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New kitten

November 3rd, 2003, 09:31 AM
Advice needed please. I recently acquired a stray kitten (3 mos old) I found in my back yard. I have 4 Mini Schnauzers as well. My vet did necessary bloodwork/shots to make sure it was healthy. It is. My experience is limited to dog training. I tried to find this kitten a home but my husband likes it. The dogs like her as well. I am the hold-out but gave in to the masses. We have an automated litter box that Katzen will use if I lock her in the utility room at night. She has a crate, water, and we've been feeding her near the litter box so she gets the "hang of it". I live in a 2 story home and it's designed so that "sectioning off" various rooms is almost impossible. My problem is that I have been finding "kitty mistakes". My males will mark on "kitty mistakes". I've been trying to train the way I've trained my show dogs, ie letting her out after a nap, after eating, after play, etc...
Can someone give me some advice as to how to get this kitten to use the litter box ALL the time? She does not get run of the house all night and I try to monitor her during the day. I am frustrated now to the point of giving her to our local "no kill" shelter. Any advice? Thank you.

Lucky Rescue
November 3rd, 2003, 09:57 AM
Litter box problems can be frustrating! Cats and kittens do not really need housetraining, in the way that dogs do and if they do not use their litterboxes, there is always a reason. We just have to figure out what it is!

First of all, do not feed her right next to her litter box. Cats are quite fastidious and do not like to eat where they eliminate if they have a choice.

You have a two story home and the kitten is loose during the day, correct? If you've had this kitten just a short time, I think she may well be in one part of the house when she has the "urge" and either cannot get to her litter box in time, or may not remember where it is.

She may also be afraid of the dogs, and choose to pee wherever she is, rather than pass them to get to her box. Four dogs, no matter how friendly, would be very intimidating to any cat of any age.

What I would do is keep this kitten confined to one room until she is using her box reliably. Also, if this kitten was a stray, I feel the automated litter box would be very frightening to her.

Try a plain litterbox (or two) for now with ordinary unscented clay litter in it ( you can switch to scoopable later.) You want to make it seem as much like the outdoors as possible. And of course, keep the boxes very clean!

By using these methods, I had whole litters of feral kittens and adult cats - who lived their whole lives outside - using the box unfailingly from day 1. Please don't give up on your kitty yet!

I hope this helps!