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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-20-2009, 03:04 AM Thread Starter
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Litter training

How do I get these 4 1/2 week old kittens to use the litter box? They are peeing on the carpet and one pooped in the same corner that they have been peeing in. I don't want them to think that its ok to go right there. Why is momma not teaching them where to go? Also, whenever they get near the litter they eat it! What can that do to them health-wise?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-20-2009, 12:46 PM
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Re: Litter training

There are a few things you can do.

First of all, clean the heck out of your carpets! There must be NO pee or poop smell remaining. The scent is a cue to the kittens to go in that area. If it smells, they will continue to use that spot. A very good article about cleaning urine and pet stains can be found here: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=11535 I highly recommend it!

Next, you might try changing litter, until you find a kind they aren't interested in eating. Next, make sure that there is an old poop or pee in the litter box you are trying to teach the kittens to use. Seeing/smelling the droppings can help give the kittens a clue that they are supposed to potty here.

Before we adopted Rusty, he'd been abandoned by his mother in a barn and so had gotten used to just going anywhere he pleased, since he'd never been taught. We had to resort to more extreme measures. We'd start with a clean litter box, and bring down an old dried soiled clump from the other cat's litter box and set it in there for him to smell. We set him in the litter box and let him watch us scratch around a bit. We also took his front paws and physically made him scratch at the litter himself. We were persistent, and made him stay in the litter box until he actually started scratching by himself! And suddenly he squatted and went pee Remember- plenty of praise and plenty of patience.

Also, I would recommend placing a litter box in the corner that is most commonly pooped/peed in.

Good luck!
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-20-2009, 03:01 PM
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Re: Litter training

I don't know what size area you have the kittens in (the whole house?) You may want to contain them in a smaller area (preferably without carpet). Think of kittens like potty training toddlers - they get busy they go in the most convenient spot - which may not be WAY over THERE at the litter pan! Make sure your little pan has very low sides to make it easy for them to get in and out of. Also putting some of their poop IN the litter box may lead them to the right idea. If they are eating the litter, be sure NOT to use a clumping litter, clay is best for kittens this age.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-20-2009, 06:48 PM
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Re: Litter training

When we rescued Maggie, she had no idea how to use a litter box (she was about 4 weeks old). We had an awful time with her peeing in the corner of whatever room we were keeping her in, and at some point, we read somewhere to lock her in a very confined place with her box. So we bought a dog kennel big enough for her (the boxer fit comfortably in it after Maggie was done with it), her cake pan with litter and her bed. We attached her bowls to the door and we left her in there for a while (3-4 days), taking her out to play several times a day. We kept her locked up in there at night for longer, just because we didn't want her to regress.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-20-2009, 09:14 PM
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Re: Litter training

You're expecting a lot out of kittens of their age. They won't be fairly consistent for a couple more weeks and may even still have accidents if a litter box isn't in sight until 3-4 months. I agree with confining them to a smaller area. Take note of how long after they eat they need to go, keep them confined until they go and then let them out for a romp.

You should be using regular clay litter for clumping litter! Some of them do tend to eat it, a little won't hurt as long as it's not clumping type.

One thing that may help with the training is Dr. Elsey's Kitten Attract litter, it is formulated to have a smell that attracts them to the box.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-20-2009, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Litter training

Thank you for all the advice

I guess I am stressing because if there ends up being a big mess around here my mother will get rid of all of them and will not care WHERE they go. I've got homes lined up but I know these kittens are not ready to be on their own yet. I'm just trying to keep them with momma for as long as possible. Although they are having little accidents momma is still licking their bottoms so maybe I'm jumping the gun with the litter training
When the time Dr. Elsey's Kitten Attract litter available in stores like petsmart?
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