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litter box training for orphans?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone! Help!

I'm raising two adorable orphaned kitties. They are 3.5-4 weeks old now, and have started to pee and poop on their own (without stimulation) so we've confined them to a small bathroom where they have a bed, toys, and a litter box. Bed and litter box are in opposite corners.

It has only been about 3 days since they've starting going on their own and we gave them a litter box, but they haven't caught on to using the litter box yet. They seem to want to go on the floor in the corners. We've been cleaning up after them with Nature's Miracle, and trying to keep an eye on them and when they start, we quickly move them to the litter box where they finish. We show them how to scratch the litter, etc. We also place them in after feeding and waking up (but that hasn't worked yet).

I know it has only been 3 days, but I'm worried that they don't have the instinct to go in there themselves.

So, I'm wondering, what are other people's experiences with this? How long has it taken other people for their orphaned kitties to catch on to this? Remember that these guys have no mama to teach them!

I'm thinking of buying that attractant litter. Should I do that, or just be patient? The litter box I'm using is a cake pan, so very low sides. I also just bought a kitten-sized litter box I thought I'd put in another corner.

THANKS for your input!!!

I'll try to upload some photos soon!

post #2 of 8

Welcome!!!!! We'd love to see pictures!

I don't want to do a "na-nee-na-nee" to you but my orphan baby used his litter box as soon as we put him in it. So I don't know if I'm going to be much help. We used the plastic lid of a disposable brownie pan since it was the only thing he could crawl in. I would just feed him and then patiently put him in his litter box. It really didn't take long for him to catch on. I am sure they will catch on soon.
post #3 of 8
Use a small pan as suggested above.

I took care of Orphaned kittens before and I found that if they poo on the floor, I take the poo and dump it into the kitty litter.

Make sure you clean up the poo spot off the floor really well. If the kitten smells it there again it is likely they will keep going there.

After you have cleaned it up, take the kitten/s and place them into the kitty litter where the poo has been moved. Do this several times a day and eventually they will learn! They will smell i there and that will end up being the bathroom spot. Worked for me.
post #4 of 8
For litter box training purposes, I keep my younger kittens (Up until about 5-6 weeks) confined to a dog crate with a large (Short) litter pan.

And when they get older, they roam around a hallway with a baby gate up (Which they can't jump until about 7-8 weeks, and we let a couple of our adult cats hang out with them, and use the litter box..and it does help teach them to use it when you let an older cat use it around them.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi, thanks for your input.
We are on the 4th day now and they still haven't gone in by themselves, but we put them in when it looks likey they are starting to go (often adjacent to the pan) and then they go.

We are still very concerned that they don't go in themselves. I have a small-medium sized dog crate so I might move them into that today and see how they do. I feel a little bad about it though since that will be downsizing them (they are free to roam the bathroom now....

Anyone else have any ideas? Is 4 days unheard of for kittens?

I'm also thinking of trying clean sand from the hardware store. Maybe the very fine grain will be more attractive. All the clays I've found have been clumping, except for one which has a very large grain. I used World's Best too, (corn based) but it clumps up and I got worried becuase our little girl was vomiting yesterday so I changed it to that large grain clay.

Any ideas would be helpful!!
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Success with both kittens!!
We started them with the litter box on Sunday, and by the following Saturday (two days ago) we've had no "inappropriate" elimination!

It took all week and was fairly stressful. We basically had to keep an eye on them almost all the time, and if they started to scrabble around on the floor with their paws, pick them up and put them in the box. We also put them in the box after waking up or eating (though they never go then - but I think it was a good reminder).

We still have them confined to the bathroom with two litter boxes (cake pans). Pretty soon we'll move them into the extra bedroom.

They're roughly 4.5-5 weeks old now. I'm starting the weaning with one of them who can now lap formula from a spoon.
post #7 of 8
How wonderful!! We used Dr Elsey's Kitten Attract litter for kittens. It is a fine grain so it doesn't get stuck in their paws and dense enough that they don't sink in it. Worked well.

I also would leave one 'item' in the litterbox each day so they would have the scent to follow. Short term, of course until they get consistant. Later, keeping the box scooped frequently will be more important.

They are so lucky to have you caring for them.
post #8 of 8
Litter training Monster was really easy. I thought it would take longer, so i started him pretty early.. i had a small box, (like when you buy a case of soup or something, with the really low sides) with litter, & i would stimulate him, and when he would start to go id put him down in the box, then when he was done id take his paws and scratch the litter. Then i didnt take him down RIGHT after eating one time, and he peed on my bed, thats how i knew he could go with out stimulation. After that i would put him in it right after waking up, eating, playing, or whenever i felt he might have to go. He caught on right away, no accidents at all from him. Weaning was really easy too. I would crush up kitten dry food & mix it with warm formula, and let him eat that from my finger or off the plate if he wanted to.. Then after a while, i just put less formula in it, and eventually stopped the formula all together, and started giving him wet food too.
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