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Published: Oct 28, 2011

Although most kittens will inherently look for soil-type surfaces for elimination, owners will still need to help their new addition adjust to using a litter box during their first few weeks of life. VCA Animal Hospitals reports that kittens between 30 and 36 days old will begin to leave their mothers in search of their own spot to eliminate, so by the time a new owner gets it, the feline should already have some independence in terms of going to the bathroom in the correct space.

To help it become familiar with its new home and its new pet supplies, VCA suggests keeping the feline in a small, confined area with an appropriately sized litter box. As long as it's able to get in and out of the litter box with ease, this short-lived confinement should be enough training to last its entire life.

Because cats naturally look for soil to eliminate, your kitten may seek out houseplants rather than its litter box if they are available, according to VCA. To prohibit this behavior, make sure to keep any plants with soil far out of reach of a new kitten, until it is fully litter-box trained. Once it's free to roam around, owners may want to bring the kitten to its litter box after it eats, drinks, plays or wakes up from a cat nap, as these tend to be times when they'll be more apt to go.