Because domestic cats are generally clean animals, new kitten litter box training is easy for most kitties. Since their ancestors buried their excrement to hide from competitors or predators, modern-day felines still bury their stool in litter boxes. While many cats already know how to utilize a litter box, sometimes you must train them if they’ve never used one before. Here’s a guide on new kitten litter box training.
Litter Training a New Kitten
First, you’ll need a litter box and litter for your feline. Picking a litter box and litter can be a bit overwhelming with so many options. As a general rule, you will want to pick a litter that is unscented, absorbent, and as dust free as possible. Dusty litter can upset your kitty’s upper respiratory tract. You will want to have one litter box for each cat plus an extra. This ensures that your feline friends have enough options and that their litter boxes will always be clean and accessible. If your cat has mobility problems, make sure to choose a litter box with low sides that’s easy for them to jump in and out of. Also, position the box in a quiet, low-traffic area in your home. Now it’s time to introduce your kitten to its new litter box. Avoid distracting or interacting with your cat while exploring in the box. Additionally, place your kitten in the litter box after naps and meals to encourage normal elimination.
During a new kitten litter box training, there will be accidents. Never scold or punish your kitten; clean up the mess and reinforce the training. Although some cats will get it correctly the first time, some can take longer to figure it out. When you see your feline using the box successfully, consistently reinforce the behavior with praise and treats.
Quick Fixes for New Kitten Training
Some cats can be picky about the conditions they’re willing to go to. There are multiple possible explanations for why your cat isn’t getting the hang of using the litter box. For instance, your kitty may dislike:
- The litter’s smell or texture
- The box’s size or shape
- The box’s location
- Sharing the litter box with other cats
- A covering on the box because they may find it confining
- The box’s cleanliness – you might need to scoop its poop and pee out more often because cats favor clean boxes.
Moreover, you may need to experiment until you encounter the right combination of factors that makes your cat comfortable enough to utilize the litter box.
If you are still struggling after making adjustments for your kitty’s preferences, consult with a veterinarian at Mt. Carmel Animal Hospital. Sometimes cats won’t use the box for medical reasons. Some medical explanations can include:
- Intact cats can be prone to spraying urine throughout the house to mark their territory. Spaying or neutering your new kitten can help with this unwanted behavior.
- If your cat is older, it might experience joint pain or stiffness. So, consider whether the sides of the litter box may be too high to climb over or whether your cat must jump up sometimes to arrive at the box.
- Stress or anxiety can cause your cat to stop using the litter box, so think about whether there have been any significant environmental changes or talk to one of our vets.
- Urinary tract infections or bladder inflammation can cause inappropriate urination. Contact one of our veterinarians if you suspect your cat may be experiencing an underlying medical condition.
Here at Mount Carmel Animal Hospital, We’ll Treat Your Pets Like Family!
Mount Carmel Animal Hospital has been serving the Northern Baltimore/Southern York community for over 30 years and is proud to be an independently operated, small animal practice committed to excellence in veterinary medicine and client service. From grooming to wellness services, along with Canine Life Skills Training Courses, and surgical procedures, we have the expertise that will best serve the needs of you and your pet. Contact us at 410-343-0200 and follow us on Facebook!