Feline Rescue

Kitten Development & Care

How to Litter Train Baby Kittens

How to Litter Train Baby Kittens

Hi everyone! Let’s talk about litter training kittens. Cats and kittens are naturally inclined to cover their waste, so they instinctively understand the box most of the time. But! There are some tips and tricks that’ll help ensure that your litter training experience goes smoothly. Excuse me…! You’re so excited to use the litter box! You gotta wait until there’s litter in it… To litter train kittens, you’re obviously going to need a litter box and… litter! But it’s important to know what you need to get. For your box, a small cheap shallow box is where you want to start with these little guys. Nothing covered, nothing too tall, nothing with a door, or steps, or anything like that. In fact, when they’re first learning I just use these cardboard trays as their first training boxes. The cardboard trays that hold canned food are *perfect* for litter training kittens. I love using these, because they’re so shallow the kitten can just walk right into it. And once they get really gross, you can just toss them in the trash. This means a clean box for the kittens, and less hassle for you. If you’re working with kittens under 8 weeks old, I recommend using a kitten safe litter, meaning something that is fragrance free and non-clumping. Remember that kittens navigate the world just like human babies – with their mouths. Highly fragrant litters can be bad for tiny kittens if ingested, and clumping clay litter is definitely a no-no, since it clumps up when it touches liquid. Instead, I recommend using something like an unscented paper-based litter, or even a corn or wheat based litter until they’re 8 weeks old, and confidently exploring the box without munching on it. Once the kittens are closer to 6 or 7 weeks old, I move them into a plastic litter box that is more like what they’ll have as an adult. You still want this box to be shallow and lidless, but it can be a bit bigger and more sturdy than those cardboard trays. If you’re raising baby kittens, you know that they don’t go to the bathroom on their own for the first few weeks of life. From zero to three weeks of age, kittens will be stimulated to go to the bathroom by their mother licking them. If you’re caring for an orphan kitten who doesn’t have their mother, you’ll have to help them go to the bathroom by stimulating them with a soft tissue. If you want to learn how to do that, watch my video, “How to Stimulate Kittens to go to the Bathroom”. Okay…! You’re gonna poop! Once the kittens hit three weeks old, their bodies start being able to gradually go to the bathroom independently, so you might start to notice that they pooped or peed in their bedding between feedings. That’s a perfect time to start introducing the litter box. If you’ve been stimulating kittens to go to the bathroom, you can even start stimulating them right into the box around three weeks of age. They’ll be able to associate the scent of their urine with the box, and this can kick-start their understanding of good litter habits Ooooooh! Good job, Hank! Of course, if you’ve recently adopted a new kitten or rescued a kitten that’s more than three weeks old, you should introduce them to the litter box right away. The litter box should always be the first thing you show a kitten any time they go to a new home, or a new room. … are you napping in the litter box? Kodi, that’s where poop goes! Kittens naturally understand the box because they want to cover their waste, but there are several things you can do to ensure that they do use the box. First you want to make sure that it’s easy for them to find. That means when they’re learning, they should really never be more than 10 feet away from a litter box. If they don’t know where it is, they might start looking for somewhere else to go. Put out as many boxes as you need depending on the size of the space. For instance, a little baby in a playpen only needs one. But if you have a rambunctious eight week old kitten running around your house, you should ideally have at least one box in each room while they’re still learning. Kittens will typically be drawn to go to the bathroom in a corner, so I recommend starting by putting a box in one to two corners of the room. Of course, limiting the amount of space they have while learning will really help, because they’ll be right next to the box at all times. So consider keeping your babies consigned to a playpen, or a single room, until they’re totally trained to use the litter box. Once the kitten starts using the box, congratulate them! Kittens do well with positive reinforcement. You can use an encouraging voice, and give them some extra pets while they’re exiting the box. You also want to make sure they don’t find alternate places to go to the bathroom. Maybe you have a pile of laundry in the corner of your room, or some blankets all bunched up in their playpen… This might be okay to you, but to a kitten? They might think this provides a good place to cover their waste. Kittens also learn by example and imitation. If you have one kitten that isn’t getting it? Bring them over to the box to watch their buddies, so they have a chance to learn. You can also put the kitten in the box and run your fingers through the litter to show them that it’s a place to dig, or even gently run their paw through it to encourage digging behaviors that ultimately lead to potty time. This will also teach them how to cover, if you’ve got a baby that isn’t covering his waste. If you have a kitten that just really isn’t getting it, make sure you try a few different litter brands. Some kittens will have preferences, or may be sensitive to the feel or smell of certain brands. You also want to think about the kitten’s history. If it’s a feral kitten that’s been living outdoors, the bathroom to them might look like some dirt and some leaves… so there’s no harm in putting a couple leaves on top of the litter box, if that’s what it takes to help them make the association. Remember, they have the same goal as you do – a clean environment. So have patience while you’re helping steer them in the right direction, and never use negative reinforcement or punishment if they get it wrong. Excuse me! That’s my finger! This is where a lot of people mess up. They don’t clean the box enough! This is a big pet peeve of mine because it’s so unfair to the animal, and it gives people the impression that cats are smelly animals. Cats aren’t smelly animals! You’re a smelly animal if you don’t clean the litter box. One way to think of it is… whenever you feed them, you should also check out the box and see if it needs a scoop. If it does, it’s easy to just toss that small amount into a toilet, a trash bag, or a smell proof pail. When kittens are litter training, it’s so important to keep a clean box so that they’re incentivized to use it. Otherwise, they might think it’s super gross, and start looking for somewhere else to go. The more they go elsewhere, the more they’ll think it’s okay to go elsewhere. So do yourself a favor and keep that box clean. That goes for kittens, and adult cats too. Oh, hi, Kodiak! You decided to join me for the end… Ultimately, litter training is all about meeting them where they are, and thinking like a kitten – not like a human. So make sure you’re putting out a box that’s safe, shallow, and easily accessible at all times. Keep it clean and encourage those good habits, and your kittens will be litter box champions in no time.

