How do kittens know where the litter box is?

Kittens will find the litter box. They migrate to a substance or surface which is suitable. As the interior of a human home has no such surface the litter box stands out for them. It is prominently the correct place to go to the toilet. And after they have used it for the first time it will smell of them and their pee and poop and so it will become even more obviously the right place to go to the toilet. That’s it. Just make sure the litter box is in a private but easily accessible place and all should be well. You may need to try different makes of litter but a kitten shouldn’t be fussy. Don’t declaw your kitten as she won’t use the litter tray and worse, much worse will befall you in your relationship with your kitten.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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3 Responses

  1. Cat's Meow says:

    When bringing home a new kitty, I always show them the litter box first by placing them inside the box. That way, during the exploration of my house, they will always be able to find their way back to it. So far after 40+ years, this has worked like a charm.

  2. M. E. King says:

    Disagree. With so many cats ending up in shelters for soiling issues it’s important to actively supervise young kittens and keep them in a confined area until they are habituated to using a litter box.
    Most kittens coming from shelter situations are removed from their mothers long before they should be.
    So while a kitten may be very easy to litter box train it shouldn’t be taken for granted.
    Since my cats were hand raised I found it a good idea in those first months to put a bit of soiled litter on top of the fresh.
    Kittens may also be obsessive about their litter pan and insist on helping you tidy it up. Never lose patience and chase them away and never leave a bag of litter open behind you while cleaning a pan. My little dirt bags would climb in and potty. 😉

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