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How to litter train your kitten

Updated on September 20, 2007

Since I have never had cats before I did not what to expect with litter training kittens. Misko, our older cat, had a few accidents but after a few days of do-in-the-potty training he got used to it fairly quickly. With kittens I did not know what to expect.

I was pleasantly surprised how quickly they caught on what they are supposed to do and where. Given there were a few accidents, but after just a day or two they would climb out of their box and go straight for the litter box.

Here are a few tips on how to get your kitten to go for the litter box rather then for the carpet.

1. While it might be tempting to get a big litter box, go for a smaller one to begin with (one that does not have a high rind, so they can climb in and out easily). In case you have other cats and you have decided to foster kittens, you will have to keep them separated anyway and this applies to the litter box as well.

2. To clean up more easily in case accidents happen (sometimes it can be a bit difficult to get to the litter box in time and the bum will usually stay out of the litter box) place the litter box on some newspapers for easy clean up. This will also help if they dig through the litter a bit more enthusiastically.

3. When it comes to litter, buy a good quality non-clumping litter and fill the litter box and do not skimp on it.

4. Keep the litter box separate from the food and water dishes. Also in case your kitten is a bit shy, put the litter box somewhere where it will be undisturbed but still easily accessible after a meal.

5. To get off to a good start, place your kitten into the litter box immediately after a meal. Do not do it abruptly, but place them gently. If your kitten seems a bit lost as what to do, scratch the litter with your finger, they will catch on before you know it.

6. If they do their business in the litter box praise is in order.

7. In case the kitten comes out of the litter box, watch it for a little while in case it decides to go somewhere else.

8. If it decides to pee somewhere else, pick the kitten up and place it back to the litter box, however do be gentle. In case you start yelling at the kitten and then place it in the litter box roughly they will start to associate negative emotions and memories not with the stain but with the litter box.

9. Do not forget to scoop up. Clean the litter box regularly, best would be a few times every day (as they are little it is only normal they go more often) and keep replacing the litter on regular basis. Also completely replace the litter once or twice a week and wash the litter box.

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