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When does it get messy?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
The litter of kittens turned 4 weeks old yesterday. I know the mother stimulates them to eliminate and eats/drinks it, but for how long? I have been waiting to find little pees and poops in their nursery area but nothing yet. I have been waiting to introduce the litterbox until I saw signs they were going on their own. Should I be putting the litterbox down so the mother can teach them? I need some advice please

post #2 of 6
As soon as the kittens started getting out of the basket on their own, I put a shallow litter pan close to the basket. Of course, they didn't exactly figure out what it was for. So then I put a small pan next to each of the regular litter boxes. I think the older cats pretty much taught the babies. The first time I know for sure that one of them used the litter for its intended purpose (i.e. not eating it), Cali was watching her mom use the litter box. As soon as Goldy finished, Cali hopped into her own little pan, dug around for a minute, then squatted down and peed. It was so cute. She was just about 4 weeks old at the time.

I would go ahead and set up litter pans for the kittens now. Don't wait until they've started peeing and pooping in inappropriate places. It's a lot harder to break bad habits than it is to train good habits. Also, use non-clumping litter. They do seem to think it's food before they finally figure out what it's really for.
post #3 of 6
Yeah I didn't have any messes, the babies have all been using the box since last Thursday or so, they were just under 4 weeks when they started.

Non clumping litter remember--all of mine have tried it multiple times--a couple still try it every once in a while--makes me wonder how it really tastes, since they've been eating real food since last Thursday as well.

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the help.

I'll get the litterbox in there right away. Lets hope they're as smart as your kittens all were.
post #5 of 6
When I hand raised orphaned kittens, they all started to go on their own somewhere between 3 and 3-1/2 weeks old. Definitely put out so non-clumping litter for them now. Their mom will use the box, and in doing so will teach the kittens where to go.

For a box, I used a shallow cardboard tray, but I didn't have adults using it. If the mom is using it and you don't want urine to soak thru, you could try a shallow plastic storage box that they can get in and out of easily, or fold up a towel by the side of it to use as a ramp into the box.
post #6 of 6
My little foster used her litter box for the first time last night. I have her in a 40 gallon plastic container. I have a low litter box with Last Night News litter in it, on one end and then from that edge I have towels and stuff so that the edge is even with the towels. When I went in for her last evening feed, about 11.00pm. there was a wet spot in it. Yeah......
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