Get Your Kitten Litter Box Trained In 3 Easy Steps: A Paw Parent’s Guide


Jade Poole from I Write Words


Did you get a new furry member of the family? Or maybe your older cat doesn’t want to use the litter box? Here are 3 simple tips to litter box training that really work…

Kittens and cats find it natural to do their business in sand or soil as their mothers would have taught them to do so soon after they were born.

But some cats are prematurely separated from their moms and therefore didn’t learn how to use a litterbox.

And in other cases, your cat may have suffered from some stressful changes in her life and is now pooping or peeing outside of her box.

Here’s how to effectively train your cat to use a litterbox…

1. Pick the right litter box and litter

Start by ensuring you have the right amount of boxes

Did you know that you need at least one litter box per cat? And an extra one just in case - cats like to have options.

If you have more than one cat, then you need to make sure you space these boxes far away from each other. Cats are often territorial over their litter boxes.

Next, the type of box you need

Your cat needs a box she can move around in.

The sides of the box need to be high enough to allow for enough litter to cover up your cat’s business, but low enough for her to easily get in and out.

Cats tend to kick up a lot of litter when covering up their business.

Make sure you pick a box made out of nonabsorbent material such (stay away from cardboard).

There are some awesome litter boxes that come with tops (like little porter loos for your cat). These tend to mask any smells and look better in your home.

However, when you first start, your cat might prefer a topless litter tray.

Where to place the box

You need to place the box in a quiet location, far away from your cat’s eating area and sleeping areas.

But make sure it is close enough for your cat not to have to mission to find it.

A corner location is often best as then your cat will not feel as vulnerable or exposed.

Once you have found a good place for the box, then leave it there. Do not move it around as this will confuse your cat.

The litter

There is a wide range of litters you can choose from. Some of these include crystals (clumping and non-clumping), sand-like litter and even scented litter.

You may need to do some experimenting to find out which one your cat prefers. Just a head’s up - cats tend to prefer unscented litter (just another funny thing about our feline family members).

When to clean the box

Do not merely put more litter in the box to cover up any poops. You need to scoop out solid waste at least once a day and change the litter once a week.

Do not throw any litter down your drainpipes as this can cause plumbing issues.

2. Introduce your kitten to the litter box

Encourage your kitten to use the litterbox by placing her in the box at regular intervals - especially after she has eaten or when she wakes up after a nap.

Put her in the box and wait to see what happens.

Most kittens start to dig in the sand when they are about 4 weeks old.

If your cat does not scratch in the box, then you can try gently taking a front paw and scratching in the litter with it. When you let go, she might continue doing this on her own.

Most cats like some privacy when they go to the loo, so try not to hover around her, rather give her some space and reward her with a treat afterwards. 

3. Stay calm

If you find your cat is doing her business outside of the box, then try to quickly pick her up and put her in the box.

Do not raise your voice or yell at her, if you do this, then she will associate the litter box with punishment. You need to remain calm and let your cat know that there is nothing to stress about.

In time, your cat will quickly learn to use the litter box.

Why your cat doesn’t use the litter box

This can be for a number of issues. Some of these include:

●     There is not enough litter

●     You have changed the type of litter

●     Another cat is keeping her out

●     Your cat has a medical issue

When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to phone your vet. Which is where pet insurance comes in, and better yet, pet insurance that pays you before you see the vet.

Yours in cuddle-worthy pet insurance,


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