A New Addition
I have just added a new addition to the Wonder/Adoring household. 12 week old Angelo is a Blue Bi colour Ragdoll and is very much planning to become the new boss cat of the house! (See The Gallery for the latest pictures of him.)
Being only 12 weeks old, he is partially litter trained but when moving into a new home it can become very confusing for a young kitten. Litter training kittens can be hard work and does require patience. Accidents are extremely likely to happen but with time should become less frequent and eventually stop altogether.
Ideally, you should have everything set up for when you arrive home. Having the right toilet training supplies will increase our chances of success.
Kitten Toilet Training Supplies
- The Litter Tray – this should be relately large to give the kitten room to maneuver. Reemember the kitten will grow and Ragdolls can get pretty big in terms of domestic cats. If the tray is going to be used by more than one cat, then you may well want to consider getting a newer large tray. I have the Catit Jumbo Litter Tray. It is advanced in the world of cat trays with a flap and an odour control system. If you are worried about your kitten struggling to get in and out of a larer tray, you can easily make a wooden ramp to aid entrance and exit.
- The Scoop – keeping a clean litter tray is essential so you will need a scoop to remove any poo. I always have scented nappy bags to hand.
- The Litter – It’s a good idea to know what type of litter the kitten’s breeder used as they will be use to the smell of that litter. If they lined the tray with newspaper ensure that you do the same. This will act as a trigger to remind the kitten that this is where they do their business. If you already have a cat and the new kitten will be using the same tray, try and use a mix of litter to start off with. This shouldn’t discourage either feline from using the tray.
Where To Place The Litter Tray
The kittens litter tray should be placed in an area of the house that does not get a lot of traffic. The environment should be as quiet and private as possible. A cat should feel relaxed when they do their business and stress can lead to accidents. My cats litter tray is located in the corner of the conservatory. Its private and has the added bonus of having a stone floor. This makes sweeping excess litter and cleaning up anything else easy. A popular place however is a utlity room so you may want to consider placing a tray there.
Below is a tried and tested method for toilet training your kitten. This method should be started as soon as your arrive home with your kitten.
5 Steps To Litter Training A Kitten
- When your kitten arrives home in its carrier, take the kitten to the room where it will be spending the majority of its time. Open the carrier door and leave the kitten to come out in its own time. They are likely to be scared and disorientated. Ensure that the doors to the room are closed as too much open space can seem very daunting to a small kitten. Keep the environment as quiet as possible and free from children if possible. This may well be difficult as any children in the household will probably be extremely excited about the arrival of a new pet. However, it is best for the kitten so explain to any children why its important not to be too loud and scare the kitten.
- Once the kitten has emerged and has sniffed and explored, offer some food and water. It’s unlikely the kitten will take any but every kitten is different. Angelo didn’t leave a single scrap but then it was freshly cooked fish! His breeder was feeding him regular cat food so this was a real treat for him.
- Now place the kitten in a fresh litter tray. It’s highly likely the kitten will get straight back out, but hopefully the smell and feel of the litter will register with him.
- Every few hours place the kitten into the litter tray, as a gentle reminder that the tray is still there should they need to use it. Even if you have success with the kitten using the tray during the first few hours of being home, still continue with the step below.
- Keep an eye out for signs that your kitten might want to go to the toilet. Scratching, turning around in a small circle, squatting with their back into a corner are all signs that your cat might be able to go to the toilet. If you see this, quickly place the kitten into the litter tray.
Over the next day or so, continue to restrict the kitten to one or two rooms. If your house isn’t too large, you may even decide to let them have the run of the downstairs.
Accidents are probable as moving to a strange home without their mummy, brothers and sisters is a stressful and lonely time for them. If they do pee or worse poo somewhere they shouldn’t, simply show them what they have done and then take them to the litter tray. This will remind them where they should have gone to the toilet.
Always ensure that a litter tray is kept clean and fresh. Like humans, cats like to have a well-kept toilet area. Having a clean litter tray will always reduce the chances of the cat chosing to go to the toilet in another area of your house. My Marie, meows at the box when its dirty and refuses to go in it until its cleaned! Angelo, is less fussed – typical boy lol.
If inappropriate toileting continues for longer than a couple of weeks, you might consider going to your vets to ensure that everything is as it should be. You might also consider purchasing a Feliway Diffuser which is for calming stressed animals. I found this worked wonders for Toulouse.
Keep an eye out for my future post on how to settle a kitten into a household that already has a cat or cats in.
Sam Wonder x