House Training Kittens

House training kittens makes a huge difference in the happiness of you and your cat. Not all kittens will take to the litter box idea as easily as others. With any kitten, employing specific training techniques will help ensure the success of litter box use. The following are some techniques that have been shown to work the best when house training kittens.

Choose the Best Litter Box

Cats do better with certain types of litter boxes and certain types of litter. Buy a sturdy litter box that has a lid with ventilation on the top. The box should be just big enough for your cat to stand up and turn all the way around in the box. Most cats prefer a regular sand type litter, but some will use other forms, especially if you start them on it when they are kittens. The litter should only be about 2 to 4 inches deep.

Prepare a Specific Toileting Area

Before bringing your kitten home, set up the toileting area. Choose a room in the house that the cat can easily get to and that is likely to have less human traffic. Consider which room will work best for the humans in the house. You want the box to be easy to clean and away from cooking and food preparation areas. If you have a laundry room or a spare bathroom, that's often the best. The garage works, too, unless you live in an area with extreme temperatures. Your cat might avoid going to the litter box if it means getting cold, hot or wet.

Introduce Your Kitten to the Litter Box

It's good to show your kitten the litter box before she needs to use it. When you bring her home, take her into the toileting room. Let her sniff the box and the area. Gently place her in the litter box. Say, "Good kitty," and offer a treat. Let her jump out when she wants. Stay in the room for a bit longer and play. You want to create a positive association with this place. 

Coordinate Box Use with Feeding Times

Another opportunity to teach litter box use with your kitten is right after eating or drinking. There should always be fresh water available for your kitten. If you see her drinking water, gently take her to the litter box when she's done. Take her again every 5 to 10 minutes, or if you see her pawing as if she's digging. The same is true after a meal. Kittens learn very quickly, so doing this after one or two meals will probably do the trick.

Use Positive Reinforcement

Any time your kitten uses the box, reward her with a treat, a toy or affection. Never punish the kitten for accidents. This will only teach her to fear you and try to eliminate in secret. If an accident starts to happen, make a harsh sound to interrupt the behavior. Then quickly but gently place the kitten in the litter box. Even if just one more drop comes out there, offer a reward.