Cat litter box issues are nothing new, but getting a kitten (or any cat) to use a specific litter box can be impossible. However, there are a few things you can try. Here are the things I found that may work:
Since kittens use the closest to them, move their litter box to a separate area, such as a different room. That way, they won’t be able to get to it, and they’ll be left using their own litterbox.
One way to discourage this behavior is to put up a baby gate between your kitten and the older cat’s litter box. It’s not as fun when there’s a wall in the way that she has to jump over every time she needs to go to the bathroom, so she’ll pick her own litter box.
If the kitten tries to use an older cat’s litter box, you could try distracting them with a high-value treat. Then, move the kitten closer to their own litter box.
For advice on choosing the right litter box, follow our guide here.
Why Would a Kitten Use an Older Cat’s Litter Box?
Kittens frequently use the litter tray closest to them, which they can detect by scent. If they are wandering around and need to use a box, they may use the nearest one or do business on the floor if all the boxes are far away.
The kitten may prefer it if the litter box is new because new litter boxes smell good and fresh. My cats enjoy it when their cat litter is changed or when I thoroughly clean the litter tray.
Most cats don’t mind if another cat uses their litter box, but some do. My cat would pee in my bed when another cat was using their litter box. We corrected this behavior by dividing the house into two sections for each cat.
If the litter box is regularly cleaned, the adult cat probably won’t mind if a kitten uses it. We use a mix of litters (here are some great picks for humid environments).
An automatic litter box is a great option, but an expensive one. One of the best products in this category is the Litter Robot, a wi-fi, self-cleaning litter robot for cats.
While your adult cat probably won’t get mad for getting a kitten, it’s still recommended for both of them to have their own litter boxes.
The fact that they’re using a litter box is the most important. Their instinct will lead them to bury their poop in whatever litter box is around.
Can You Teach a Kitten To Use a Litter Box?
The cat should be able to use it as long as it is cleaned regularly. If your cat uses their litter box, you should be grateful. You can train a kitten to use a litter box, but it’s nearly impossible to train it to use a “specific” litter box. Still, there are a few things you can try.
You could use a high-value treat to reward the kitten every time they use their own litter box. This way, they will link the reward with using the litter box, which can promote this behavior in the future.
If the kitten tries to play in the litter box, distract it with something else before they start going for it. Then, please give them the treat to reward the pause.
For a kitten, you need a covered box with low entry. Then you can graduate to a Top Entry Litter Box. If you’re on a tight budget, you could make a high-walled cat box out of a big plastic bin.
If you’re thinking of punishment, keep in mind that yelling at them is likely to cause more mental or behavioral problems. You shouldn’t expect them not to use a specific box, but you may still reward them and hope they do it.
Some kittens only use the litter boxes on occasion. Because they are still young, they will learn as they grow. Kittens don’t stay focused for long, so if they leave their litterbox to explore, they may think they are far away and will do it anywhere.
How Many Litter Boxes per Cat?
Each floor should have one litter box in a secluded but not isolated location. Maintain at least one litter box per cat, plus one extra in a multi-cat household. That will be the most effective strategy to avoid territorial issues and accidents.
If you have numerous cats with problems, you should have multiple boxes spread out and distant from each other. When two boxes are put adjacent to one other, they count as one box.
Why is my older cat using the kitten’s litter box?
With cats, there is no such thing as “their” litter box. Every litter box is fair game. Cats don’t think about litterbox ownership, and it’s challenging to train them. If the cat utilizes another box, it may be because it smells nicer or is closer or simpler to get into.
Why do older cats stop using litter boxes?
Some older cats may have trouble getting into the litter box because of their age and possibly arthritis. The sides of the litter box could be too tall for the cat to use it. Try getting a box with lower walls, or get a plastic container and cut down the sides to one inch tall.
Although two kittens can share a litter box, it is usually preferable to have at least one litter box per cat. Everything should be fine if they are litter mates and don’t mind sharing a litter box. Try cleaning it at least once a day.