Litter training a kitten is usually done before the kitten leaves his mother. “Mom” trains most kittens at a very early age. Litter training originates from the fact that kittens that are born in the wild will instinctively bury their excrement in order to hide it from potential predators. Once you bring the kitten home, he requires very little training. Your job will be to simply have a litter box ready and make it accessible to the new kitten. After a few reminders, the kitten will know where the litter box is kept and should be pretty well trained.

However, there can be instances when the kitten is confused about where to “go,” and may need to be taught. This is done by placing the kitten, the litter box, and the food and water in a small area. Sometimes, a small bathroom or utility room works well. Confine the kitten to this small area until he uses the litter box. Cats, as a rule, are very clean, so this confinement will force him to use the litter box. As the kitten uses the litter box on a regular basis, gradually increase the space.

Other factors to consider if the kitten does not use the litter box are:

  • the litter itself
  • the location of the litter box
  • the kitten’s history

Some cats can be picky as far as what type of litter they’ll use. Try to find out from the previous owner what litter the kitten was using before you brought it home.  We recommend a scoopable litter that clumps and can be easily removed once it is soiled.  Make sure you clean every litter box daily.   If the litter box is in a high traffic area where the kitten is afraid to go, you may want to consider moving it to a more quiet area for the kitten.  In large houses, it is much better to have 2 litter boxes either at opposite ends of the house or one in the upstairs and one in the downstairs.   If a kitten did not get the correct instructions from “Mom” during the weaning period, it may be more difficult to train.

Good luck and happy training!