Teaching your kitten to use the litter box shouldn’t be difficult – just keep a few basics in mind.
Get the right litter box
The kitten should be able to easily get over the sides of the litter box. The box should be made of a non-absorbent material like hard plastic. A cardboard box can be used in an emergency, but only for one day. Make sure the litter box is big enough so that the cat can comfortably turn around. Keep in mind that a cat may need a bigger box as it grows.
There are different types of litter boxes available, some have a lid. The correct litter box is important, to it’s best to see what your cat prefers.
Where to put the litter box
The litter box should be in a quiet, relative private area and easily accessible to the cat. It shouldn’t be so far out of the way that the cat has trouble getting to it, and don’t constantly move it around. Cats can be territorial about their litter box, so have one per cat, plus one extra.
How to teach the kitten
A kitten should start digging in sand or litter when it is about four weeks old. If nothing happens, gently take his front paws and scratch the litter with him. The best times to put the kitten in the litter box are after he’s eaten or played, and when he wakes up. Don’t hover over him, cats like privacy. Once he’s done the business, praise him and give a treat. He’ll get the idea!
If a kitten soils outside the litter box, don’t yell at her, but pick her up and put her in the litter box. It may help to put the waste in the litter box so the cat can follow the smell. Clean the soiled area with an enzyme-based cleaner. Most kittens know how to use the litter box by the time they’re eight weeks old. However, don’t get impatient if your kitty takes longer, not all cats are the same.
Ongoing care for the litter box
Clean the litter box once a day, and change the litter completely once a week. Just adding more litter is not good enough.
If your cat suddenly stops using the litter box, there may be a medical reason so it’s a good idea to take him to a vet.