1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Kitten litter training question

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Ben Lesser, Sep 30, 2009.

  1. I just got a new kitten (9 weeks old) yesterday, and have been in the process of getting her accustomed to her new environment. Everything is going great (except for the waking me up all night bit, but that was expected), except she's not using her litter.

    The kitten knows where it is, because I've been placing her in it regularly and showing her what it is. She seems to understand what it is for, but when she gets into it to do her thing, she just paws at the litter and makes holes and then meows.

    Online consultation has suggested that maybe it's because she doesn't like this brand of litter versus whatever they were using at the shelter, and that might very well be it, but I'm not in a position to go trying a dozen litters to see which one she takes to.

    Is this (wrong type of litter) likely the cause of the problem or does anyone have any other suggestions/experiences? Everything else is fine: she's eating and drinking water regularly, playing like mad, and then napping after she tuckers herself out.

    Oh, and no pics, no kitten, I suppose. :p

  2. Awww. Cute kitteh. Can you call the shelter and find out what kind of litter they use, so you won't have to try a bunch of different kinds?
  3. we had a similar thing with our kitten, and it was the kind of litter she didn't like. We had put the kind of gravel, stoney type litter in and she didn't seem to like it, we found out she preffered the wood pellet type litter. It also smells nicer that the gravel stuff.

    If she knows where the litter tray is then you shouln't have any problems in getting her to go there.
  4. That would be the obvious solution that I completely forgot about, haha.

    I have to return the cat carrier to them in a bit, so I will inquire then. :)
  5. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    Could be the litter. When my cat was a kitten, she didn't like the crystal type litters, but her sister did, and the sister didn't like the softer type litters but she did. We settled on the grey gravel kind and both were happy.
  6. Since posting this, she's used the litter now, so I'm feeling a bit better about the situation.
  7. I was going to suggest getting in the box yourself & demonstrating. They learn from mommy, & now you are mommy. ;)
    BTW, Scoop Away is great stuff- smells nice.

    Edit: What is kitteh's little name?
  8. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i was going to say to give her a little time, she'll get the picture.

    what i would do with all my cats that i got when they were little kittens, was i would put them in a big, open box with a little pile of litter in one corner, and a shirt of mine in the other. this would be just for a few days. kept messes controllable (let's face it, kittens don't excrete much, so it's not that big of a deal) and it gets them used to the surroundings and "the rules" (i.e. use the litter for pee, use the shirt for sleep).

    doesn't take long, as you've obviously found out :).

    cats have a biological imperative to do their thing - mainly keeping clean and using a box or somewhere out of the way to unload. it's not that we have to train them to do this, so much as we have to accomodate them. if they are not doing these things, that's a very sure sign something is wrong (they might be sick) - the biggest sign you'll get. cats don't show themselves feeling sick or hurt - they hide that stuff like their lives depended on it, because, in a way, they do, or at least did when they were in the wild. appearing weak was an invitation to be attacked by their peers.

    just waxing about cats :D.
  9. JT, any cat of yours woud naturally crap in the appropriate place out of fear of being BANNED. ;)
  10. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    heh. permabanned.

    i love dogs, but this is probably the biggest thing that stops me from having one now - the whole questionable waste disposal element. only time i deal with that with my cats is when i'm slacking on cleaning the boxes.
  11. Thanks, JT. This is actually my second kitten, but the first that is "mine" (the other one I got when I was still living at home, but she's my mom's cat, and that was almost 9 years ago now), so I had kind of forgotten how the whole kitten process went. I figured she would have used her box before then, so I was wondering if maybe the litter was wrong, just based on her pawing at it, but it seems like it's all good.
  12. :spit:

    We named her Chloe. :)
  13. BioDriver

    BioDriver A Cinderella story

    Aug 29, 2008
    Austin, TX
    My cat had the same problem as a kitten. After I found out which litter the shelter was using I started mixing it with the stuff that I was buying (since I had to drive 40 minutes to the only store that had the litter the shelter used) and eventually I started using more of the stuff I originally bought. Now she is using whatever I happen to find on sale without discrimination.
  14. A friend in the country has a cat named Chloe. I have an 8-yr-old girl w/the same name. :D She LOVES the kittehs.
    Back on litter/training- our 19-yr-old kitty(Loopy)was apparently a runt & didn't know how to clean herself when we first got her. She totally fouled her hindquarters the first couple of times she did #2, and after bathing her twice, she kept herself IMMACCULATE. She's let herself slip a bit the past couple of years, but I think in cat years she's about 150, so it's to be expected. She sure smells 150. :atoz:
  15. sarcastro83


    Jul 27, 2007
    Toronto, ON
    Over the summer we acquired (the girlfriend nagged until I caved) another kitten. We had the problem where she would whiz everywhere BUT her litter box. All it took was confining her to a small space (a small room, large closet, bathroom all work) with all of her worldly possessions. Everything. Her food and water, her toy, her litter box, her bed all stayed with her in our bathroom. She lived there without any access to the rest of the apartment for about five/six days. Out of her own sheer unwillingness to leak all over her things, she naturally began to gravitate toward the litter box until it finally occurred to her "Okay, this is where I'm supposed to do this..."

    There have been no troublesome couch/bed/pile of laundry pissings since.
  16. We use this litter called Feline Pine. Looks like rabbit food. It keeps the smell down real well and doesn't get spread around like the white kind. Also you can scoop out the turds and flush some litter along with it.
  17. I use Everclean unscented extra strength litter. It is like the holiest of all litters, Christ himself would have used it if he was a cat. OK maybe I exaggerate, but it is really the most amazing stuff as far as absorbing odors.

    Anyway, 99% of domestic cats retain the natural built-in instinct to want to do their business in a sand-like substance. They are descended from desert cats, and their ancestors would bury their waste because they evolved that instinct because the sanitation helped them live longer and also hid their stuff from predators or other rivals who might be able to track them via scent. Kittens develop litter instinct very early in age, usually the mother cat will help them along by putting them int the litter, licking their nether regions to stimulate pooing/peeing. If they were taken from their mother too early or if their mother wasn't attentive in this area, they might take a little longer to get the right idea.

    Of course, there will always be the small percentage of cats with defective instincts. And some that have some other kind of aversion to the litter. Sometimes it can be corrected, sometimes not. Just keep in mind that a cat's brain doesn't work like ours. Where we can conceive of using pee or poo as a weapon to annoy, or as an expression (albiet very antisocial) of displeasure, cat's don't use that kind of logic. A cat does not deliberately pee or poo someplace in order to get revenge or to express anger or discontentment. A cat MAY spontaneously pee or poo somewhere out of fear (or illness of course), but it's not because the cat desired to pee or poo.

    And of course, male cats often will develop the instinct to spray urine to mark their territory. Get them neutered early enough (before they hit puberty) and you can usually avoid this behavior.
  18. TallLankyBastyd


    Jan 31, 2007
    I always loved it when Fat Freddie's cat cr@pped in his shoe...

    ...that's all I got. Nothing really useful to add. Just annoying the cat thread like my cats annoy me.
  19. 'Think I'll just lay an egg'
  20. The kitten has been doing wonderfully. Litter box is a non-issue, and now she's spending her days running around the apartment and playing with everything. She's going to be a jumper, I can tell.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.