Kittens and cats should already be familiar with a litter box when they are purchased from a pet store or adopted from a shelter. I remember my mom telling me that mother cats teach their kittens how to use one, so potty training is not required. However, this is not always the case. Feral kittens and cats have never seen this human-made contraption called a “litter box.” And they have definitely never seen a toilet, which some kitten and cat owners prefer their pets use instead.
When getting a feral kitten or cat, ask if he or she is completely potty trained. Feral pets that have just recently been taken in will not know how to use the litter box yet. If you are reading this article, you probably need some help. I will cover everything you need to know about kitten and cat potty training!
Table of Contents
Watch Out for Territorial Behavior!
I watched tons of nature videos about both wild and domestic cats when I was younger (You can tell I love cats!) I learned that the males are naturally territorial. If you are adopting more than one kitten or cat and one or more of them are male, you will, unfortunately, have to deal with this behavior.
My family and I discovered that male kittens go through a phase where they guard their litter box; they will chase another kitten out of it and sometimes lounge inside of it (when it is clean). Unneutered male cats will avoid urinating in the litter box and do so on household objects instead. Make sure to get them neutered to eliminate this inconvenience.
A Second Option?
As mentioned in the introduction, some kitten and cat owners train their pets to use a toilet. I have owned four cats and two kittens during my lifetime and I have personally never attempted to do this. It seems like an arduous and unrealistic endeavor. I remember my mom telling me that kittens and cats naturally bury their waste because they do not like the smell. They obviously cannot bury it if they are utilizing a toilet. This undoubtedly disturbs them (at least until they flush the toilet).
If you do choose to train your pet to use the toilet, you MUST do these things:
- Make sure your pet is big enough (We do not want the poor thing to fall in!)
- Make sure to be vigilant.
- Make the bathroom easily accessible: leave the door open and the toilet seat propped up (The toilet seat should be securely fastened).
- Ensure that the toilet is working properly: the handle should be firm and it should be flushing normally. I would NOT recommend toilet training if you have poor plumbing. My family and I have had plumbing issues for years, so I am glad we have never toilet trained any of our pets!
Patience is Key
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it cannot be stressed enough. When potty training a kitten or cat, you need to be patient. This is true with any animal. They get frightened easily, so do not shout at them if they have an accident (or spray if it is a male cat). Simply point at the mess and firmly say: “No.” Place them in the litter box or on top of the toilet to indicate that they should do their business in those instead.
Be especially patient with newly purchased or adopted kittens or cats. Some of them will not be comfortable eliminating waste in a new environment. My family and I adopted two kittens in June 2017 and one of them kept going in and out of the litter box because she was nervous.
Clean, Clean, Clean!
Litter box cleanliness is imperative! Kittens and cats will not use the litter box if it is really dirty. Make sure to use a pooper scooper two to three times each day depending on how many kittens or cats you have. Additionally, it is important to wash the inside of the litter box to remove the scent of ammonia.
Keep an especially sharp eye on the litter box if you have one or more kittens. My family and I discovered that our kittens used the litter box often!
Cat Litter Training and Cat Toilet Training Products
Do you need to train your feral pet to use the litter box or the toilet? Look no further than Amazon! This website has all of your pet potty training needs and more. Please note that these prices will be cheaper if you have Amazon Prime.
Here is an extremely useful tip: Read the reviews if you are not sure what to buy. This may seem like common knowledge, but it is crucial for purchasing the best products for your pets.
I Need Privacy!
Is your kitten or cat self-conscious when he or she uses the litter box? If you notice this behavior, a box with a hood should make them really happy! Any type of hooded litter box will be sufficient, but we recommend trying the
This particular box is black and grey. Do you have a female kitten or cat? Just click on the icon to make it white and pink! (If you want to order a white and pink one for a male, that is ok too!
When choosing litter, keep in mind that kittens and cats prefer different types. Unscented litter seems to be better than scented litter. My family and I have always used it. Many people never use scented litter for their cats. It is possible that scented litter could deter a kitten or cat from using a litter box because the smell is not natural.
