Starting to Train Your Kitten to Use the Litter Tray

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Toilet training your new kitten

Cats are naturally very clean and, chances are, your kitten will already have learned how to use the litter tray from their mum. All you'll need to do is buy a plastic litter tray big enough for your kitten to move around in and fill it with enough litter to cover the bottom of the tray (if you can use the same one used at the breeder's house, your kitten will appreciate the familiar smell and texture). Show your kitten where the litter tray is and put them in there after meals. Also do this if you see them sniffing around, crouching or generally behaving like they need to 'go'.

Cat in litter box

Litter tray dos and don'ts

Place your kitten's litter tray away from their bed and food, and make sure it’s somewhere reasonably private.

Empty the litter tray regularly - your kitten will not want to use it if it's 'dirty.' Some disinfectants and bleach are toxic to cats, so it's best to only use hot water and detergent. If you're pregnant, try to get someone else to clean out the tray or make sure you wear rubber gloves and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards. This minimises the risk of toxoplasmosis which, thankfully, is very rare but can cause serious problems to unborn babies.

Once your kitten is old enough to venture outside, you may want to dispense with the litter tray altogether. Don't dispose of it too hastily, though. You might find your kitten refuses to set foot outside if it's really cold!

Accidents will happen

Even the smartest kitten is bound to have the odd accident. Whatever you do, don't punish them. Praise when they do use the litter tray and maybe offer a small reward, and you'll soon be back on track.

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