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corn based litter problem?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
i brought home a new friend today. she is a 5 year old tabby and has been adjusting pretty well for the first day!
i read a bunch of forums and info on cat litter before i brought her home and settled on some corn based stuff... i'm worried that she will not use it though! i'm not sure if she really needs to go yet or not, but she keeps poking her head into the litter box every so often, doesnt go all the way in (maybe halfway) and walks away.
is this a bad sign? should i run out to the store and get some regular stuff that she is used to before an accident happens?

any advice would be appreciated! thanks!
post #2 of 11
Do you know what kind of litter she's been using? It couldn't hurt to get regular clay based litter, just in case.

I got a corn-based litter for my first kitten when she was about 2 months old. Unfortunately, at the time I didn't know anything about making changes gradually. I just cleaned out the litter box and dumped in the new stuff. Poor Shareena wouldn't touch it, even when I dropped her directly into the litter. She jumped out, turned around, and scraped her paws off on the edge of the pan. It was really kind of funny to watch, but in the end I had to go out to the dumpster and retrieve the old litter. Amazingly, she had held it for five hours without an accident!
post #3 of 11
I've been lucky and never had a finicky cat when it come to litter or boxes.

However, you are dealing with three distinct issues:

a) the stress of a new environment

b) maybe the cat's unfamiliarity with a covered box

c) the type of litter

I would probably leave the cover off the box until you have confirmed that the cat has gotten with the program in the new box. Beyond that, I would just continue taking the cat to the box every so often and, otherwise, just sit tight to see what happens.
post #4 of 11
It's most likely the cover. Cats as a rule don't like covered litterboxes, and this cat may never have experienced one. I'd stick to an open box.

You might lift her into the box once just to familiarize her with it.

She may not like the type of litter, but it's too early to tell. Some cats only go once or twice a day, and might hold it in when in an unfamiliar place.
post #5 of 11
My cats will go in any type of box and did when they came home from the shelter. But they were kittens. She is 5 and probably a little more set in her ways and changes need to be gradual.
At the shelter where I volunteer we get returned cats because the owners threw all these changes at them at once. I know you aren't like that but for some cats a little minor change is a very big deal.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
about the covered box.. she used to share a big covered box with another cat so i don't really think it's the problem.
i'm pretty sure they used just regular clumping... i'm considering buying some of that if she doesnt go by tomorrow.

but also... she hasn't been eating at all! it's been about 24 hours since i got her and she hasnt touched her dish. i got some of the leftover food her previous owner had and put it in the dish along with a little bit of this new (better) food that i'm trying to get her to eat.
she'll eat a treat here and there, i think she's had 3 or 4 treats, but won't eat her regular food, she's sniffed it a few times if i sit by it and get her to come to me. i even put a little bit of catnip in to try to attract her, but she won't eat it.
i bought some canned food for her too, but i don't think she was ever fed it, do you think she will be more likely to gobble that up?

as far as her relation to me, she seems to trust me pretty much, she comes when i call her, but hides under my bed when my roommate tries to introduce himself (i figure this is normal though). but she constantly comes up to rub against me and lick me, and slept in my bed with me last night...

i'm getting kinda worried.

update:
she used the litterbox, hurrah!

she kind of ate...barely, but it's a beginning. i had to hand feed her a few kibbles, and then i tried the canned food, but she would only eat it from the spoon i was using to scoop it out with. won't touch the bowl still, i even changed bowls cause i thought maybe she didnt like the plastic one (i was using an automatic with the timer off).
post #7 of 11
Honestly, I'd get whatever food she had been eating and just add samples of other foods along side, til you find out what she may like. Same deal with litter - whatever she was using, get it, and transition very slowly to a new type. She's dealing with a lot of changes, and I was told to keep any unnecessary changes to a minimum until they start feeling more at home.

You might try a few different boxes too - my girl can deal with a covered box, but I did find she liked an uncovered box more.

And, it's not the litter we like that counts, it's what they like! If you're not sure what she was using, I'd try either the old fashioned nonclumping clay litter, or nonscented clumping clay litter - supposedly most cats can deal with those types of litter.

That said, you might try Cat Attract litter if she still shows any box aversion. It worked great for my boy who is picky about litter.

And thank you for taking an 'older' cat - mine were four when they were adopted, and had been passed up for kittens. I swear they know they're now in a forever home, and honestly seem pretty darn grateful at times - well, not when they're waking me at 3:30 am to play!

PS - have you taken her in to a vet for a check-up? Lots of vets offer a free 'new kitten' check no matter the age of the pet - the concept is, of course, you'd continue to use that vet after the freebie.
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by clearframes View Post
i brought home a new friend today. she is a 5 year old tabby and has been adjusting pretty well for the first day!
i read a bunch of forums and info on cat litter before i brought her home and settled on some corn based stuff... i'm worried that she will not use it though! i'm not sure if she really needs to go yet or not, but she keeps poking her head into the litter box every so often, doesnt go all the way in (maybe halfway) and walks away.
is this a bad sign? should i run out to the store and get some regular stuff that she is used to before an accident happens?

any advice would be appreciated! thanks!
Hi and congrats on your new baby! I would contact whoever you got her from and ask them what kind of litter they were using and what food they were feeding her and continue with that for now.

When it comes to food and litter cats can be *extremely* finicky to say the least, I know mine are.

When changing litter the best thing is to add a couple of inches or so of the new litter on top of the old and to increase the quantity of the new gradually until they get used to it.

I use Nature's Miracle litter myself, it's also corn based. I really love it because, it has very little dust, is flushable and is 100% natural. So when my cats clean themselves I'm not worried they might ingest some harmful clay.

It's the same with food. You have to change them over very gradually, so that their system gets used to the new food. For example, if she was used to eating dry food, she may not take to canned food immediately. Here are some links with some very helpful information.

http://www.catinfo.org/index.htm#Tra...o_Canned_Food_

http://www.catinfo.org/commercialcan...E_CANNED_FOODS

http://www.littlebigcat.com/?action=...needcannedfood

There is quite a bit of information to cover in those articles, but it is definitely worth it.
post #9 of 11
Don't forget that when put in a new environment, they will often not eat as much and will "hold it" until they HAVE to go. She'll also pick up on your stress, so don't freak out too much. As she settles in, she'll start to eat more normally and use the box regularly.

I, too, would probably get some regular litter and mix it with the corn litter over a period of weeks, gradually increasing the amount of corn litter and decreasing the amount of regular litter.

Stephanie
post #10 of 11
Congratulations on your new cat!! I hope to see pics

If a cat isn't used to a certain type of litter, they might not use it right away. You typically have to slowly transition them to the new litter. It should have instructions for doing this on the bag of litter you want to use.

A lot of cats won't use covered boxes. It's the smell factor. It may smell ok to you but it stinks to them. They are just like people in that sense, lol. As for # of boxes, the general rule is to have 1 box per cat + 1 extra. So 2 boxes for 1 cat. It's just a starting point, you can decrease the # to see how they do (but make sure to be cleaning them 1-2 times a day). Right now my two cats share 1 box. They had two boxes but they would only use 1 (I guess they preferred the location of it more).

(The same thing is true for dry food. It has to be a slow transition from what they were eating to what you want to feed them).
post #11 of 11
I don't care for the corn litter. It makes the cat smell funny, sort of like Bourbon whisky. (And I know it is the littler, because the smell went away after I switched.)
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