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kitten troubles - litterbox & noise

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
The subject: 6 week old male Siamese kitten - abandoned by Mama at 3 weeks old, adopted by surrogate Mama almost immediately. Had 1 littermate who had to be euthanised (poo & pee hole was one and the same). I do not have this kitten in my home, it is residing with the foster ome until I can pick him up (13 hour drive). The foster home has one large dog (gentle with cats), 2 adult humans, 1 adult male cat (good tempered, easy-going), 1 adult female (not so much).

Issues: Poops beside the litterbox, or under the desk on the carpet, pees anywhere in the house. Constantly making noise, unless he is eating. Not exactly a "pain nise", more of an attention-getting fevered screech.

Diet: canned food only. Was eating kitten milk, but because of runny poo, she stopped the milk. Had a few kibbles last week, but I am firmly against kibble, so she stopped feeding it to him, canned only. (I think Friskies or some garbage like that is what he is eating ow. We figured that since the foster home is in such a remote location and unable to acquire good brand of canned food, he'd be ok for a coule weeks until he gets here, where our cats have a 95% meat diet, including raw)

Routine: Foster parents work on shifts and are gone for 9 hours a day. During work time, kitten was free roaming the house but due to litterbox aversion, he has been locked in the bathroom alone with a ltterbox, food & water, toys for the duration of work hours. Not making any difference in litterbox habits, he still poops on the bath rug or whatever else is handy, rather than the box. As soon as they get home & let him out, he runs to the living room and poops or pees on the carpet there. No signs of another pet bullying the kitten. He seems to have abandonement issues. He is simply not GETTING how to use litterbox.

I have recommended that the foster mom take the kitten to the vet & have him checked AGAIN to rule out any medical issues, even though he was given a clean bill of health only 2 weeks ago. I have also recommended the foster Mom try every possible litterbox training technique I have ever heard of to encourage the kitten to use the box & establish good habits, but nothing is working.
This kitten is supposed to be in exchange for services I am providing the rescue group, but if he has medical issues that will require hefty vet bills, or even, recomended euthanasia, we don't want him.

What are your tips/advice for litterbox training a kitten who has already established bad habits?
What are your concerns/theories regarding the screeching?
What are your suggestions for the noise?

Thank you very much in advance.
I understand that the kitten should be checked/examined/tested by a DVM to rule out any medical problems, and that nobody here claims to be a vet, but you all have experience with cats & alot of you seem really understanding of cat behaviour, so I am hoping for any suggestions/advice while we wait for the vet appointment.
post #2 of 11
Poor little guy; it sounds as if he's had a rough start in life.

I don't know if it's available in your foster's area, but I know some people swear by Dr. Elsey's Cat Attract cat litter. Just one more thing to try while you're waiting to hear from the vet. Good luck to you!
post #3 of 11
I would recommend the cat attract litter. Also, try to get the poop and place it in the litter box, so he associates with it. If he pee in a piece of cloth, put that in there too.
As far as the noise goes, if he is a true Siamese, they are very vocal, so you just need to get used to a talkative kitty. My Lucky is vocal like that, and I love it - it's almost as though she wants to have conversations with me, and.... who am I to not comply with it? . Scratching: get a nice scratch post or cat tree - rubbing catnip into it can make it more inviting.
post #4 of 11
Ok, I recommend the Cat or Kitten Attract litter,too. It's worked very well for me with cats that had litterbox problems. Even one where it was discovered she had giardia was more likely than not to use the box with this litter.

Confine the kitten to a small room or even a large, wire dog crate. If they use the bathroom they need to pick up the bath rug and any towels he can reach. Prevent the problem.

They need to clean every spot he's used for the bathroom with an enzyme based pet stain cleaner. They may have to get a black light to find the spots.
Do not use an ammonia based cleaner since this will attract the kitten back to that spot. Urine breaks down into ammonia among other chemicals, so an ammonia cleaned spot smells like urine to the kitten.

Siamese are talkers and some seem to talk just to hear themselves. I had a Siamese foster kitten years ago that was so chatty I called him 'Mouth'. His new family loved, loved his conversation skills. If you cant' handle a talker then don't get him. It wouldn't be fair to either of you.
post #5 of 11
Orphan kittens sometimes just don't "get it". I agree with the crate training---if the crate isn't big enough for him to have too many options, he should pick up on the litterbox training. Perhaps putting a puppy housetraining pad into the box would help him along. If he goes on the pad, they can try sprinkling a tiny bit of litter onto the pad, and increasing the amount of litter as they go.

I agree about the Siamese "talking". They're just plain noisy cats who screech to hear their own voices, so if you can't handle the noise, a Siamese might not be right for your household.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your responses, everyone!

She ended up shutting him in the bathroom with the litter box, his own food/water dishes, and some toys, for the days they were both gone to work, trying to show him the ONLY option was to use the box. It worked while he was in there.

He still babbles loudly to himself while he uses the box. He is now 6 months old, going in for his neuter & microchip in the next couple weeks, and has fitted himself snuggly into our little family. He is an amazing little cat. We ADORE him, babble and all. He chatters away no matter what is going on, VERY Siamese of him, but most especially during potty breaks.

He hasn't had one single accident outside the box since he arrived at 8 weeks old. I am happy to report!

You can see his profile under my cats.... here are some photos of him at 5 weeks old, and a more recent one at 6 months... look how grown up he is!

We named him "Cash".
post #7 of 11
Oh, my goodness, he is just adorable - and thank you for taking the chance on him - I'm sure he'll more than repay you in love! What a lovely happy ending
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Update: He is still very noisy when he uses the box, still no accidents whatsoever.

He went in this morning for his neuter & booster & rabies. I miss him already!
post #9 of 11
That's great news; it's always nice when these stories have happy endings. Thanks for the update!
post #10 of 11
What a cutie! Thank you for the update. May you have many, many wonderful years together.
post #11 of 11
It's a wonder the male cat hasn't tried to kill this kitten. That could still happen. The kitten needs to be in a home where he is separated from all other animals except one - preferably a home where another mother cat will accept it and where the humans will adore both mother and kitten to the same degree.

It can likely still be trained at this point but should be removed quickly before the habits set in. He's probably a little insecure and wanting to establish his territory but is feeling vulnerable and unsure about how to go about it.

Also, the canned milk may be too strong for him at his age. I would gradually dilute it with water so he doesn't get too fat. Most older cats don't tolerate milk anyway so at some point he may end up switching to water anyway.
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