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I need help with my kitten...

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I wasn't sure if this should've been posted here, but I need some advice on my kitten. We got him from the humane society yesterday, and he's been a real sweetheart to us. However, I believe that my cat is scared of the litter box. He does not go around it , and when I bring him to it he panics and tries to get away. Obviously he is not using it. The other side of the problem is that I'm fifteen, and I fear that if we don't get this problem sorted out soon then my parents are going to send him back to the humane society faster than a bat out of hell. And understand, I have no problem cleaning up after him, taking complete care of him; he's my kitten and I'm determined to be a good cat owner, and no matter what he does I love him. I just really need some help, because I don't want to lose him. Could yall offer some advice, please?
post #2 of 20
So he's not using the box for pee or poop? I'm going to ask you a bunch of questions, please try to answer all of them.

-You say its obvious he isn't using the box - so where are you finding his poop and pee?
- How old is he?
- Where is the box located?
- What things are near or next to the box?
- What's the approximate size of the box?
- What type of litter are you using? Brand? Style? (clumping, non-clumping etc) Scented or unscented?
- Has he ever never used the box?
- When you pick him up does he only panic as you approach the box? And how close to the box do you have to get before he panics?
post #3 of 20
Don't take this the wrong way, but you say your mum and dad will send him back if the problem doesn't get sorted?!.

Do they realise when they take on an animal that there are vet visits that have to be paid for e.g. shots, neutering, meds if the cat is sick.

Animals can get sick like humans at the end of the day
post #4 of 20
If you only got him yesterday then he must be scared and confused. He is in a strange place, strange people are trying to pick him up, he doesn't know where anything is and maybe he senses that he is doing something wrong and yet doesn't know what it is, only that people are cross with him. If he were mine I would start by leaving him somewhere quiet, ideally in the place where his litter box will be, like the bathroom or a spare bedroom, put a water bowl and food bowl in there, as far from the litter box as possible and leave him to get acclimatised. Give him a folded towel or a cushion for a bed. Believe me, he will use the litter box if he is not confused about where it is and he has time to get there. You should visit him regularly, get him used to the sound of your voice, and feed him at the same times each day. Once he is using the litter box regularly over two or three days, then you can gradually get him used to the rest of the house, but leave the door open and let him find it for himself, so he always knows the way back to 'his' base. When he is happy using the box then you can move his food to the kitchen or wherever you intend to feed him for the rest of his life! Take it gradually and you and he will be fine.
post #5 of 20
One more question for now:
- Have you ever actually seen him pee or poop? And if yes, where?
post #6 of 20
if he came home yesterday he's definitely scared and nervous, adn won't go to the box anyway for 24hr (at most). Make sure during the first stage his food, box and living space is limited to one room in the house he can get accostomed to. Do not baby him, do not drag him around, let him orient himself in his new home.

and good luck of course!
post #7 of 20
The reason I asked "where is he going" and "have you seen him go" is to make sure he's actually peeing and pooping. If you can't dind (smell) where he's going then he may be holding things in. He probably needs a small quiet room like a bathroom where he can live for a few days with food, water and litter. But answers to the questions will help eliminate other issues.
post #8 of 20
my kitten didnt go for 2 days when we first got her. i learnt a year later that she had never used a litter box before so was probably confused about where to go.

give it time, it might work itself out
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
-You say its obvious he isn't using the box - so where are you finding his poop and pee? He peed by the garbage can this morning, and pooped out side the bathroom door this morning.
- How old is he? Eleven months.
- Where is the box located? The backroom, it has the least traffic throughout the household.
- What things are near or next to the box? Two tables and a window.
- What's the approximate size of the box? Approximately, 1ft 1/4 inches by 1 ft 10 inches.
- What type of litter are you using? Brand? Style? (clumping, non-clumping etc) Scented or unscented? Step Fresh premium, it is lightly scented (I know cats have sharper senses though).
- Has he ever never used the box? Not sure.
- When you pick him up does he only panic as you approach the box? And how close to the box do you have to get before he panics? He also panics when we approach the cat bed (I think he is clustrophobic or something), but he has the whole house to choose where he want to sleep. And he starts panicking when we are within about two feet of the litter box.

