Litter Training 101: How to Litter Train a Kitten

A kitten in a homemade cardboard litter box

Litter training kittens isn’t too tricky, but it does require a little patience, attention, and encouragement. Learning how to litter train a cat is part of being the best pet parent you can be, and starting litter training when they’re 3-4 weeks old is an important part of your furry family member’s development.

Fortunately, cats are naturally inclined to do their business in granular areas (like dirt or sand), so their instincts will go a long way in making this transitional period easy for both of you. Read on to get the scoop on litter training!

1. Start With the Right Litter Box

A big part of learning how to litter train a kitten properly is simply using the right supplies. Make sure you get a shallow, kitten-sized litter box (or tray) because an adult-sized box can be intimidating to use. Your kitten should be able to squat, turn around, and stand without touching the sides or top of the box. A 13” x 9” box should do the trick while they’re young, and then you’ll need to switch to larger boxes as your kitten grows.

2. Find a Litter That Works

The next step in litter training kittens is to choose a litter that your kitten is willing to use. Learning how to litter train a kitten may require some experimentation, as cats have their own unique preferences, just like people. For example, kitten litter can be scented or unscented, and it comes in many materials and textures. If your kitten isn’t responding well to one type, try another.

Keep an eye on your kitten to make sure their litter isn’t causing any allergic reactions. If you notice them scratching themselves, use our Stop The Itch Maximum Strength Chlorhexidine Spray for Dogs and Cats to provide relief, and then change to a new type of litter immediately.

3. Choose an Ideal Location

A kitten peeking over a table

As you discover how to litter train a kitten, you’ll find that placement can make a big difference. It’s normal to want to keep the litter box out of sight, in a closet, for example, but you don’t want your kitten to feel cornered or trapped while they’re doing their business.

While your kitten is getting used to using the litter box, it’s best to keep it in a low-traffic, clutter-free area that’s still easy to find and access. A corner in a bedroom is usually a good starting spot. Make sure there’s enough light available during both day and night.

4. Introduce Them to the Box

Now that you’re all set up, here’s how to litter train a kitten. First, show them the litter box, and then place them into it (gently). If they start using the litter box or pawing the litter, that’s a great sign that you’re close to mastering the art of litter-training kittens! If not, run your hands through the litter, mimicking their natural methods of covering their waste to show them what the litter box is actually for.

5. Be Positive and Proactive

If your kitten has an accident outside of the litter box, don’t scold or punish them. Simply clean it and remove pet odors with our Pet Odor & Stain Eraser. Mistakes are bound to happen as you learn how to litter train a kitten, so don’t take it personally! Instead, reintroduce them to the litter box whenever they’re done drinking, eating, or napping. When they do use the litter box, reward them with a treat (and some pets and praise, of course).

6. Scoop the Box Regularly

Once your kitten starts using the litter box, it’s important that you encourage them to stick with it. Try to scoop the litter and add some fresh litter after every potty break, so they have a fresh, clean place to do their business next time.

7. Stick With It

A kitten smiling while napping

Don’t get discouraged! Sometimes litter training kittens takes time, but they’ll catch on eventually. You might need to experiment with how to litter train a kitten to find what works for your special kitty. For example, if they refuse to use the litter box, changing its location or scooping and cleaning more often might be all it takes.

Shop Quality Cat Supplies Today

And that’s how to litter train a cat! We hope this guide is helpful as you tackle this essential step in making life a little easier (and cleaner) for you and your furry roomie.

Emmy’s Best Pet Products is your one-stop shop for all sorts of high-quality pet supplies, including cat products and dog products. Knowing how to litter train a kitten is just one of many skills you’ll need as a cat owner, so check our pet blog for more expert tips and tricks on pet parenting. Shop high-quality pet products now!