from Sarah Hodgson

Litterbox Training

Potty Train Your Kitten

Litterbox training a cat is similar to potty training a child: your goal is to teach your kitten to potty in the same place in your home each time they need to go. As kittens prefer covering their eliminations with sand or dirt, potty habits will come naturally. Keep these dos and don’ts in mind...

Start with a contained area
If your kitten hasn’t already learned the purpose of a litterbox from their mother, you can help them figure it out quickly. Contain them in a large pen, large crate, or small room (e.g., a bathroom). Place a litterbox in one corner of the area and food and water dish in the opposite corner. Fill the rest of the area with toys and a comfortable mat. After meals and naps, bring your kitten to their litterbox. Once they catch on, gradually expand their space.

Add levels
If you live in a large home with multiple floors, assign a box to each level until your kitten is mature. Many cats prefer peeing in one box and pooping in another. Provide two boxes, either side by side or in different areas. If you have multiple cats, provide a litterbox for each plus one to avoid potty accidents.

Keep your boxes clean!
Cats become “litterbox adverse” and refuse to use their box if it’s not clean. Scoop the litterbox daily, especially if you have multiple cats. Once a week, clean out the whole box by tossing the week old litter and washing the tray.

Can you toilet train cats?

Cats can be forced to potty on a toilet seat in theory, but most behaviorists and cat trainers find it cruel and unusual. Cats prefer to potty in a secluded, protected area on a surface that can be scratched to cover their eliminations. Veterinarians warn against forcing cats into unnatural poses, such as pottying on a human toilet seat, as this hides important health indicators in their scat and can be painful as cats age.


Kittenhood Insights

SPOT is thrilled to provide these kitten-raising insights from Sarah Hodgson, author, trainer, and pet behavior expert. Offering an alternative to the reactive/dominance-based approach, Sarah encourages her audience to look at the world through their kitten's eyes, using food and fun to encourage cooperation and connection.

Guest written by Sarah Hodgson, a renowned author, pet trainer, and IAABC-certified associate applied pet behavior consultant.

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