And yes my father did see him poopinf outside the bathrrom door.

As far as space goes, we can't give him a private room, because we have none. There are four room with doors: The bathroom, my parent's room, my brother's room, and my room.There are four other rooms that have no doors disconnecting them from each other: Dining room, kitchen, Backroom, and the living room. His food and litter box are close but I still could move the food a little closer.

Also he just got fixed yesterday, and the shelter said he would be a little anxious, does anyone feel this may be the reason?

But that's all the information you asked for, do you see a solution?
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
I just wanted to add that I've decided to move his litter box closer to his favorite lounging area, which is pretty quiet aswell. It's also close to his food, but it still isn't too close.
post #11 of 20
Oh definitely if he just got fixed yesterday, he's still a bit off, personality wise. We're glad you're here and I hope we can help.

Think about it, if you've just been taken out of your home, sent to a hospital where they put you to sleep and operated on you, then whisked off to a new place you've never seen before with people you just met, I bet you'd be a little jumpy too!!

If there's any way you can confine him to one room for even a day or two, it should help him settle in. read this article, especially pg 3, to get some tips on making him feel at home!

Welcome to TCS!!!
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 
I want to thank yall for your advice, it's been really helpful.

He could probably hangout in my brother's room, he's out of town until Sunday, so he can't complain about it until he gets back. And hopefully he'll be a little more setteld in.

Thanks a million!
post #13 of 20
That explains a lot then!! Give him a couple of days and he's bound to get back to normality because with being neutered then going to a new house he's bound to be confused?!.
post #14 of 20
That sounds good. Let him chill out a bit on his own. I am sure he will adjust and be fine. Have fun with your new friend!
post #15 of 20
Also you may have the pan to far away for him to find. The best thing to do is go to the grocery store and buy those really cheap disposable cake pans made of aluminum foil? Set those up in the house all around, making a sort of trail to the two litter pans he will use all the time. If you got him from a shelter, he is used to being so close to the litter pan he has to eat next to it. Removing it so far away will only confuse him because he is used to cage space. He was vetted before you brought him home?
post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
I'm hoping that he was, but if not he's going to the vet tomorrow anyways (poor thing has a cold). And today, rather than picking him up and carrying him towards it, I was able to persuade him to walk towards it. There was a nice long 5-10 minute period where he stayed two feet away from it. But he walked into it, didn't use the litter box, just sat there. I hope that I accomplished something, but who knows?
post #17 of 20
Well that sounds like a nice step forward. Like someone said keep him in a small room, the bathroom would work well after your brother gets home if he is still a little shy. Also put lots of little cheapo litterboxes all over the house, this is a great idea.

Do you have any other pets? If you do that could be what is bothering him too.
post #18 of 20
OK thanks for answering all those questions. It's possible he needs litter box retraining - usually that's accomplished by putting him in as small a room as possible, like a bathroom, with food, water and litter and a comfy spot to sleep, and keeping him in there for a week. Most likely he will use the box when confined, and by keeping him in there for a week he re-trains by the habits formed through the consistant use of the box.

- You may want to try an unscented plain clay litter
- If he goes in the tub or sink place an inch of water in each to discourage him.
- If he still goes outside the box while in the bathroom he may need cage training - and that by confining him further it forces him to use the box.
- I would try and get his history. If he was found outdoors he may have lost his litter box habits and re-training will be necessary. *IF* that's what's needed its bot very difficult and usually works, provided you keep him confined long enough.
post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 
Officially, as of today, Zorro is house trained! Thank God; my kitten was worrying me!
post #20 of 20
May I just say that you are a very well spoken young lady and a mature pet owner! Welcome to the site! I just got my 1st kitten a few months ago and the site helped me a lot. Private message me if I can lend a hand! Good Luck with your new kitty!
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