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Most cats do not need to be taught how to use a litter box. Kittens that are taken from their mother too soon or that are traumatized may need a little help to use the litter box correctly.
Make sure you choose a litter box the kitten can easily get in and out of. If the sides are too high, the kitten may see it as a barrier. A box with a top cover that can contain the smell in is often a good choice. It also provides a bit of privacy for the kitten.
Clean the litter box daily
If it doesn't smell clean to the cat, she might stop using it. Often it will be enough to simply remove the solid waste if it is a healthy animal. A complete cleaning should be done once a week or more often if necessary.
If your cat or kitten experiences intestinal or urinary problems, it is a good idea to change the gravel daily to avoid an infection. Use warm soapy water rather than harsh chemicals. Your cat will be able to smell the difference, and may decide to boycott it because of scented disinfectants.
The litter you use can also play an important role in your success. Absorbent gravel in clay is easily degradable and cheap, but it tends to create dust. If you keep the tray in an enclosed area, or use one with a lid, clay may not be the best choice. Clumping gravel is great for daily debris removal.
Once the lumps are out, the rest of the gravel is clean and you just need to add a little more as needed. Clumping gravel is better for adult cats as the grains are very small. Very hairy kittens will be particularly prone to pick up some of the grit in their fur and risk ingesting it while grooming.
Organic gravel is also highly biodegradable, and generally made from plant-based, recycled materials. It absorbs like clay, but it needs to be completely replaced more often.
Remember that kittens may prefer unscented brands of cat litter. The nose is more sensitive than ours, and the smell may be unpleasant for the kitten. Find something you both like and stick to it. Cats are creatures of habit. Changes in the gravel can also cause changes in their choice of where they think the hill should be.
Place the kitten carefully in the gravel when the tray is in place. Repeat this action every hour until she gets the hang of it. Although she may immediately want to slip out of the box, praise her when she uses it.
If you notice her digging or scratching at the newspaper, or digging in a corner, take her to her litter box immediately. The scratching is a sign that she may need to go to the toilet.
Kittens may be attracted to the soil in your potted plants. To protect your plants, you can cover the ground with stones or something similar. If you see the kitten trying to make a hole in your potted plants, quickly but gently direct her to the litter box.
Positive training works with kittens and cats just as it does with other animals. Praise the kitten lavishly when it uses the litter box correctly. Don't blame it when it doesn't work out and clean up what she left behind.