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HELP semi feral kittens not using Box HELP

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Okay, how to get 9 wk old semi feral (can be handled but not
much enjoyment in the process of handling/touching) to use
a litter box? Have been pooing all over the place, even though I have
a garbage bag down flat with wooden litter pellets on top to dig in ...

have put the old poop and pee on it, and hoped they'd learn, but no luck. Still peeing on the foam covers of the bed (which I can throw away luckily.)

So, how do I learn them box manners, since I've no Mama cat to
demo it for me??!!

Kittens were rescued from under dumpster by a kitchen -- staff fed
by kitchen and therefore kits tolerate, but don't LIKE people. Hopeful
I can turn them round ... advice on this is also appreciated.

So far they dont' want to be held and one little guy shakes
to pieces when I touch him and hold him. The he starts to purr.
I think he's realized holding isn't so bad if he purrs...

they squirm to get down...(I think HE's gonna come round fastest
to petting though...) The other one is very independent.

And, is it too old for them to learn? Right now they desperately sit
and look out the window, tho they are so small they can barely scramble
up to the window sill...like I said, just a shade under 9 wks old.

So besides the poop training, what to do to get them to LIKE
me and TRUST me and others? Kennel cage upstairs, with my
old senior cats to watch (that's how my Miew Miew learned to be
such an outgoing kitty - when I got her she'd cower under covers, and
now, she NEVER goes under the covers anymore, LOL!! (Since my
babies all LOLL around above the covers...)
post #2 of 8
They don't understand what the wood pellets are for, since they are used to going in the dirt. Get some organic potting soil and put that in a box for them. Nothing but soil. They may lay in the box for a while, but they will figure out what it's for. Once they start using it, then you can start mixing your regular litter in with the dirt in stages until you are 100% converted to the litter.

They are definitely not too old to learn how to trust and love being spoiled. But it really will take patience and going on their schedule. They have been taught since birth to fear things that are bigger than they are, and it will take a while to build up that trust.
post #3 of 8
I agree about using potting soil. Pellets can be rough to some pawpads, such as on little tender feet, on feet of heavy cats, and declawed cats. Also, you might try feeding the kittens on their cushions - cats instinctively avoid soiling where they eat.
And when you touch them, try lightly grooming them with your fingertips, with small strokes (mimicking a mama-kitty licking them) behind the ears and on top the the back of their head and neck, and when they tolerate that, you can try lightly stroking under their chin and eventually their eyelids.
Bless you for taking them in and hurray for the restaurant staff for not simply calling animal control to haul them away.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks all. I put a radio on classical station on, during the day, switch it to NPR sometimes too! I let them out of the cage - it wasn't the right size bars and they were frantic to get out of it, I was worried heads would get caught.

Petting definitely, holding and handling. Want DOWN when i hold, and wont' stand much in the way of pets. Coming round to PLAY w/ string however. Moved my large 6 ft cat tree that ALL my cats have used, in to the room to provide some climbing and hidey spots... I think they'll enjoy. Getting
some Popeye's chicken soon.

My only worry, is going to have vet do a test for Feline Luke/Aids to see if they are eligible for fostering and getting into adoption vet program. This will be SOOO traumatic on them!! I am worried it will put them behind by weeks in socializing... (If the tests are neg. I don't have to pay for their care, just tame them, LOL cause they can get into vet adopt. program.)

At 8/9 wks of age, they weren't frightened of me all that much, just not
wanting to be held. I am thinking a kitten kennel cage in my living room, with the other cats around to observe would teach them quickly that
petting and loving were normal, and that there was nothing to fear in the daily noises of house.

Unfortunately, till box trained I don't want them running round loose in the house... also w/ my reisdent cats not sure they would treat the kits well, so a bit leary of letting them out till a) clean bill o health, and b) litter trained and c) not as afraid of house noise and
people and handling...

I am thinking this is a 2 wkk to 4 wk job. I am not qualified to do it, have not one shred of experience w/ ferals (but lots w/ strays and domestics!). I am soooo afraid, and I hope to god I don't mess up, please send me vibes and good thoughts for the kits - I have yet to name them.

Fearless and Valiant come to mind, they are just sooo cute when the sit up to attention!!
post #5 of 8
Everyone has to start somewhere. At least you know what they are - I had no idea that I had a "feral" on my hands when Ophelia came into our lives. You're two steps ahead - you know what they are and you have a support network to help you.

The biggest thing with ferals is to build up the trust on their time frame. If you haven't seen this yet, here is a comprehensive article about socializing ferals: http://straypetadvocacy.org/html/soc...feral_cat.html
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks all. See my post on kitten breakthrough! Both are doing MUCH better than expected. They NEVER scratched me from DAY ONE! They've been gentle and now, one is getting very bold and affectionate. I was to have to vet's but delaying to build up more trust and confidence. (I don't want to undo all the hard work I've done...)
post #7 of 8
well I didnt read thru every post but I think you need to confine them to a crate until they learn. I have taken 20 generations of inbred feral barn kittens and out them in a crate with a litterbox and they knew immediately where to go. I thin you may be giving them too much free space. I als think you should use dirt from outside as litter at first.
post #8 of 8
oh well I guess I should have read thru them all since my post doesn't really apply. hehe. nevermind
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