One of the most appreciated qualities that first-time cat owners marvel at is a cat’s instinct for using a litter box. Unlike potty training dogs, there are no lessons needed for how to potty train your new kitten. There are a few considerations to keep in mind, however, in order to keep your kitty on the right track.
How to Potty Train a Kitten
Cats have a natural instinct to bury their waste. In the wild, this survival instinct conceals the cat’s location from predators and from dominant cats. When a kitten joins your household, she wants to use a litter box. She immediately perceives her human family members as the dominant species. The only step that you need to take when training your kitten to use a litter box is to show her where it is as soon as she arrives in your home. Designate a location where she will always feel comfortable sitting in the litter box when nature calls:
- Avoid high traffic areas of the home so that she does not fear getting ambushed.
- Avoid placing the litter box near noisy appliances, boilers or air conditioners that could startle her when they come on.
- Do not place the litter box near her food and water bowls. Like us, cats will not eliminate in close proximity to their food source.
For the patient and the ambitious, there are kits with instructions on how to potty train a kitten to use the toilet. This is a project that can take weeks to months to accomplish, but it can be done and the reward will be completely ridding your home of the litter box.
A Fresh Clean Litter Box to Soil
Veteran cat owners know all too well that as soon as the litter box has been thoroughly cleaned, the cat is lurking around the corner waiting for the pristine box to hit the floor once again so that they can christen it without delay. Cats prefer not to step into a soiled litter box. Change the litter at least every other day, thoroughly scrub the empty box and refill it with fresh litter. Scoop and dispose of waste at least once daily.
Cats are Creatures of Habit when Using Their Litter Box
While some cats take changes in stride, many are disturbed by variations in their habitual routines. Keep her toiletry details as consistent as possible:
- Avoid switching brands and types of litter.
- Avoid moving the litter box from place to place.
- While litter boxes should be tossed out and replaced periodically, try to stick with the same style of box.
Once your kitten knows where her litter box is, she will be trained. With her business taken care of and clean habits established for a lifetime, your kitty can now focus on bonding with her new family. Read more about pet supplies and cat toys!