Kittens will naturally look for loose dirt or sand to relieve themselves, starting from about 4 weeks of age. So this is a great time to start training your kitten to use a litter tray, rather than your garden.
So here are 4 steps that will make kitty training run smoothly for both of you:
Select the right type of tray
You need to choose a tray with at least one side that is low enough for your kitten to walk over easily. If your kitten has to climb a mountain to get into the litter tray, you will soon find a puddle on the floor somewhere.
Also remember to purchase a tray that will accommodate your cat when it is fully grown, as this saves you having to replace the tray as your kitten grows.
Select the best position
Place the tray in an area that is out of the way, that doesn’t have a lot of foot traffic and isn’t noisy. A popular spot for litter trays is the laundry, as it fits the bill of being fairly quiet with not much through traffic.
Make sure the spot is easily accessible for your kitten (no closed doors between her and the litter box) and away from where she normally eats and sleeps. Also consider her needs as she ages, so avoid spots that involve stairs or require acrobatics to access.
Also, if you change the location of the litter tray, do so gradually – or else you may have a few mishaps until she has relocated her tray. The bottom line is that if your kitten isn’t comfortable with her chosen spot, she won’t use it – so it pays to get this step right first time
Select the right litter
Kitten paws are quite delicate, so purchase litter that has a fine texture and will be easy for the kitten to dig and cover her business, once she has finished. Scoopable litter also is a good choice, because it is easy to remove from the tray.
Avoid hard edged crystal-type litters while she is young (which might hurt her paws) and also avoid litter that is ‘dusty’, as it can irritate her lungs. If at some time you want to change the type of litter you use, do it slowly over time, because cats can become quite attached to particular brands.
It is also important to keep the litter tray clean, as a dirty litter tray (in your cat’s eyes) is the main cause of her not using the tray.
Select the right training times
After a nap or a meal are the best times to place her in the litter tray and even if she doesn’t relieve herself, let her stay there for a minute or two and get used to the idea. If you see her squatting down anywhere, quickly pick her up and pop her in the litter tray. You might need to do this frequently at first, but she should quickly get the hang of what is required.
Don’t scold her if she doesn’t get there in time or takes a while to put two and two together, the last thing you want is for her to associate the litter tray with being punished.
Hopefully, these 4 steps will make kitty toilet training a breeze!
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