Most people believe that cats can’t be trained because cats don’t seem to respond to many of the methods used to train dogs. But cats do respond to training! In fact one of the first scientific studies highlighting the importance of reinforcement in animal behavior was done with cats.
Cats prefer to relieve themselves in a peaceful location without a lot of action or loud noises in the background. Place the litter box in an out of the way place like the laundry room, a second bathroom, or a screened porch for better training results.
Most cats forced into a particular posture that they do not like can become frightened and/ordefensive. Even confident cats won’t appreciated being forced into a particular position and tend look and act disgusted at the notion humans want them to do such a thing. If cats could speak, they’d more than likely respond with, “You have GOT to be kidding me!”
Cats aren’t being bad cats when then do unwanted behaviors. They are responding from instinct to a situation, a medical problem or something in the environment that is stressing them. Punishing a cat for these instinctual behaviors can result in increasing the cat’s anxiety and stress. This can escalate the behavior or cause new ones. Often cats become afraid of their people when punished since they associate the punishment with the punisher.
If the kitten was trained to use a litter box by her previous owner, use the same type of box and litter. A kitten who has been living outside may need dirt or sand in the litter box at first, as that is what she is accustomed to using. Gradually replace the dirt with more and more litter, until you have completely switched over. This method works for switching the litter for any cat.