to hide their toileting elsewhere in the house.
Clean up messes with biological washing power and water or use specialised pet urine cleaners. Other products may not completely eliminate the smell, or even mimic it, which can encourage cats and kitten to toilet in the same area again.
If you seem to be having more accidents than before this could be due to several reasons:
- An issue with the litter tray, such as placement or it being unclean
- Illness of your cat – conditions such as cystitis (an inflammation of the bladder) can lead to small, frequent urinations that may be outside the litter tray
- Sexual maturity – unneutered cats especially may mark territory using urine spraying
- Stress – stressed cats will mark more frequently and may use urine or faeces to do so
- Attention seeking