How to Litter Train a Cat?

How to litter train a cat

How to litter train a cat? If you take a cat/kitten into your home, giving litter box training is very important to avoid many problems. Fortunately, the cat is an intelligent animal and almost uses the litter box on its own. There are things that you have to take into account. In this article, I explain how a cat can become litter box trained, how you can practice this, get tips for the training, and the necessities. And what to do when the litter box training does not work.

Natural Instinct

How to litter train a cat or kitten?

The most significant advantage of the cat compared to the dog is that the cat can use a litter box. You do not have to let out the dog three times a day as an owner. The cat can stay safe alone the whole day. The use of the litter box comes from instinct. Cats are naturally clean; they learn from their mother that they have to do their needs in the litter box. They are naturally clean animals and therefore want a clean container. The cat wants to use all the litter box itself by burying his droppings.

Leave It Alone

However, if the cat is in the litter box, you must leave it alone. The cat doesn’t like spectators. Always be sure that you have one litter box extra than the number of cats in the house. There is still another bin for your kitten to find, and you reduce the chance of accidents. If a cat suddenly suffers from uncleanliness, this always has a reason. However, it can also be that kittens or cats who have never seen a litter box or are very impressed by a change in their situation that they need to help for a while.

Cleanliness Cat

If you want your cat to be clean and the litter box appropriately used, it is the best way to learn when it is still very young. Young kittens do not need a litter box as long as they receive breast milk. The mother massages their tummy with the tongue and licks everything clean. With the first solid food starts the digestion of the kittens. The kittens follow the example of their mother and do the need wherever their mother does.

Your Cat and the Litter Box

Making a cat litter box clean does not have to be difficult. A kitten has often already learned from the mother that it is clean. A cat prefers not to foul his litter box. Most cats like to be alone, especially when it comes to doing their needs. Cats do not like viewers in the litter box. A cat wants to hide his need by burying it. It is their instinct to bury their droppings with sand or earth, just like in nature. A cat must learn that it is not allowed to do it in the whole house, except on the litter box. If a cat knows this, then it always goes well.

What Is a Cat Litter Box?

The litter box is the toilet for the cat. A cat that is much outside will use the box very little or not and will do the needs outside. However, cats often inside (house cats) must use the litter box as a toilet. You can fill the litter box with grit. The grit ensures that the strong urine smell is absorbed. There are different types of cat litter: lump, silicate, vegetable, and non-lump. Cat litter is a clean and hygienic solution for cats and their owners. There are now also disposable litter boxes. If you are curious about the pros and cons of this, take a look at this post.

The cat litter also ensures that the cat can meet its natural urge by burying its need. On the litter box is sometimes a lid that serves to stop odors. There is also a flap at the front through which the cat can walk in and then out again. Almost there comes a strong smell from the litter trays. These lids cannot prevent this on the tray. Regular cleaning of the litter box is the only way to reduce the smell.

How to Litter Train a Cat?

Cat in the litter box

Here are some general tips that can help you to cleanliness your cat (again):

  • Clean the litter box with a neutral, non-smelling agent—for example, green soap or soda.
  • The litter box must be big enough. Recommended is at least one and a half times the size of the cat. The cat must be able to turn easily and scratch.
  • Do you have a covered litter box and more cats? Make sure that the bin has two exits. Then a cat cannot be enclosed by another cat. A negative experience with the litter box can cause the cat to no longer use the litter box.
  • With a kitten or older cat, you have to make sure that the litter box has a low entry, then the kitten or older cat can get in. Especially for old cats with joint problems, it can be a painful move to climb into the litter box.
  • The litter box must be easily accessible. A cat cares about his privacy, but it is not useful if a cat first has to walk a large route to get to the litter box.
  • Try a different kind of cat litter grit. Cats are incredibly picky.
  • As the cat does not want the litter box, the cause can be a bad experience. Then try a litter box with a different color and shape.
  • In case the cat does not want the litter box, the cause can be a bad experience. Then try a litter box with a different color and shape. Make sure that cleaning places outside the container are clean. The tip to use is a Urine-off to clean the area. Never use ammonia or chlorine!
  • When ‘wrong’ puddles have arisen, give that place a new destination from the cat’s point of view. Give the cat there, for example, candy, food, or play with the cat. Because of this, the cat soon forgets that there is no peed on that spot.
  • Use for kittens the same cat litter as where the kitten comes from. If you want, you can slowly change over to other cat litter by mixing the two.
  • Observe the kitten or cat and when he is about to do something (turn, seek, hurried posture). Then put the cat directly in the box. Provide some privacy and then reward with attention or goodies if the need is set in the bin. Put the kitten or cat in the morning, in the evening, and after eating for a while. Reward if something has been done.

