How to Train a Cat to Use Litter Box [Guide]

Written by Christy Wilson
Published On March 31, 2020

Successfully training your kitten or cat to use a litter box is an important step for pet owners of indoor cats. Below you will find information that will make the litter box training process much easier for you and your pet. However, this information is not meant to replace professional advice from your veterinarian. Before attempting to train any kitten or cat to use the litter box, a thorough examination should be performed by a veterinarian.

Use the Right Litter Box

Many cat owners, rightfully excited with a new addition to their family, are quick to purchase a litter box for their cat. Because of this, some basic considerations may be overlooked. Some considerations you need to make when purchasing a litter box include purchasing a litter box that is sized appropriately for your kitten or cat. For example, a kitten would have to literally hump into a litter box that was designed for full-grown and mature cats. Another consideration, when using a hooded litter box, is to not overfill the litter box with cat litter. Especially for larger cats, stepping into a litter box that is overfilled can mean scraping their back on the entrance or forcing the cat to crouch. Most cats are curious by nature and do not mind going into an enclosed litter box. But some cats don’t, which is why you may want to consider purchasing a litter box which has a detachable hood. Many of the automatic/self-cleaning litter boxes have a ramp where cats of all sizes can walk in and out of. However, the appropriate level of cat litter is needed at all times for smaller cats.

As a standard rule of thumb, it is recommended that the pet owners with multiple cats have one litter box per cat. This will make sure that even if one litter box is occupied, another one is available for a second cat.

Choosing the Right Cat Litter

With so many cat litter products on the market, it can be difficult for some pet owners to choose the best cat litter for their pets. Regardless of which litter you use, please keep in mind some cats do not like scented cat litter. In fact, some pet owners have noted that their cat’s actually sneezed when going near the litter box. However rare this may be, scented cat litter does help with odor control. Certain cat litter products also are rougher on a cat’s paws. Please see our cat litter section for more details regarding the available types of cat litter products. Regardless of which cat litter product is used, the litter box should be properly maintained and cleaned often. If it is messy inside the litter box, no cat will want to step in it!

Litter Box Location

Cats are very clean creatures, and they normally do not like their food or water near their litter box. It is best to locate the litter box in an area where they can quickly access. For kittens, it is a great idea to have the litter box in plain sight so that they can see it and be reminded of it when they must use the potty. Wherever you decide to place the litter box, by all means, do not move it. The idea is to help your cat remember where the litter box is, and keeping it in the same spot will assist in that process.

Start Training Your Kitten or Cat

With the proper litter box, litter, and location, you are now ready to start training! Kittens normally need a little help knowing where to go potty. Shortly after a meal and/or drink, pleasantly place your kitten in the litter box and let your kitten know you are pleased with a quick petting. After a lot of activity, it would be a good idea to repeat this process. While the kitten is in the litter box, make sure not to startle him with any loud noises or other distractions. Let your kitten get comfortable with the litter box and learn to feel confident going into it himself. If you are unable to help your kitten during this process, make sure that the kitten is in a confined room with the litter box while you are away. Soon your kitten’s instinct will take over, and they will start using the litter box on their own. Cat’s, on the other hand, normally already have this instinct already. But they too must learn the new location of a litter box and helping to direct them to box is important.

Training Using Positive Reinforcement

As with most things that are new, cats will learn to go to the litter box by trial and error. As pet owners, we need to encourage them to go into the litter box by themselves with some positive reinforcement. Never scold a kitten or cat for an accident. Additionally, your pet should feel safe and secure with you. When your pet successfully goes potty, tell your kitten or cat has been a good boy or girl! Give your pet a light rub on the back or pet them in their favorite spot. Your pet will quickly learn what makes you happy and gets them a short petting!

If your kitten or cat has an accident, just make sure you are prepared. It would be a good idea to pre-purchase some cleaning solutions, so you are ready when an accident occurs.

Remember, training your cat to use the litter box is a continual process that is much easier for you and your pet if you follow some basic guidelines. If you are concerned that your kitten or cat is not learning how to use the litter box, please speak with your veterinarian. There is the possibility that your pet has a medical condition or behavior problem best diagnosed with a physical examination by a qualified professional.

I hope that you find this Cat Litter Box Traning Guide helpful, once your cat learned this you probably gonna some of the other things as well, some of them are How To Clean Cat Litter Box, Cat Litter Box Cleaning Frequency, Litter Box Smell Solutions so I do recommend you check this articles as well.

Have a great time with Kitties 🙂