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How to Train Kittens to Use a Litter Box

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When kittens are born, the momma cat is usually the one who takes care of her kitten’s needs such as feeding, keeping them warm, and cleaning up after them when they have urinated or pooped.

But there comes a time when the momma cat stops cleaning up the urine and feces that her kittens leave behind. When this happens, it usually means that they are ready to use the litterbox on their own. 

Since they are just kittens, they probably have no idea how to even use a litter box yet. It is your job to train the kittens to use it so you can prevent accidents from happening. 

Watch Them As Closely As Possible

Watch the kittens as closely as possible. Watch for signs that they are about to urinate or poop. In my experience, most kittens will find a corner in the room to do their duties at. 

how to train a kitten to use the litter box

Often times, you cannot prevent the first few accidents, but it will allow you to find out where they are going to the bathroom at. 

Monitor the Area They Are Relieving Themselves At

Once you find out where the “relieving” is taking place, you can then monitor the area. When you see the kitten going in that direction, grab the little kitty gently and bring it to the actual litterbox. 

While they are in the litter box, they may smell the momma cat’s feces and urine, and they’ll know that is the proper place to relieve themselves at.

You might have to repeat this process over a few times so that they finally start understanding what’s going on. 

Reward Them When They Use the Litter Box

Make sure that when the kitten finally does start using the litter box, you reward them with a little petting, maybe a snuggle or two, and some quiet communication such as talking in a soft baby voice, for example. 

I wouldn’t suggest giving kittens any cat treats as a reward, because they are often too young to be able to digest the treats properly. This could also cause diarrhea and an upset tummy in your little kitten. 

Giving kittens treats that are intended for adult cats may also cause the kitten to choke or puke. This is obviously not a good thing, so we definitely want to avoid the use of cat treats altogether. 

With that being said, I recommend rewarding your new kitten with petting, praise, and a new cat toy. Just be sure that the cat toy you are using as a reward doesn’t have catnip in it. Kittens are usually too young to be affected by catnip.

Don’t Ever Force a Kitten’s Face In Their Urine and Feces

Please do not ever force your kitten’s face into their urine or feces. This is just plain mean and inhumane. It also doesn’t help matters at all. They’re not gonna learn anything by you shoving their precious little faces centimeters away from their poop.

By doing this, you may actually be hurting the future relationship you or any other human being could’ve had with the kitten because they will probably be scared of humans if you shove their face in a nasty pile of poop.

If you did that to me, I’d probably hate you too. And I’d certainly find it hard to ever trust another human being. 

Final Thoughts

Training a kitten to use the litter box does not have to be difficult at all. With a little patience and attention, it really isn’t that hard. Just be gentle and kind to your kitten and eventually they will learn to use the litterbox.