How To Train A Kitten To Use The Litter Box And When To Start

If you’re welcoming a new kitten into your life, you’ll probably have plenty of questions. When adopting an adult cat, they are usually litter trained already, but what about litter training kittens

Kittens should be naturally drawn to using the litter tray, but might need a little help and encouragement along the way. In this guide we’re taking a closer look at how to litter train a kitten, from the first steps to the accessories you’ll need, plus some common FAQs. You’ll soon be an expert on how to train a kitten to use the litter box, so let’s get started!


Tips For Litter Training Kittens

When it comes to helping your new kitten use their litter tray, there are a number of different steps you can take to make the process simple and stress free.


Use the correct cat litter

When litter training kittens, it’s important to choose the right kind of cat litter. There are a few aspects to consider, from the material to how it works, but most important is your kitten’s safety, so choose a litter that’s kitten-safe. 

The next step is choosing between clumping litter and non-clumping litter. This is a matter of personal preference, but here at Natusan we’re very much Team Clump. Clumping litter is easier to clean and reduces the amount of litter thrown away. It also helps to trap liquid and odour more effectively than non-clumping litter. Our Natusan Wheat litter is suitable for kittens and adult cats alike, making it a great choice when you’re learning how to litter train a kitten.


a dark grey kitten sits in front of a bag of natusan wheat cat litter, next to a clean litter tray and a cat bed


Use a suitable litter box and keep it clean

There are two main types of litter tray: the open litter tray and the covered litter box. Some cats and kittens may prefer to feel protected and sheltered by a covered box, while others might prefer a more open tray. Giving your kitten a choice when litter training can help you to discover which type of litter tray they prefer. Whichever option you choose, ensure your kitten will have enough space to get inside and turn around. 

Cats are naturally clean animals, and if the litter isn’t clean enough they might avoid using the litter tray and choose to go somewhere else. When litter training your kitten, it’s therefore important to choose a litter that makes the litter tray as welcoming as possible. 


Multiple litter boxes

Providing multiple litter boxes can have other benefits when litter training kittens. It can provide a clean option, even if another tray is dirty. There are other reasons why a cat won’t use the litter tray, too, including the type of tray and the location. Having more than one litter tray in your home means they’re more likely to find a litter box that they’re happy to use. 

Multiple litter boxes are also necessary for homes with more than one kitten or cat. Cats may not want to share their litter box, so having one litter tray option for each cat, plus one extra, is the ideal rule of thumb.


Create a relaxed environment

Location really is everything. Cats are sensitive to stress, and prefer their litter tray to be located in a nice quiet area, away from general foot traffic. If the litter box is in a busy or stressful area, your kitten may try to avoid it. Additionally, make sure it’s kept as far away as possible from food and water bowls, and in an area where they have easy access to come and go. 


Positively reinforce success

When learning how to litter train a kitten, remember that positive reinforcement is key. As with all forms of training, positive reinforcement is a great way to encourage good behaviour. Keep a close eye on your kitten, and if you spot them using the litter tray, be sure to reward their success.


Stay switched on to when they want to go

Being aware of your cat’s routine and habits can help you understand when they may want to go to the toilet. Placing your cat near or in their litter box when you notice they might need to go will help them to learn the routine.


a grey kitten sits next to a litter tray with a litter scoop, with a bag of Natusan Wheat cat litter in the background 


When Should I Begin Litter Training My Kitten?

You can start litter training your kitten from 4 weeks old. If you’re adopting a kitten older than 4 weeks, you can start litter training as soon as you bring them home. 

Kittens should stay with their mother until they’re 8 weeks old, so if you’re adopting from a shelter, don’t be concerned if your 8 week old kitten won’t use the litter box - they should pick it up quickly, regardless of when they start.


How Long Does It Take To Litter Train A Kitten?

It can take up to four weeks to litter train a kitten. When learning how to train a kitten to use the litter box, remember that every kitten will behave differently and some learn quicker than others. There’s no need to worry if they don’t pick things up right away. 

Once you’ve learnt the fundamentals of how to litter train a kitten, it’s simply a matter of consistency and a little patience. One of the most important things to remember is to never punish a kitten for having an accident or getting it wrong. Positive reinforcement is the best approach. 

If you’re feeling confident about how to teach a kitten to use the litter box, why not take a look at some more of our litter advice? From tips on combating odour to more ideas on getting your cat used to their litter tray.





Are kittens hard to litter train?

Kittens aren’t hard to litter train, as much of the behaviour comes naturally to them. There are steps you can take to help the process and make it easy and stress free for your kitten. 


How do you litter train a kitten fast?

Many kittens will learn how to use a litter tray in a matter of days, but some may take longer. Help your kitten to learn by providing the best possible environment, and being consistent and patient.


How often do kittens use the litter box?

Kittens will use the litter box around 4 times a day, in line with the number of meal times. They may also use the litter box after waking up. 


Why won't my kitten go in the litter box? 

If your kitten won’t use the litter box, it may be due to the litter used, cleanliness, or its location. If you’re concerned about your kitten’s behaviour, always speak to their vet.



21/08/2023 by NatuTeam

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