100 thoughts on “How to Litter Train Baby Kittens

  • Love your videos! So helpful 🙂 the way that little kitten watched you as you sorted that litter box out! So sweet!!

  • I know this video is kinda old but im hoping someone will see this and be able to help.

    I recently took in a kitten of a feral cat. She is doing excellent with everything. Even using the litter box. BUT…….. She will use the litter box and then sit and scoot which smears it all over her tail/legs.

    I've been cleaning her with baby wipes. But after work its dry and she has poop and litter on her bottom half. Idk why she does this. But i will try and show her how to dig and hope it helps.

    Does anyone have any experience with this? Any solutions?

    Its very frustrating to have to clean her every time she goes. And when i get home from work i have to bathe her to get her clean.

    I know she doesn't realize she is doing anything wrong cause she justs wants to play and cuddle afterwards. Unknowingly that she's covered in her poop i guess. Idk. Ive never seen this before.

  • Help, my 6 week old kittens are peeing on the couch! I can't get the scent out and now they keep going there. They also go on the litter box sometimes. I now covered my couch in garbage bags. Does anyone have tips on how to deal with this and how to get the smell out of my couch?

  • Thank you for all the wonderful help you have given to me. My son Jedidiah's cat was stolen. Luna left him with 5, 3 week old kittens. So of I the mommy have brought them home to care for 24/7. Your videos are a God sent!!!!!🙏🙏🙏😻😻😻 God bless you and yours.💜💙💚

  • I have 3 feral rescues that are about 4.5 weeks old. One still refuses to pee without stimulation and the other two pee everywhere other than the box 🙁 any suggestions anyone?

  • Any tips have a 7 weeks old ginger kitten who is amazing and love to play etc but the only problem is she never uses the litter box

  • Mine when they were babies decided the litter was 2 things toys and food… but they got it proper eventually🤭😅🤣😐

  • So there a ferall cat that just gave birth to two kittens,, now they're dirtying the house, in the kitchen, under the bed, and damn it's smelly and unhygienic. We don't wanna pet it, but give it shelter.. but how to make sure they're not dirtying the house… They are wild vicious,, the cat is ok but the kitties are causing huge trouble….
    What to dooo

  • We had our bunny in a cage right next to our litter boxes. Shes usually outside but it was too cold for our bunny to be outside. One day she escaped out of the cage. The reason we didnt want her out of a cage in the basement, was because she would poop everywhere. But after the bunny escaped she started using the litter box because she would see the cats using it. We didnt put her back in the cage after that. 🙂

  • Step 1 buy litter box and litter. Step 2 place kitten in litter box until they get. Simple. lol. Doesn’t take them long to catch on.

  • What the hell are those strange rod shaped cat litter segments? I've only ever seen regular cat gravel litter. Is this economically better?

  • This was on my recommended videos and I so long for another cat! My family lost our last cat 2 years ago and we miss him! Somebody in work has a little ginger kitten they want to rehome, I'm so tempted…

  • Your a smelly animal if you dont clean the litter box 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😜😂😂😂😂 I love that saying girl you are 100% RIGHT

  • what kind of kittens are the ones in the video? i just adopted two that are almost identical and was just curious!

