Litter Box Training a Kitten

How do you litter box train a kitten whose Momma wouldn't use one? Please help. The kitten used a box with reluctance a couple of times and the next time proceeded to use the floor. I put her in the box, she jumps out. I will not keep her if she doesn't get trained and I am already attached.

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Laura from Wilson, NC

May 20, 20080 found this helpful

If you haven't already, separate her from the mother cat so she doesn't get any reinforcement for "outside the box" thinking. Thoroughly clean any areas where mother cat has previously made deposits, using an enzyme cleaner designed for pet odors. Next, confine the kitten in as small a space as you can with the litter box, a bed, water, and food, and keep her there 24/7 -- visiting her frequently for petting, of course. (Preferably, this location will be the regular location of the litter box, so as to avoid confusing the kitten later by moving it.) Leave her there for a week, and then, if she is consistently using the box, begin gradually expanding her territory, a week at a time. If she reverts to using the floor, go back to step 1.

The logic behind this is that a cat won't urinate or defecate near its food or bed, and thus confining the kitten in a small space will motivate her to make her deposits in the box, where they are farthest away from what's important to her. Once the habit has developed, then letting her have more space should be safe.

Good luck!

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May 21, 20080 found this helpful

I agree with separating it from the mother. I had a kitten that did that once because the mother had no litter box to show them (she went outdoors) and I could never train him. He'd use it if it were nearby, otherwise he'd go wherever was handy. It's hard to break the training a mother gives them, so start now!

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