One of the best thing about having a cat as a pet is that they are instinctively very clean animals. Therefore, it should be fairly easy to teach a kitten how to use a litter box.
On the rare occasion that a kitten stops or won’t use a litter box, you should visit your local vet because this could be a sign of a urinary infection.
Usually, the mother cat will train her kitten how to use the litter box. So, if your kitten is already 12-14 weeks old, there is a good chance that they already know how to use the litter. Hopefully, all you need to do is to buy a litter box for your kitten and fill it with enough litter to cover the bottom.
Teaching Kitten to Use the Litter
As a general rule, you should have one extra litter box for the number of cats in your home. For example, if you have two cats you should have 3 litter boxes.
When you bring your kitten home you should immediately introduce him/her to the litter box. Then after each meal, you should take your new pet to the litter box. Also, if you notice her sniffing around or crouching, this could be a sign that she need to use the litter box. So, gently take her there.
Of course, accidents will happen with kittens until they are fully accustomed to their new surroundings. So, if an accident does happen, don’t scold or punish her. Rather praise her when she does use the litter box, and in this respect, a small reward always works wonders.
Where to Keep the Litter Boxes
It is always best if litter boxes are kept in quiet locations and they should be well away from your kitten’s sleeping and feeding area.
As we know, cats are generally clean pets and therefore, you should keep the litter tray clean. Litter boxes should be scooped out daily and you should change the litter as needed. Remember, if you are pregnant, you shoud never change a litter box because this carries a risk of toxoplasmosis.
Newborn or Very Young Kittens
If you have a very young kitten (younger than 3 weeks) and the mother isn’t around, you will have to take on the role of the kitten’s mother and stimulate the need to use the litter box.
To do this, after each feeding, take a warm washcloth and gently rub the genital area. This simulates what the mother naturally does. After 4 weeks, instinct should take over and the desire to dig and bury should kick in.
In general, it is easy as pie teaching a kitten how to use the litter box.