You can never punish your kitten or cat for unclean behavior. A cat is never unclean from a free choice. It would help if you discovered the reason yourself and then take that reason. A cat commits no offense in his eyes, so punishment is always unjustified. Punishment can only make the situation worse by the stress that causes the penalty.

When Should I Clean the Litter Box?

A cat is an animal that is clean by itself with a perfect sense of smell. And therefore, your cat wants to do the needs in a clean place. That is why the litter box must be cleaned on time. In the meantime, you can create the stools with a single scoop. However, you can also replace all the grit. It is best to remove stools and urine daily.

When and how often you clean the litter box depends on how often the cat needs it, how much it is and whether it is very stinking. Some people replace the dirty grit every day, and others clean it every few days. However, you have to make sure that the cat may decide to do his needs somewhere else when the litter box is dirty. It is also crucial to clean the litter box from time to time. So the bottom, lid, outside of the container, filters, and scoop. The litter box should be rinsed thoroughly with water to leave no remains of cleaning products. Your cat will be happy with a clean, fresh-smelling, tidy, and shiny litter box.

kitten in box

Supplies for a Litter Box

The litter box is perhaps one of the best inventions ever. Once the cat is clean, no one needs to worry about where the cat is doing the need. This is very useful for cat owners, but also for the neighbors who love a clean garden, the gardeners, and children who like to play in the sandbox. The fact that cats are neatly in the litter box benefits almost everyone. Before they can do that, however, things are needed. Complete the litter box and increase the comfort of your cat and yourself. You do not have to buy everything for a litter box. This stuff depends on which litter box you have, which cat, whether it is an indoor or outdoor cat, and which extra things you would like to use. Requirements for a litter box: litter box, litter, litter bags, bags refill, litter scoop, toilet deo, and toilet filter.

Litter Box Training Does Not Work

There are some tips that you can follow to get your cat trained:

Start immediately

The moment you have the cat in the house, you should immediately start the litter box training. If the kitten is still very young, you can learn it much more easily.

Make sure there are as few urine spots as possible

A cat usually wants to pee in the same place. Do not clean the urine spot with ammonia because it looks like urine. The chances are that the cat wants to put his pee over it because he thinks it is urine from another cat. Clean the area with an all-purpose cleaner and put aluminum foil over it. That is not what cats like.

Do not put anything on the floor

Do not leave clothes, bags, newspapers, magazines, and similar stuff on the floor. The cat jokes that he can pee on it. At one point, you have found the right place for the litter box, and the cat knows.

Place an extra litter box

If the cat is still in the wrong place, you can put an extra litter box in those places despite all the adjustments and measures. At one point, you have found the right place for the litter box, and the cat knows exactly where the litter box is and where it can urinate and defecate.

Choose the right filling

When it comes to cat litter, some cats can be choosy. If the cat does not respond well to the grit, try a different type of grit or wood fibers. There are a lot of different types of cat litter available.

