- What Age Should You Start Litter Training?
- Introducing The Litter Box To A Kitten
- Be Careful of Where You Place the Litter Box
- Be Patient With Your 6 Week Old Kitten
- Giving Positive Reinforcement
- 6 Week Old Kitten Still Not Using The Litter Box
- Type Of Litter
One of the biggest advantages of owning a kitten over other pets is that they can use a litter box. As they get older, there’s no need to take them outside, in the heat of summer or early in the morning, when you’d rather be sleeping. Although a litter box will have to be emptied and cleaned out regularly, it can be done at your convenience.
What Age Should You Start Litter Training?
Kittens aren’t ready to use a litter box until they’re around three weeks old.
Introducing The Litter Box To A Kitten
Start introducing the litter box to the kitten after they’ve eaten or have just woken up. Place the kitten in the litter box and wait to see what happens. A kitten will usually naturally start to dig in the litter, so if your kitten starts doing this on its own, let it be. If it doesn’t start digging, you can take their front paws and start digging in the litter with them. This can encourage the kitten and it may keep digging on its own before eliminating.
Be Careful of Where You Place the Litter Box
The location of the litter box is very important to whether or not the kitten is willing to use it. The best locations to put the litter box are those that offer the most privacy but is also in an easy-to-reach area. If the kitten spends a lot of time in certain parts of the house, it’s best to place the litter box there.
Be Patient With Your 6 Week Old Kitten
A Kitten that’s learning to use a litter box can be a big change. Although kittens start to dig in the litter box normally, there can still be accidents from time to time. It’s important to refrain from punishing or yelling at the kitten, as it’s only natural. Punishing or yelling at the kitten could frighten it, making the litter training process take even longer.
Keep in mind: Cats never associate punishment with the incident that they’re being punished for, so there’s no benefit of doing it, only makes them more nervous and stressed.
Giving Positive Reinforcement
Unlike punishment, a kitten will react to positive reinforcement by emulating the actions that they’ve associated with the reward. So once the kitten has successfully used the litter box, make sure to reward it. You can praise the kitten by giving it a toy or a treat for a job well done.
6 Week Old Kitten Still Not Using The Litter Box
There’s a reason why the kitten isn’t using the litter box. If you don’t know what’s causing the problem, use trial and error to uncover the source. You can do this by changing one thing first to see if it solves the issue. If it doesn’t, move on to the next.
Possible reasons a kitten is turning its nose up at the little box:
The Litter Box Placement Isn’t Ideal
When checking the placement of the litter box, ask yourself:
- Is it too far out of the way?
- Is it located somewhere your kitten doesn’t like to go?
- Is it too dark there?
- Does it not offer enough privacy?
Remember, if you would be unhappy with the situation if you were stuck using it, then don’t enforce those conditions on your kitten.
Type Of Litter
If you’re using a covered litter box, try removing the cover to see if the kitten has more interest in using the litter box. Even though a covered litter box is convenient for kitten owners for containing smells and messes, some kittens just downright despise them and will refuse to use them.
Sometimes, the litter box itself is the reason why a kitten is having a problem. If your kitten isn’t defecating in the litter box, it could be because they feel that the litter box is claustrophobic. Some kittens will have preferences for covered litter boxes, while others prefer the uncovered variety.
Alternatively, if you have an uncovered litter box, the kitten may prefer the privacy of having a cover.
The Kitten Dislikes The Type of Litter
The kitten mightn’t like the type of litter that you’ve used.
Some kittens can be particular about the way the litter feels on their feet. This can lead to them missing slightly as they try avoiding standing on the litter. Or, perhaps the kitten may be outright avoiding the offending litter box altogether.
Don’t Expect A Kitten to Use a Dirty Litter Box
Keep an eye on the litter box to see if it’s getting dirty. It’s normal for kittens to avoid using a dirty litter box, so you should make sure it’s cleaned daily. Replace the litter and clean the litter box itself at least once a week.
If nothing you do is convincing your 6 week old kitten to use the litter box, it may be time to seek advice from outside sources.
Although most kittens are litter trained at around 8 weeks old, some kittens can take up to 6 months before they’re reliably using a box. If you adhere to the following guidelines, you’ll be giving yourself the best chance of success when litter training your kitten to go in the right spot.
There’re some steps you can take to encourage your 6 week old kitten to use its litter box. Try these tips, and if you find that they’re unsuccessful, you should consider reaching out to a vet. You can also reach out to a vet first and then make corrections they suggest.
Making Other Areas Less Appealing
You could try to make other places where the kitten goes to the bathroom seem less appealing. You can do this by making the kitten’s litter box the ideal toilet.
substrates that they’ll be more comfortable along with an additional box, a larger box, and creating positive associations with the box.
If your kitten is using inappropriate places to release themselves, enzyme cleaners can also help to eliminate the smell of their urine or feces.
Although Kittens start using a litter box at around three weeks old, for other kittens, it can take a while longer. While a lot of kittens will learn quickly, other kittens can take up to 6 months before they’re reliably using a litter box. So, try using the tips above to give yourself the best chance of success when litter training your 6 week old kitten goes in the right spot.