Cat Training

Cat & Kitten Litter Training

Cat Litter Training (Toilet Training)

Most kittens are very easy to litter train and may already have learned by watching their mother by the time you get them home. However, there are a few simple to follow steps which will ensure your new kitten is using their littler tray in no time.

  • Show the kitten where the litter tray is by placing them in it and letting them have a sniff and a scratch around.
  • Put your kitten in the tray regularly, particularly after meals or when they wake up.
  • Make sure the tray is kept clean at all times. Cats are very clean animals and will refuse to use their tray if it is dirty. However, do not use strong chemicals or detergents as these will also deter the cat.
  • Put the tray in a quiet spot in the house. Much like humans, cats don't like being watched or disturbed when they're doing their 'business'.
  • Never punish your kitten if they have an accident outside the tray. Don't rub their nose in it or smack them. If you catch them in the act, simply say 'NO' in a firm voice and then pop them into the tray and praise them while they're in there. The kitten will soon associate their litter tray with praise and will want to go in there.

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My Cat Won't Use a Litter Tray

The main reason cats or kittens won't use a litter tray is due to cleanliness. Cats are naturally very clean animals and will not relish using a dirty litter tray. Clean out old litter on a regular basis to see if this helps.

Below are some other reasons cats might not use a litter tray

  • Your litter tray is too clean! OK, so cats like a clean litter tray, but the smell of some strong detergents or perfumes can be overly powerful to a cat, discouraging them from using it.
  • Your cat or kitten may not like the type of litter you have chosen. This could be due to the smell or texture - try experimenting with different types of litter, or return to the previous type of litter if you have recently changed.
  • Distressed or stressed cats will sometimes not use a litter tray. New pets, people or even furniture can sometimes cause an animal stress.
  • Male cats often mark their territory by spraying. A neutered cat is less likely to spray.
  • Cats are creatures of habit and often return to the same place to use the toilet. If this place is not in the litter tray, you might find it useful to make the area less desireable to the cat by
    • Cleaning the area and removing any remaining scent. Vinegar and water mix is a good way to remove odours.
    • Place a plastic sheet or tin foil over the area. Cats do not like the sound or feel of walking on such surfaces, therefore will be discouraged from trying to use the same place