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Stray Kitten Refusing to Litter Train

July 25th, 2008, 06:49 PM
Hi, I hope someone has some suggestions.

My aunt found a kitten...very young..the vet thinks about 6 weeks old. My aunt... or we, are thinking of keeping it. The problem is that it seems to be refusing to be litter trained. It will use the box sometimes and other times will do its business in various locations in the house. My aunt even tried other litter and has more than one litter box in case the kitten has trouble finding it.

My aunt has never had an animal at the house she lives in..and she's lived in it for like 40 years. Before that she had pets but that was on a farm.

Any ideas? She took the kitten to the vet this past week after she found it as it had an eye infection. The kitten is on antibiotics and although the vet didn't do any specific testing, he thought it was in good health.

We have adopted oodles of strays over the years and never had one, no matter what age, have a problem litter training.

Any ideas?


July 25th, 2008, 07:47 PM
I think with a kitten that young, I would limit him to a smaller area, rather than giving him the run of the house. She should make a habit of putting him in the litterbox several times a day, so he gets the feel of the litter under his feet and even plays in there a bit. Just pop him in and leave him there, even if he gets right out again. Are the sides low enough for him to get over easily?
He'll get it in the end.

July 25th, 2008, 07:49 PM
Can you confine him/her in a smaller area - like one room - until it gets used to the litter box? If you are giving him/her free access to all of the house it is going to do what it is used to doing outside - going in different areas to hide from predators. They don't use the same area to defecate in the wild. Keep putting the kitten in the box/es until it is used to going in. Put, or leave, some feces in the box until the kitten associates that with where he/she is supposed to go. If the kitten is only six weeks old you really need to give it a chance. It shouldn't realistically be away from mom yet. When the kitten uses another area clean it very very well with something that does not have ammonia in it. Pet stores have good products for that.
It takes time. Don't expect an overnight miracle.

July 25th, 2008, 08:46 PM
Besides keeping kitten & litter box in one small room as previously advised, your aunt could take the stool from wherever he's gone and put it in the litter box so he might think he has already used it.

July 25th, 2008, 09:15 PM
I'm sort of forceful when it comes to training cats/kittens. I don't hurt them of course, but I just use a more hands on approach.

For all new kittens entering my house, they are 'quarantined' in a dog crate. They get food, water, towels to sleep on, a litter pan and some toys.

They learn fast. The bottom of the cage is hard and covered with newspaper, so there's nothing for them to dig into.

I teach them right upfront though. I take the kitten, make them stand in the litter box and takes their paws and show them how to dig. Never fails for me. 9/10 times they learn right then and there, and for the other 1/10 times they catch on a few minutes later.

July 25th, 2008, 09:22 PM
I'd suggest trying Dr. Elsey's Kitten Attract Litter (