  • Hello! I have a question, I recently got a kitten and she’s a month old, anyways, the problem is that she hasn’t peed or poop yet, the only time she peed or pooped was the first day I got her. Could you please reply back bc I’m worried about her, she’s my first cat 😔

  • I have a question. I just adopted two 12 week old (we think) kittens and they won’t let me touch them yet. So how can I put them inside the litter Box?

  • My newest kitten started using the litter box on his own.We didn't have to teach him.He was rescued from the wild,but still.

  • I’m having trouble with a kitten I just got. It’s over 7 weeks old. She’s pretty good at using the box but she keeps stepping in her own poo.😞 I don’t know how to make her stop but I used all these steps but she always steps in her poo or tries playing with it.😩 I do not know how to get after her for it besides say no but I don’t know what else to do. Her box is cleaned every night. She’s fine with the litter and it’s in a corner. I’m in desperate need of help and getting rid of her isn’t an option since I got her for my 3yo son since he’s dealing with a few losses💔 she is my sons whole world and he’s sooo gentle with her and she loves him as well. They cuddle but I always have to cut it short because when she uses the litter she either steps in her poo or bats it around.

  • hi I have a 8 weeks baby kitten I tran her to use the kitty litter she goes in it I didn't have that one that you have so is that ok if she goes in the regular kitty litter

  • I'm going to school to be a vet assistant and we're getting in some kittens soon. I'm getting one as soon as we get them vaccinated and they reach 8 weeks. I've never raised a cat before and I'm nervous, but excited.

  • I have a male 2 month old kitten and he only uses his littler box to poop, and pees everywhere, how do i teach him to also pee on the littler box?

  • I got my 2 months and a half kitten today and pooped 3 times in the ground and Zayn the second time she pooped in the same place as the first one so i decide to change the litter boxes place at the same place but the 3rd she pooped in another place what should i do?

  • I clean the litterbox at least 3-4 times a day I bought a litterlocker so I dont have to run down everytime I clean it.

  • What kind of kitten is in this video, the darker one named Kodiak with stripes, anyone know? Thanks for sharing!

  • i had mine trained in 2 days. i just put them gentle in litter box. grab there paws and scratch litter and just like that 2 days blam salved.

  • Rescued a 7 week old, vet verified this, 4 days ago. She's picked a spot to go in my bedroom, same spot every day. I put the litter box on the spot she goes, still goes next to it. ???

  • @0:25 I think she was going to say, "you're obviously going to need a kitten" instead of "a litterbox" because I don't own (but really want) a cat :((((((((((((

  • HELP!! I adopted a 2 month kitten yesterday and she pisses on my bed. She doesn’t want to use the litter box (i think she is scared of that place). Since the first time she pissed on my bed, now she goes there anytime she wants to do her piss. What should I do?????

  • I got adopted by a kitten today. Ive never had a cat before.. Nothing against them at all, just never had one. Your videos have been very helpful. She really hasnt eaten much or had too much to drink, and she hasnt used her litter box yet, but I went and got a covered box because I also have a 2 year old boy. Do I need to get a regular box to start with?
    ETA: I would guess shes probably 7 to 8 weeks old.

  • so we found a kitten in our garage and his mom won't come back, so we adopted him. we have him for about a week now but still struggling with his litter training. He would usually poop a foot away from his litter and it sucks. hopefully he will soon learn

  • My 7-year-old son just rescued a 2-3 week old kitten and brought it home. And since I'm a dog person and know nothing about cats, your videos are very helpful! Thank you! 🙂 Subscribed!

  • What if your three week old rescued kitten eats a lot but won't go to the bathroom (I have two rescued kittens and thay won't go. I have a black one and a gray tiger, Oreo and stormy)

  • I came straight to this video after I came home to some bad smell near my corner of my bed I couldn’t find where the smell was coming from I ignored it went away when I came back the smell seemed to come straight that corner so I turned on my flashlight and saw 2 big pile of shit holy shitt my kittens are brothers one orange named Jacob other black named Edward man that shit went on my laptop the shit went through my papers on my folder and everything oh my god

  • I foster a lot of cats and kittens… Always i put kittens inside large cardboard and put a little box of litter… Just for one day… And that's all it takes…

  • Thank you so much for your videos! I just rescued a very small and very skinny kitten. She was found outside and I wasn't too sure how old she was or how to train her. You're videos have helped so much!!!

  • When my cat start to raise of a high-speed wandering around the house when it's a new kitten in the house I probably know that they need to go to the bathroom and when we get new litter boxes or we switch spots with litter boxes we're going to have to introduce

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