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litter box, heat, and cat toy help, please

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I have a few questions that maybe people could help me with:

1) how can I get a former stray to start using a litter box? We wait til she has to go, and stick her in it, but she always jumps out and runs for the door. She’s great about not going in the house, but she hasn’t been fixed, and she’s nursing, so we’re nervous to let her out.

2) how can we tell if she’s in heat? She’s been much more vocal lately, and she’s been meowing to get out a lot more, and seems off. Are these good indicators? She was really calm and quiet before. Should we worry about her getting pregnant again so soon (she had the kittens two weeks ago). could she just be bored?

3) diy cat toys – any tips for making effective ones? We want to play with her and give her exercise, but she hasn’t responded well to the things we’ve tried so far (an elastic rope with a toy mouse and feathers on the end, a tin foil ball (my old cat loved this), a mouse on it’s own.)

thanks for your help!
post #2 of 11
Your best bet is to use regular dirt in the litter box just sprinkle it in with the regular clay litter, not the scoopable. She will get the hint soon.

Good cat toys are empty spools of thread, balls of tin foil, the ring off the milk jug, plastic soda pop lids, empty toilet paper rolls I put duct tape on one end, sprinkle some catnip inside, tape up the other end, punch small holes in it and the cats have a ball.

I don't know the question about females in heat as I normally only get abandoned litters, but sandie will know. I do know that if there is a Tom nearby he could be drawing her back into heat by spraying outside your home. Please keep her inside for her safety.
post #3 of 11
A few ways to tell if your cats in heat are frequent vocalization, restlessness, rolling around, frequent rubbing her body on objects. I can't think of any more but that's what to look out for and it sounds like she might be back in heat again.
post #4 of 11
In addition to Hissy's suggestion, you can put her in just one room for a week or two making sure the kittens and litter box is near by.
With going into heat, females that are nursing can go into heat at anytime. I have seen cats who become pregnant while still nursing thier litter. It is best that you keep her inside until she is spayed.
There are also "silent" heats, so she could be in heat and you would never know it.
It's never a sure bet on what they like to play with. You can try balled up paper, the sparkley balls you find at a craft store, one of those balls or mice in a ring,or mine seem to like the large scrunchies used for pony tails
post #5 of 11
With the heat, we can always tell when Ophelia is there when she does the "sexy kitty wiggle dance." Basically wiggling around on the floor. This may or may not apply to yours, but that's the sure sign with Ophelia.

For toys, we get the sparkly pom-poms at Wal Mart in the crafts section, and the kitten love them. Those are $2 per dozen. They won't play with any other balls. Anything with a krinkly sound. Ophelia love twist ties, like from bread bags.

Hope this helps.
post #6 of 11
When we had a feral kitten, we were instructed to take his paw and scratch the litter with it to let him know what it was for--he got the hint immediately. I'm not sure if that'd work with an adult?

EDIT: We found him when he was REALLY tiny--small enough to sit on the toe of my shoe, fit in a pocket, etc.--so there was the possibility that no one had shown him what to do before.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
thanks everyone...

i tried out the dirt thing...she is still avoiding it, but as she hasn't been out in a couple of days, i'm sure she'll learn soon. i'll try the scratch thing, she's a fairly young cat so maybe that woun't be a problem.

i think i'm going to have to go the catnip toy route, as i tried the sparkly pom poms, tin foil balls, etc. and she is interested for a second and then looks away. she does seem to like elastics, but we're a bit worried about her swallowing them.

she is very cranky now that she's quarrantined to the house...any tips for soothing her "heated" nerves?
post #8 of 11
Unfortunately, they haven't invented kitty Midol yet (as someone wondered about in a prior thread asking the same question)! You just have to wait the heat out.

Maybe she is too distracted with the new kittens and new environment to be real interested in playing. Just a thought...

I'm sure she will figure out the litterbox pretty soon. Cats are notoriously clean animals and generally like the concept of a litter box once they get used to it. I know this sounds gross, but have you considered following her when she goes outside and bringing back some of her waste to put in the litterbox? This may give her the hint of what that strange box with dirt in it is used for.
post #9 of 11
I am only a new mommy to my Milli, but I made her a box with holes in it she loves the game of in and out, rolls of empty toilet paper and a scratch board. Thing I learnt from this site are amazing. Thank you everyone.
Milli was a 2week old resue. I showe her how to use the kitty box.
Strange Milli uses the kitty box, and has not messed out of it as yet.
Never thought of foil, I got Milli a tennis ball, and a wind up mouse.
Hope to hear more.
Thank you
post #10 of 11
Give her her own litter box - she may not want to go where other cats have been and you should always have at least as many boxes as cats anyway.
post #11 of 11
This Thread Is 5 Years Old!!
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