There are many things to consider when you decide to bring a kitten into your home. You must make sure that you can provide a warm and loving home for her, and you must also make sure that it is the right thing for you, your family and the kitten that you decide to adopt.
As well as equipping your home with essentials such as a comfortable bed, a scratching post and some toys – you will also have to tackle the task of training your new arrival to use the litter tray so we have prepared some useful tips on how to litter train a kitten.
It is a good idea that you treat your kitten to a full check up before you start any litter training and as soon as they are introduced to your home. Your kitten should be at least 10-12 weeks old before she is separated from her mum as she may not be mentally ready for a new home before then.
A cat’s natural instincts is to use the toilet outside, but if your kitten is still very young or she is going to spend most of the time inside the house then you will need to help them to learn to use the litter tray.
It is best to start some litter training as soon as you can as young cats will find it easier to adapt to using a litter tray. However, litter training can also be useful for older cats if they have less energy or inclination to go outside.
Find the right litter tray
However, when you are introducing your kitten to a litter tray it is probably best to keep things as simple as possible to start with and use a small and fairly basic tray. Select a tray that your kitten will be able to get in and out of very easily, and there is no problem to use quite a large tray to begin with as kittens grow very quickly!
Once you have decided on your litter tray, make sure that you place it in a quiet part of the house where your kitten can have some privacy and won’t be surprised by loud and sudden noises as this can put them off from using the tray. It should also be in a place that is easily accessible.
The best litter for kittens
Some cat litters are much more suitable for kittens than others, although there are still many different varieties available and the best litter for your kitten will ultimately depend on you and your cat.
The best option to start with is usually to use a pellet or clay based litter. Another very good option is paper cat litter, as these will be free of toxins that can be harmful to kittens. You should avoid silica cat litter from the outset as kittens can be sensitive to unnatural materials and dust.
Introducing your kitten
After you have bought a litter tray, placed it in a suitable location and filled it with kitten litter then it is time to introduce the new member of your family to her litter tray.
If your kitten is from a reputable shelter or if her mum is still around then your new arrival shouldn’t need too much actual ‘training’. You will just need to introduce her to the litter tray and you can do this by gently placing her in the tray after she has eaten or when you see her scratching or sniffing the ground.
The natural instincts of the cat should then take over, and as long as the tray is easily accessible with a suitable litter then you should not have too many problems.
If you have more than one cat then you will need to make sure that each animal has its own litter tray, and the litter should be changed on a regular basis.
You and your family can then enjoy all the pleasure and fun of having a new kitten in your home without having to worry about where you might find an unpleasant surprise. As mentioned, kittens grow very quickly and when they mature into adult cats many of them prefer to use the toilet outside. However, it is a good idea to keep the litter tray handy just in case of emergencies, and to always make sure it is filled with the best cat litter for her!