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How To Litter Train A Kitten

Cat litter training is something that you will want to do right away when you bring home a new kitten. Cleaning up messes around the house is not fun, and sometimes they will be in hard to reach places or where you might tread in them during the night.

So don’t put off cat litter training just because a kitten is so small and cute and you want to forgive everything that she does. If she gets into the habit of messing your home, it will be harder to break her of it later. Even an older cat can be trained very fast if you start as soon as you bring her home.

If you cannot buy a litter tray right away, create a temporary one from an old oven tray or a carton lined with garbage bags and fill it with soil from the yard. Then when you buy a litter tray, put it in the same place and use the same type of soil in it at first. Add kitty litter gradually so that the kitten understands that this is still the place to do her business.

Put the tray in a quiet place where people are not constantly coming and going. Don’t put it next to a noisy washing machine or dishwasher. These things cause stress for cats and they will not want to stay and use the tray there. They also don’t like to shit where they eat, so keep it away from the food bowl. A corner of a quiet room is ideal.

Then, pick up the kitten gently but firmly and put her in the tray each time you think she may need it. That includes when she wakes up after a nap, any time she has finished eating, and every couple of hours through the day.

If you are lucky, your kitten will figure out for herself that this is the perfect place and she will go ahead and use it. If not, you can encourage her by taking her paw and digging in the kitty litter with it, or digging a little with your own hand. Cats start by scratching a hollow with their paw so that they can bury their mess afterward.

When she uses the tray, give her lots of positive reinforcement – praise and stroking. But never punish her for having an accident elsewhere, and never use a loud, scary voice in any part of cat litter training. That would only make her afraid of you and cause toilet-related stress which will lead to more accidents.

If you see her doing her business somewhere that she shouldn’t, just pick her up gently and take her to the litter tray. Clean the area that she used right away afterward, so that it doesn’t retain a smell that will encourage her to use it again. If you find her repeatedly going in the same place, either put her litter tray there or, if this is not a good place for you to have the tray, clean it with product that you can buy from pet stores.

Finally, always keep the litter tray clean. Scoop out any solids every day and change all of the kitty litter twice a week during cat litter training.

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