Most cats who are provided with a clean, well-filled litter box will gravitate to it rather than use other surfaces in the home (with the possible exception of the soil in plant pots). You can help your kitten get the hang of using the box by doing the following:
- Be aware of the times your kitten is likely to need to use the box. These include after waking up, after eating, and whenever you see your cat sniffing around or squatting. At these times, gently scoop up your pet and carry her to the litter box to demonstrate the proper place to go.
- After your kitten uses the box, pet her and shower her with praise.
- Help your kitten associate pleasant experiences with using the box. Don't scold or say "no" to your cat, or give any necessary medications, when near the box.
Accidents are an almost inevitable part of the learning process. If your kitten makes a mess outside of the litter box, never scold or punish your pet for it. Instead, try to clear up your cat's confusion this way:
Pick up the mess with a paper towel, and place the paper towel in the litter box to indicate where it belongs. Holding your kitten, gently "scratch" her front paws in the litter. This will convey the idea of pawing the litter to bury droppings.
Continued on page 3: Troubleshooting Tips