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.


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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August 1, 2011 Flag
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I rescued a 3-4 week old kitten from a box in the parking lot in Walmart. I have been feeding him out of a syringe, because he is still to little to eat out of a bowl. I grew up with cats and kittens, but because there is no momma cat, I'm not quite sure how to litter train him. Other than that, he is a very healthy, very happy little guy. Please, any advice will help! Thank you!


By Careen

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August 1, 20110 found this helpful

We have a 4 week old kitten that is done with the bottle and we just introduced her to the litter box little by little. When you are done feeding her, rub her belly softly with your finger and then after a few minutes put her into a small litter box and see how she does. Keep following the same routine every time you feed her. If you feed her every two hours do this after every meal. It took our kitty about a week to be litter box trained. GL

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August 2, 20110 found this helpful

The belly stroking is important, from just below the ribcage toward the tail only. That is how momma cat would lick it.

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May 16, 2011 Flag
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I have an orphaned kitten that was around 4-5 days old when we found that she lived through a coyote attack. She is now 4 weeks old and ate her first "solid" food yesterday. Now I'm feeding her Special Kitty Select, soft, mushy food and some of her KMR from the bottle.

This is the third time in the last week that she had a bowel movement in her containment. It is still jelly-like and is a huge mess. Though I still stimulate her with a wet wipe to go before and after feedings, she's also figured out how to stimulate herself per-say by rubbing on her bedding to go pee. The tote I have her in is too small to put anything large with litter in it. I can't let her wander around the house and the messes only happen in the morning. Any advice?


By Heather79 from TX

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May 16, 20110 found this helpful

I'm having a hard time picturing all of her equipment. Does she have a litter box? Plain one that she can get into? Just feed her her breakfast and if she hasn't gone, put her in box and keep her there by picking her up and putting her in box until she goes. The food and swallowing will stimulate her digestive tract. If she seems to go before breakfast, try to get her in her box and keep putting her there first thing in morning.

I would try putting her in your kitchen on your days off with her litter box. Since she is tiny, the box shouldn't be too gross. Block it off with boxes or something so she can't get out. Feed her there and put her in her litter box quite a few times a day. She'll go accidentally but will understand in no time it's her spot to pot.

I get that you are stimulating her with the wipes as her mother would with licks. She's just a little young for litter box though. Maybe another week or ten days.

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May 16, 20110 found this helpful

When we found our most recent cat (two years ago!), he was wee little. Not as small as yours was, but too young to be away from his mama. Initially we put him in a large pet carrier, and I bought an inexpensive plastic (shallow) food storage container for his litter box. He knew what to do with it. He was in bad shape when we first got him, but after a week or so he was doing much better, and we kept him in our bathroom for quite a long time (no more pet carrier). He had fleas and worms and we didn't want to introduce him to our other two grown cats.

If space is limited, you don't have to buy a marketed litter box. You can find shallow rectangular food storage containers, or probably even something where they have plastic organization containers. Since she's so small right now, it'll be okay. You can upgrade when she gets bigger (and hopefully she'll understand the litter box by then!). Best of luck with your kitten!

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