the mother cat will try to teach her kittens how to use a litter box. However, this isn’t always the case as many mama cats didn’t receive their copy of “Litter Training Your Kittens For Dummies.” If your cat seems to have missed that issue, don’t despair. Kittens are easily trained if you follow a few simple tips.
First, find something that can work as a litter pan, but is easy for a kitten to enter and exit. A regular cat box is acceptable if you can’t find a smaller option. When you begin training your kitten to use the box, ease of access is the most important quality. There’s no need at this stage to buy a hooded pan or one with a bunch of fancy bells and whistles. All you need at this point is a sturdy container he can get in and out of easily. Save the high-tech stuff until after your kitten is a pro.
Next, you’ll need to decide upon a kitty litter to use. Again, at this point in the game it’s best to go with something simple. Old-fashioned clay kitty litter without added scent is the best option for controlling cat urine smell at this point. After kitty is about 4 months old, you can switch to litters that clump or have crystals. If your kitten refuses to use the box, you may decide to test out different brands. In the beginning, fill the box with about an inch of litter to see how kitty reacts. During this time, you’ll want to keep the box as clean as possible. Dirty litter boxes can cause a kitten to find relief elsewhere. This could lead to kitty piles in the clothes basket or in your houseplants. If he has an accident, clean up the cat urine as soon as possible, so he doesn’t return to “the scene of the crime.” During litter training, you will discover that odor removal and pet odor in general can become a huge concern.
After you’ve selected your box and litter, you’ll want to find the perfect area for the pan. You may have noticed that kittens frequently hide behind furniture when they’re looking for an area to relieve themselves. Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to keep the litter box behind the couch. Just keep an eye on those areas where kittens hide, as you don’t want to go through the ordeal of removing urine odor from a couch. At some point, you may want to talk about odor eliminator products with your veterinarian to find out what products work best for removing cat spray odors. Above all, keep an eye on kitty and be ready to take him to the pan quickly if you see him forgetting. Keep the litter box in a convenient location, preferably in an area where kitty will spend the majority of his time. Remember too that your kitten is small and so his pooper scooper should have narrow slats so you can scoop everything easily.
It may be helpful in the beginning to put all your houseplants out of reach. Kittens are drawn to dirt instinctively, and he might think the dirt in your plant is where he is supposed to do his business. If you only provide him with a pan for elimination, there should be a lot less confusion and a lot less cat urine removal.
Bringing Kitty Home
As soon as your kitten arrives, take a few moments to familiarize him with his litter pan. Some kitties take to the box right away; others seem to need a little assistance. If your kitten doesn’t get with the program immediately, take his paws and make little digging motions with it. In most cases, that’s enough to teach him where waste goes. Try to be as patient as possible, and make up your mind that cat odor is a by-product of litter training, so it can’t be helped in the beginning. Keeping the pan as clean as possible will be a huge help in the early days of litter training. Excessive cat urine odor may make your kitten decide to seek other accommodations. If you’ve had dogs before, you know that dog urine, while potent, is nothing compared to cat urine. Don’t worry, one day litter training will be behind you and your kitten will be a housetrained cat. Just scoop out the waste daily and remember to change the litter once a week or so. Every few weeks, thoroughly wash the box out with an organic cleanser and then dry it out for best results.
Within 2-4 weeks, housebreaking and the odors that accompany accidents should be a thing of the past. Then kitty will be well on his way to being a well-behaved family member.