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Weaning and litter training kitties...

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I have put a small litter tray in their area and so far all they do is play in there and try and eat the little bits of litter! Pixie is no good as she refuses to use the litter tray herself unless absolutely desperate, she goes outside, so wont be teaching them anything! They are 4 weeks old on Monday and will be going to their new homes at about 8-10 weeks. I do keep encouraging them to go in there, as I do see them burrow and scrape the carpet etc... but I haven't seen them actually do it in the tray at all yet - little ginger kit did it just outside the tray this morning after about 5 mins of me constantly putting her in there! Any tips would be gratefully received. Also we're worried about one of them choking or something with them putting the litter into their mouths - it's not the clumping kind but I don't think paper based either - is this dangerous for them? Should we move it out the way for a bit?

Also about weaning, I have tried tempting them, but they just sniff the food and walk away! I have also put a bit on my finger to try and get them to lick it off but they don't and also have put a bit on their lips, but they're still really not interested! Anything else I could try? I am trying wet food, should I try some dry in milk instead?

Sorry so much for going on and on! Was just looking for a but of advice if poss! Thanks x
post #2 of 9
The last litter of kittens I raised, I took the weaning very slowly. I started with KMR and let them lap that up. Once they got the hang of that I slowly mixed in small amounts of canned food each day until they were eating entirely canned food. Then when they were 7-8 weeks old, I added some dry food in with their canned food. I kept the dry food available all the time so they could see mom eating it.
As for litter training, I kept a small litter box outside of their crate so that they couldn't eat it but I went every half hour or so and put them in it one at a time. One was slower than the other two and it took him until he was almost 8 weeks old before he caught on to the litter training but with consistancy the other two caught on in just a few days.
post #3 of 9
calm down there only 4 weeks old , some kittens wont even try food untill there 6 weeks old. and 8 weeks is a bit to young for them to leave mamma , maybe can you hold out untill there 12 weeks old???
with the litter tray , the litter tray unless there doing it all over the place i wouldnt worry to much about this either, when they look like there going to go potty place them in the litter box and take there front paws and do the scratching moction , they do catch on very quickly , if one does have an accident outside the box (poo) then place that in the box so there is their sent in there.
god im saying there a lot lol.
but at 4 weeks with the weending i really wouldnt push it on them just yet.
also am i mistaken but it mum allowed outside?
post #4 of 9
One thing that i did to get the kittens to GO in the litter box is to just PUT them in there and take a warm moist towel and try to get them to go in there. Just keep doing it. You def. wont see an SOLID poo in there for another couple of weeks, and they pee VERY little at a time.

Also, something my vet told me was to not use actual kitty litter because if they eat it, it can do alot of damage. I used carefresh bedding (used for guinea pigs and other small animals) its VERY safe and absorbant. Also, dont clean it obsessively because a odor is what will draw them to it to go... but relax, take some time.. theyre young
post #5 of 9
If they are only 4 weeks old and mom's still nursing them, they will not be interested in eating solid food for at least another week, maybe 2 (that's why its NOT a good thing to let them go at 6-8 weeks - should be closer to 10-12 weeks).

Try this - put a few tissues or a paper towel over the litter. And put a few paper towels around the litter box. When one of them uses the paper towel, take that "used" part and put it into the litter - kinda bury it a little. The smell will attract them to the box.

Shame mom won't use the pan - she's the best teacher!
post #6 of 9
As the others have pointed out its all still too early for weaning. But when time is right, I thought I'd let you know that found it difficult at first with kitten food made to a 'babyfood' consistency. However, what did get them going was a tiny bit of tuna (not the brine variety) on my fingers and they would lap that up. They also started off lapping up a KMR equivalent too. When they got the taste for food and their appetities grew I was able to reintroduce the kitten food mix...although on many occasions they thought it more fun to walk in it rather than eat it lol.

Re litter training, the guys above have given great advice.

Good luck. Don't expect miracles too quickly at this early stage They are still getting to grips with this world and mum cat is doing alot for them still in terms of feeding and litter habits.
post #7 of 9
i also had a thought, since the mamma wont use a litter box inside , have you tried useing some dirt in the litter box? a lot of strays i have taken in will not use litter , so iv used some dirt in there and they started useing it , and slowley i added litter to it untill there was only litter in the tray , it might work ??
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for your advice, I will definately take it all on board and also not stress so much at this stage! It's just friends whos cats have had kittens have said to start weaning at 3/4 weeks! I have put actuall dirt in the litter tray for mum, but she still wont use it!

Thanks guys and I will post more pics within the next few days - they are getting cuter by the day and doing something new all the time!
post #9 of 9
you know they eye drops viseen well if you put one drop in the litter they will start using it try it lol.
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