The story behind this “How to potty train a kitten fast” guide is a heartwarming one, but if you want to skip right to the tips, I won’t blame you!
We recently got a puppy as well, in case you’re more of a canine person!
Our Story Behind Tips on Litter Training a Kitten
A couple of days ago, my fiancé and I were blessed with the most adorable kitten. What’s more, it was completely unexpected.
Sometime in the late morning, we heard a knock on the door. My fiancé’s brother, who lives in the house next door, invited us to see this adorable kitten outside our shared front yard. As soon as we came out, the kitten looked towards us, jumped through the fence, jumped up a whole step and threw itself into my fiance’s hands. It was like something out of a movie and, having pondered over getting a cat for a while now, we knew we had to keep it.
After feeding it, we got a kitty litter from the attic, filled it up, and started figuring out how to toilet train a kitten.
How to Potty Train a Kitten: 6 First-Hand-Experience Tips
Tip #1: Show the Litter to the Kitten and Take it There From Time to Time.
Introducing your small, impressionable, yet completely inexperienced kitten to the litter is a good start, but not enough to teach it where it should do the number 1’s and 2’s. Your apartment, no matter how small, is an entirely new universe to this fluffy creature. Therefore, it’s unlikely it will instantly remember where what goes. To toilet train a kitten, whenever you’re going past the litter, take the kitty with you. Make sure to also take it there 10 minutes after every meal/drink, as that’s when kittens usually need to go.
Tip #2: No Bed Sharing the First Few Days.
Boy oh boy, did we make a mistake with that one. So, after being shown multiple times throughout the day where it should be going to the toilet, our little kitty won us over by peeing in there every single time. No pee-stained floors, beds, or sofas – it seemed like we’ve gotten ourselves a little genius! And as we were going to sleep, we left the little one on a sofa in the living room. Up until then, it seemed to us the answer to “How to litter train a 6-week old kitten?” had a simple answer – show it where the litter is a couple of times.
Around 3am, my fiancé wakes up and decides to go and see how the kitten is doing. It’s fast asleep on the sofa still, and everything seems just dandy. However, my fiancé wakes it up and it follows him into our bed. Cute, right?
Because the first thing this little monster does is – it poops and pees right on my side of the bed. The positive thing? Means I’m clearly the favorite. The negative one is, well, obvious.
Tip #3: Prepare to be Tough.
The following day, we went to a birthday party. The kitty was all good when we came back, but alas, our bed has suffered another round of peeing. That’s when we added a new entry to our list of tips to potty train a kitten.
And it wasn’t an easy one.
When we saw we’d be changing our sheets for the second time in 20 hours, we decided some consequences were in order. Mind you, they weren’t stark. All we did was take the kitten and put his head to the peed-on zone for a couple of seconds, then take it to the litter. Still, seeing it squirm around, this little ball the size of your hand, it’s not an easy thing… And neither is the next step you have to take if your kitten won’t litter train.
Tip #4: Have the Kitten Sleeping in a Separate Room for a Couple of Nights.
That night, we took its food, water, and litter, and moved it all to our bathroom. It was warm, we even set some towels so it has a soft place to sleep on, we left the light on, and went to our own bed.
Was it difficult imagining it all alone in there? Terribly so. For the first time in my life, I was happy to hear my fiancé snoring, since that meant I wouldn’t hear the kitty in case it starts meowing in sorrow.
The next morning, at 6am, the alarm rings and I jump out of the bed to see how the little one is doing. I find him asleep, food eaten, and no sign of it going to the toilet anywhere else but the litter. Whether our kitty potty training was entirely successful was left to be seen.
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Tip #5: Follow it Around as Best You Can.
Putting your kitten’s tiny nose to the sheets which have already been stained is the second-best way to ensure that it doesn’t repeat the offence. The very best thing to do is to stop it from happening in the first place. If you have the luxury of staying at home or having a kitten pop into your life when you’re on a four-day vacation (like I did), make sure you do two things.
One, get it a tiny bell. If it doesn’t sound too related to the concept of how to quickly potty train a kitten, I can promise you – it is. Because if the kitten is suddenly nowhere to be seen (and they do this all the time), how else will you figure out quickly enough where they went? That’s what we did, and that’s how I managed to catch the little monster twice before it repeated the offence of relieving itself in our bed. I picked it up, put it on the litter, and it immediately started doing the job, meaning it’s more than likely I was just in time.
Tip #6: Persist.
My list of kitten litter training tips ends on a simple enough thing – don’t give up too early. Litter training can take as many as 10 days with some of the more stubborn ones. And if you decide to let it sleep in the living room too soon, or stop doubting its every move, you could as well ruin much of the progress that has been made. My personal advice is – don’t stop doing all that until a whole day passes by, and you don’t see it make a single suspicious move. Then you can start small – for example, bring it into the living room, but not into your bed yet! Since our little one has been acting really well this entire day, today’s the day for us.
Kitten Potty Training Problems
Now, let’s go through some of the most common problems you might encounter while potty training, and offer solutions.
Your kitten isn’t interested in the litter at all.
You put it there, it jumps out. You do it again, the same thing. The solution? Patience, persistence, and constantly following the little thing to make sure you catch it as soon as it wants to do the deed. That first peeing or pooping is very important, so make sure you’re more stubborn than them.
Kitten is litter trained but pees on the floor.
One of the two reasons is probably behind this. Reason #1, you gave up on tough love too soon and your kitten wasn’t entirely potty trained. Reason #2, it may be traumatized by something. Whether it’s the past owners, your older cat, or a dog, it may be peeing out of fear, so make sure to pinpoint whether there’s anything your kitty might be frightened of.
Kitten keeps digging in the litter for way too long.
When this first happened during our kitten potty training, I immediately thought it was playing around. However, I soon figured out that’s not the case and I became super worried. It would take it a long time to start doing anything, and then it would be burying its thing for five whole minutes.
The issue? The litter has to be cleaned constantly – ideally, every day. If there’s more litter in it, maybe every two days. I saw the little one sniffing around frantically and figured out that, while it kept burying the current pee or poo, it also kept unearthing the previous ones. Then it’d take a sniff, think “Oh shoot! I didn’t do a proper job, you can still smell it!” and keep on digging, the poor thing. One litter cleaning later, the problem was solved.
How to Litter Train Kittens? The Short Version
The main conclusion I’ve come to is – kittens are actually pretty smart if you know how they work and what they need. So, in short, here’s what you need to do to litter train them fast:
- Give them a couple of days
- Be tough when you need to
- Keep an eye on them
- Make sure they’re not scared of anything
- Keep the litter clean.
Make sure all of these are ticked, and your kitty will likely be ready for bed in less than a week!
If this guide didn’t offer all the answers you came for, I hope this does.
Can you potty train a kitten?
Oh yes, and quite quickly, if you use the right methods.
Is it hard to toilet train cats?
Cats? A lot harder than kittens. While 4-6 week old kittens are very impressionable, cats already have formed habits. Therefore, potty training a grown cat will require more time.
At what age should kittens be potty trained?
You can start training them as early as three weeks old. Ours is somewhere around six weeks, and it only took us four days to (hopefully!) have it trained.
How long does it take to litter train a kitten?
Luckily, the average is only 1-2 days, and this How to potty train a kitten fast guide will likely ensure yours falls under the average, too. However, some might be more stubborn and end up needing 7-10 days.