It is a pet parent’s duty to train a kitten to do their business in the litterbox. It is widely believed that kittens are trained by their mothers to relieve themselves, but it is actually the role of us humans to guide them in litterbox training. Ideally, you should start training kittens during their first month. Once they are introduced to the sand inside the litterbox, they will then start digging in the sand as part of doing number 1 and number 2. Kittens will naturally do this activity, but it is best and of utmost convenience to you, the pet parent, when they are done within the litterbox.
Before starting on this project, you will need to gather the following materials:
- Big litterbox
- Litter sand
These items are widely available in local pet stores. Litterbox comes in an assortment of shapes and sizes. Ideally, a large with a low entrance should be provided to kittens. A large litterbox will be more than sufficient as your cat grows bigger in time. If you have two or more kittens to train, it may be ideal to get two litterboxes for easy cleaning and maintenance. Litter sand comes in two forms namely clumping and non clumping sand. The type of sand to use will largely depend on your budget.
- Place the kitten inside the litterbox after activities which make them more inclined to pee and poop. Experts recommend the use of reward system where you give your kitten a treat when they have successfully urinated or defecated in the litterbox.
- Move their front legs back and forth the sand so they associate the litterbox as a place to relive themselves.
- Make sure to leave a small amount of urine or feces in the litterbox during toilet training. The scent and sight of these waste materials will enable them to connect litterbox with urinating and defecating only.
- Make sure to clean the litterbox on daily basis. Kittens do need a clean litterbox in order for them to be motivated to use it to relieve themselves when needed. There are deodorizers that you can purchase to lessen the bad smell after using the same sand for more than three days.
- Change the content of the litterbox every week. Fill it with three to five inches of sand. It will be difficult for kittens to cover their urine or feces if there is not enough sand in the litterbox.
- Place the litterbox in a place with good ventilation. This will greatly reduce the odor which is not only to humans but to cats as well.
- If your kitten slips and goes back to peeing and pooping outside the litterbox, go back to step 1. Remember that these are babies you’re training. It will take a couple of days to weeks before they can actually master the activity of relieving themselves inside the litterbox.
- All throughout the training, never resort to punishment. Kittens do not understand the concept as punishment and may only worsen any preexisting problem that it may have with relieving oneself.