Your Kitten’s Litter Box Habits Explained | Dr. Elsey's
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Your Kitten’s Litter Box Habits Explained

First-time pet owner? You’ve come to the right place. If you’re bringing home a brand new kitten, litter box training is likely top of mind. While it may seem like a daunting task, there’s no need to be a scaredy cat! We’re here to help with tips and insight into your kitten’s litter box habits for a smoother transition into pet parenthood.

Kitten-Specific Litter

Luckily, many kittens arrive at their new homes with a basic understanding of how to use the litter box from watching their mothers. Even if they’re not experts yet, cats are born with a strong instinct to bury any evidence they leave behind.

Kittens will start to discover the litter box at about four to five weeks old, and this is when they will go through an oral or “litter tasting” stage. During this period, it is best to use a non-clumping litter like conventional clay litters. At roughly eight weeks when a kitten is weaned and eating on its own, you can then switch to Dr. Elsey’s Kitten Attract®. Kitten Attract® contains a natural herbal attractant that piques a kitten’s interest in using the litter box, and is also soft and comfortable on small kitten paws.

If you happen to live in a multi-cat household, make sure to provide your new kitten their own litter box to use. While some cats don’t mind sharing litter boxes, having multiple around the house can allow each cat to claim one for themselves. It also help ensure that even if one of the litter boxes is currently occupied, there is another place for your cat to relieve themselves.

Create a Routine

As soon as your tiny ball of fur arrives to their new home, provide a tour of the litter box by setting the kitten inside and allowing them to sniff and examine their new box. After mealtimes and naps, kittens may have an increased sense of urgency to go. Help your kitten learn their new routine by bringing them directly to the litter box anytime you notice signs of squatting, scratching or sniffing that could indicate the need to eliminate. Once you’ve shown your kitten where the litter box is located, be sure not to move it to avoid any confusion. It is essential to make sure the litter box is easy to find at all times—especially when the urge to go kicks in.

Cleaning Up Cat Urine

If your kitten doesn’t quite make it to the box, clean and disinfect the area to avoid any association with the spot from dried urine odors. If you do not remove all the urine odor, there will be a tendency for your kitten to continue to urinate in those same areas over and over again. If any bedding or laundry on the floor was mistaken for their box, don’t fret! First, machine-wash your laundry using a cup of white vinegar and no detergent. When the laundry cycle finishes, add detergent and wash regularly. White vinegar is a great product for cleaning laundry and hard surfaces like linoleum and tile.

For stains on the carpet, we recommend a three-step program beginning with cleaning the area with a mixture of mild dish detergent and water. Saturate the area with this solution and let it sit for an hour or two before blotting the area with tap water to rinse. Do not rub your carpet as to preserve the natural carpet texture. Next, soak the area with club soda for ten minutes and then blot the club soda with fresh paper towels. Weigh down the paper towels with a heavy object and let dry overnight. The next day, apply Dr. Elsey’s Urine Removal Program. Mix the Urine Removal Program one part solution to seven parts distilled water. Saturate the area with the mixture and allow the solution to remain in the carpet to dry.

Litter Box Logistics

If your kitten is still struggling to master housetraining, it could be that the size, shape or location of the litter box is to blame. Covered litter boxes are often too confining for kittens to feel comfortable using. Instead, opt for a shallow open-top litter box that is easy for their tiny frames to step in and out of until they’re big enough for an adult-sized box. You might also need to experiment with factors such as litter box location and cleaning routine to find the right combination your kitten needs for optimal elimination.

We believe that nearly every kitten can be trained to use the litter box, and we’re here to help! Learn more about how you can get your first bag of Dr. Elsey’s Kitten Attract for free by visiting our rebate page