Have patience

If possible, try to prevent the cat from being able to do it again in the same place. If this is not possible, put some cat biscuits or other food on that spot. A cat does not pee on the spot where he eats. It does take much patience if you have an uncleanliness cat

Cat Remains Uncleanliness

If the cat remains unclean and you have already tried everything, contact your veterinarian. In case of sudden uncleanliness, it is advisable to contact them quickly because there may be a medical reason that makes the cat uncleanliness. If there is a medical cause, it can be better remedied when you act quickly than when you wait.

Suppose no medical reason is found and you can not discover any other cause yourself. In that case, you can ask for help from a cat behavior expert. Together with the behavior expert, you will see what exactly is going on. Uncleanliness can almost always be solved.

Help, My Cleanliness Cat Pee in the House

Cat looking outside

The cat suddenly pees in the house. This has never happened before; why now? The cat always has a good reason for that; it can have several causes. When a cleanliness cat suddenly starts peeing in the house, it may be due to a move, renovation, or other change. The cat no longer recognizes his place and wants to give off his odor by peeing there.

Another Cat in Your House

The arrival of another cat can also be a reason that he wants to give off his scent. In some cases, the cat will urinate anywhere in the house because of a physical problem. If you suspect that this is the problem, have your cat examined by a veterinarian.
The most important reason for urinating at home is the pain. Bladder cleavage or bladder inflammation causes pain when urinating. Cats associate that pain with the litter box and then look for another place, hoping that it does not matter very much. Bladder problems can suddenly arise or reach a maximum limit at a specific moment, which causes the cat to show the pain in this way.

Cat Litter Box Has Become Uncomfortable

Cats who, for example, have problems with the thyroid gland or have diabetes start drinking more and urinating more. The litter box will then become dirty more quickly without being noticeable.
Another possibility: another family member cleans the litter box but does less well. Because the litter box is dirtier than usual, the cat is looking for a cleaner place. As a boss, the behavior is sudden, but a limit has been reached for the cat.

The litter box is meant for your cat to do his pee and poo. Sometimes it can happen that they no longer do that and suddenly do it at home. Cats can be very tolerant about the litter box, but they think it is enough at a given moment. Checking the litter box on some points can already help to solve the problem.

  • Is the litter box clean?
  • Stands the litter box in a quiet place?
  • Does every cat have a litter box, plus one extra?
  • Has the cat’s litter changed?
  • Is the litter box big enough for your cat?
  • Can the kittens or older cats easily step in?
  • The litter box is not too far away?
  • Is there enough grit in the litter box?
  • Does there enough grit in the litter box?
  • Is the cat not being chased away by the new kitten at the litter box?

It varies a cat how much influence this can have. A clean litter box is very important. In general, that means scooping every day and throwing away the grit after an average of 7 days.


The very first step is, of course, to go to the vet and specifically ask for a urine test. You can also collect urine yourself and bring it to the vet. For older cats, further research needs to be done to determine pain due to osteoarthritis or other disorders.
If bladder problems are excluded, you can look at which points you can make the litter box and the used cat litter as attractive as possible.

In summary, it appears that a cat always has a good reason to avoid the litter box. So never punish the cat, but look for a solution for the problem!

Cats on the Litter Box and Cleanliness

Cats are naturally clean; they learn from their mother that they have to do their need to litter the litter box. Some general tips can help clean your cat (again). You can never punish your cat for unclean behavior. A cat is never unclean from a free choice. When the litter box training does not work, there are tips that you can follow to train your cat. Every cat can become clean and use the litter box in the right way. Sometimes it does not happen well at one time, and your kitten/cat needs a little help. However, be reassured, there is always a solution.

YouTube video How to Litter Train Baby Kittens


Cats are naturally clean. A little patience and much encouragement are all that are needed to get your kitten clean. There are many tips to make sure your cat is and remains clean. If there are any problems, please get in touch with your veterinarian.

If you know someone with a cat or kitten, who wants to know more about how to litter train a cat, feel free to share this post.

By Marleen

Marleen is a truly madly deeply cat lover and founder of That Is for My Cat. She wants to share her knowledge about cats with other people who like to know more about cats.

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