My family and I believe Purina Tidy Cats with TidyLock Protection is the best brand of cat litter. It contains charcoal that absorbs bad smells and clumps when a cat uses it. This makes cleaning out a litter box easier and faster. It is a 40 lb box, so it will last for a while.This large product is extremely affordable!
Get Rid of Bad Smells!
There is a great way to cover up those gross smells without using scented litter! Simply pour this Arm & Hammer Litter Deodorizer Powder on the bottom of the litter box then cover it with litter. By doing so, your cat will not be able to smell as much of it. Consequently, the litter will appear to smell more natural. This powder immediately eliminates odors and has been approved by veterinarians.
This powder is especially handy when you have guests in your home! And ALWAYS keep an eye out for products that have been reviewed and approved by veterinarians. This is how you can tell which products are the safest and most efficient.
Territorial Tony trying to push his sister Mona away from his spot on the couch! Photo credit: PKH Photography
Are you tired of your kitten or cat making a huge mess by throwing litter out of their litter box? This Pawkin Cat Litter Box Mat will help! Simply vacuum the litter on the mat. This will keep your hardwood floors and carpets clean and save you the time of trying to get every last piece of litter off. Here is something that is even better: this product does not contain phthalate, so it is completely safe. It comes in four different colors and a full refund will be issued if you are not satisfied with this purchase.
Be aware that throwing litter around may be a sign that your kitten or cat is stressed out or has endured trauma in the past. My family and I owned a long-haired orange cat that was abused by a breeder then dumped in front of our house because she had a tumor. We took her in, noticed this wild behavior, and linked it to the horrible treatment that she had faced.
A More Effective Pooper Scooper
This Nature’s Miracle scoop is an antimicrobial scoop that comes with a caddy. It makes the cleaning process easier because it does not stick. It is made of durable material and can hook onto a litter box. This product appears to be very efficient and affordable!
As mentioned previously, male cats are naturally territorial. They may watch you closely and try to swipe at your hands when you are scooping their litter box. They want it to be clean, but they do not want us humans near their territory! Our male kitten runs over to his box and stares with wide eyes when one of us utilizes the pooper scooper. Sorry, Tony!
The Most Popular Toilet Training Kit
This CitiKitty Cat Toilet Training Kit was first seen on a well-known television show. Say goodbye to the unpleasant task of cleaning out a litter box! It will help you save TONS of money on cat litter. This kit is ideal for all toilet designs and comes with a training seat and insert, an instruction booklet, helpful pointers, and catnip. It is for kittens that are more than three-months-old and cats. The prices vary depending on if you buy a single kit, double kit, etc. This product had over 1800 reviews as of March 28, 2018!
The World’s Best Cat Litter?
That is what this brand claims their product is: The World’s Best Cat Litter. It appears to live up to its name! It controls bad smells, it clumps, it can be flushed and is safe for septic tanks, it is eco-friendly, and it is almost completely dust-free. Wow! I would buy this in a heartbeat! The prices of this product vary because there are multiple buying options. Choose which option is best for you.
Toilet Training Books
Do you prefer to read a more thorough guide to toilet training your pet?
“How to Toilet Train Your Cat: 21 Days to a Litter-Free Home” is just what you need! It guarantees that you will be able to train your pet in less than a month. This product is only available in paperback and it is worth the nominal fee.
I highly recommend reading this book or another one like it prior to starting the toilet training process. This step will ensure that you are fully prepared for what goes right and what could go wrong. As with any new task in life, it pays to gain as much knowledge as you can about it!
It is highly likely that you will purchase or adopt a kitten or cat who already knows how to use a litter box. However, in the event that you get a feral pet, you will be prepared after you read this article and check out the recommended products!
Potty training is a sensitive topic, so it is very important that your feral pet feels comfortable with the products that you buy. These sources will also help you if you would like to toilet train your kitten or cat. This is definitely a more complex process, but with the right knowledge, you will undoubtedly be successful!