Dear Porky and Buddy,
I am adopting a 12-week-old kitten.
She will be coming home soon to join me and I am wondering how I go about litter training her?
First of all thanks for adopting your new pet. We love to hear that.
Now to answer your question – all serious cat lovers know the top secret process for litter training a kitten and we are going to share it with you just because we appreciate your decision to adopt.
Here it is.
First, go get a litter pan. Any old thing with sides will do.
Put some litter in it – make sure you start out with whatever litter she is used to as cats don’t really like sudden changes.
How would you like it if someone suddenly lowered all the toilets in your house by one inch – same kind of problem.
Then, and this is important . . . DON’T DO ANYTHING!
Seriously, we have to laugh when we hear people talking about litter training a cat as though it is a huge accomplishment.
House training a dog IS a huge accomplishment. Not so much litter training.
Using litter, or any other available substance, like dirt or sand, to scratch in and then cover up their waste is instinctive for cats.
Tiny kittens that can barely walk yet will do it, although sometimes a really tiny kitten will need some prompting.
By the time it is eight weeks old all any cat needs is the litter itself.
There are sometimes other health related problems that affect litter use, but not because the cat doesn’t know how, and that’s a different question.
The more important issue with bringing a kitten home for the first time is to make sure that it has an opportunity to adjust to its new home without becoming too stressed or frightened.
The best way to do that is to set up a “safe room” where she can go when it first comes home, an enclosed area, like a spare bedroom or bathroom, where she can easily find her food, bed, toys, and, yes, her litter.
She should stay there and you should visit frequently until she seems comfortable enough to explore farther into the house.
For some kittens that could take a week – for others it will take 30 seconds.
But, that time to adjust can be critical to your future success with bonding with your new best friend, especially if he or she is a little shy.
So good luck and tell all of your friends that the Oswego County Humane Society has lots of handsome, elegant, interesting and “litter trained” cats available for adoption.
You can see them at www.oswegohumane.org
The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County.
Our office is at 110 W. Second St., Oswego, NY.
Phone: (315) 207-1070.
Email: [email protected]
Because People and Pets Are Good for Each Other.