Litter Box Training Kittens – When to Start?

 In Cat Training Blog

Kittens are probably one of the most precious things to exist in this world. Their heartwarming presence, accompanied by their endless cuteness, can bring so much happiness and joy to the people around them. They make perfect companions and amazing friends that you can turn to during boring or stressful times.

While they may be the most adorable things you’ll ever see in your life, some of this cuteness can disappear when they think every single area of your house is the toilet and leave you with stinky things to clean up.

Train your kitten to properly use the litter box

Properly utilizing the litter box is one of the most important and basic skill you should train your little kitten to do. Cats have the natural instinct to bury their waste, so if you don’t train them properly, it could lead to house soiling. This is a primary reason as to why some cats end up in shelters. Litter training actually isn’t that hard, which is why it’s sad to see cats being abandoned because their owners didn’t try hard enough.

Start training your kitten as early as possible

Commonly, most cat owners begin litter box training kittens as soon as possible. This is because by the time an owner is allowed to bring his kitten home, the best time and age to train him has already past.

Kittens are usually allowed to be brought home when they’re around 10-12 weeks, or longer when they have a bad background. It’s most recommended to start litter training to a time that’s close to when the kitten is around 4 weeks old. The ASPCA also says that the most appropriate age for kittens to start using the litter box is at 4 weeks.
Litter training is always advised to be done as early as possible.But doing it before the kitten turns 4 weeks old could be too much of earliness since the kitten won’t be able to do other things yet like walking. Usually, it’s at 2 weeks where they begin to learn walking and around 3 or more weeks when they start learning to excrete waste by themselves.

Hence, starting litter training prior to the kitten learning these basic skills will make no sense and will be hard on both your parts.  At 4 weeks of age, kittens start developing their natural instinct of burying their feces. So you’ll probably notice them digging around their litter, which you should consider as a sign to begin litter training.


Training your kitten is a gradual process, so be patient

Always keep in mind that litter training is a gradual process and that it’s fine if you don’t see results immediately. Remember that you’re handling a kitten, a baby, and that you should be patient and consistent to see effective, successful, and consistent results.

You can start off by carrying the kitten and placing him onto the litter box.Give him time to dig or play around. Let him get comfortable and see that the litter box does no harm. If he seems disinterested, try encouraging him by having a feel of it yourself. Dig or scratch around the litter to show him that it’s perfectly okay.

If by then he still doesn’t respond, it’s alright since it’s just the first time. You just have to keep trying to introduce him to the litter box and condition him to being comfortable in it.

It’s at 6 weeks when kittens start learning the importance of places. They categorize these places through different senses like smell or touch or by seeing their mother and other kittens use them.

By this time, they start becoming aware of locations where they should do their daily activities like eating, playing, or going to the toilet. This is when you might see the effects of the litter training you’ve been giving your kitten.

Always make sure that the supplies you purchase for your kitten are considerate of his size. It’s best to buy a box that’s low so it’s easy for his tiny body to get inside.

After he’s finished excreting his waste, it’s advised that you sprinkle the poop or pee with litter and make sure it’s covered. This can help your kitten in knowing that he should do the same, even if there are some that don’t need any help in doing so.

Make the litter box as comfortable for your kitten as possible

The best way to create an effective litter box training for your kitten is by making sure that the entire process is conditioned to make him feel as comfortable as possible. Make the box a pleasant place for him so he can associate it with positive thoughts.

Two best ways to make it a good and comfortable place for your kitten is by keeping it extremely clean and placing it in a secluded area of your home. If you’re lucky to have multiple adorable kittens in your home, make sure they all have their own litter boxes as they aren’t fond of sharing their bathrooms.

When adopting a trained kitten, continue to train him in his new environment

If the kitten has been trained before you brought him home, you should still continue to train him, especially since he’s living under a different place now. You should try introducing him to the litter box’s new location and encourage him to do the same thing as he did in his former home.

It’s best to use the same litter type that your kitten originally used. Since moving can make the kitten feel uneasy and very confused, presenting him with some familiar items can somewhat help in easing this tension

Also, using the same litter box is recommended, and make sure to place it somewhere where you notice your kitten is hanging around the most. After creating a comfortable set-up for your kitten, you should begin with the litter box training.

Summary

Usually, litter training is not done until the kitten is 4-6 weeks old. You may start with having to carry your kitten to the box repeatedly at the beginning, but eventually he will start developing the habit of going to and using the box by himself.

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