Train a kitten to use a litter box and you’ll have a happy cat. Not to mention a Very Happy Owner. You’ll be able to reduce your cat’s need for litter boxes by providing a “kitty gym” in her indoor living space. This is a simple way to provide a place for your cat where she can go potty and also where you can place other items, such as food and toys, so she doesn’t have to look for them when they need to use the bathroom. Once your cat has learned to locate her litter box on the floor or on a raised platform in her cat gym, the rest of the house will be more easily organized.
When you first bring your kitten home, you’ll need to start off using scratch posts. These are pieces of wood, plastic or even cardboard covered with a carpet backing that you buy at your local hardware store. These posts are simply lined with catnip, scented or not, and left in her room, day after day, until your kitten gets used to being touched on her paws and has learned to scratch on her own. These posts should be placed in a location where your cat spends a lot of time but should be placed in locations that are out of reach of your cat so she won’t destroy the posts.
As your kitten matures, you may wish to invest in some scratching posts of a more sturdy material. You can either purchase these new or make them yourself. Wooden ones are nice because they have little indentations where a kitten can scratch without hurting herself. Plastic ones are nice too, but they can get slippery when wet and your cat might scratch herself on them. You can also buy catnip scratching posts and spray bottle holders that are meant especially for cats. These are sold at many pet stores as well as at online retailers such as Amazon.
In addition to the posts and scratching posts, there is one other thing that you can do to help train a kitten when it becomes aggressive towards you or other members of the house, and that is positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is the process of rewarding your kitten whenever she behaves in a desired manner, be that, scratching, following you around the house or whatever. Using positive reinforcement will help curb the kitten’s destructive behavior in a manner of speaking.
The easiest way to begin using positive reinforcement is to set up a “penalty” for the kitten if it scratches your furniture or drapes your window. Whenever the kitten does scratch your furniture or does something else that you disapprove of, scold the kitty in a very stern, but loving manner. Give the kitten a small piece of your hand, place it in her cage or in her room and tell her “no” in a firm voice. When she does anything that pleases you, reward her with a small treat, a pat on the head or any other form of praise.
As for how to train a kitten to use the litter box, you simply repeat the same process as you did for the puppy. You would start by teaching the kitten to hold the lid on the litter box, after which you would move on to moving it from room to room while rewarding her with a treat every time she uses the box. Once she learns to hold the lid on the litter box by herself, you can move on to putting a spray bottle underneath, making sure that the kitten doesn’t drink from it. This should be done regularly until the kitten no longer drinks from the bottle but keeps the spray bottle on the ground next to the litter box. Then, you can move on to training the kitten to go outside, where she can learn how to remain on a leash without running off.