13 Week old kitten confused over toileting

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by moomoo10, Feb 13, 2018.


  1. moomoo10

    moomoo10 PetForums Member

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    We've been lucky enough to have 2 Snow-Tonk kittens a male and female. Unfortunately due to ignorance in our part, we took the kittens at 8 weeks old. They were semi toilet trained and next to no socialisation. We've worked hard at the socialisation and they're both happy loving kittens, but the male seems to be very confused about toileting.

    The female is fine and uses all the litters in the house, one upstairs, one in the porch off the front room and 2 in the kitchen. He's gone from being semi trained to peeing the house or NEXT to the littler. He'll poo next to the litter and if I see him I lift him in. He's never got the hang of burying his toilet, he scratches outside the litter tray.

    I read the post at the beginning about toileting which was really helpful, made me wonder if I've got the wrong litter, I use the wooden stuff the breeder used. I'm not sure how to get him back on the right track, I see him going to each of the litter trays downstairs and they are all clean. I cant understand why, if he's had a pee or poo in one, his scent is there, why he doesn't use it again? he's such a sweetheart (they both are), and I know when he wants to go as he starts scratching round but hes confused.

    i'd be grateful if you could help me help him.

    regards, Lilian
     
  2. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    @moomoo10,


    Hi, Lilian, as your little guy uses the trays sometimes, I don't think it's necessarily the case he's confused about the trays, more perhaps that he is not entirely comfortable with the litter tray arrangements.

    Peeing next to the tray is often a sign the cat is trying to tell us there is something they don't like. It could be the type of tray, the type of litter, the position of the tray (not enough privacy perhaps) or it could be that the cat doesn't want to use a tray that's already been used by the other cat.

    As far as burying litter tray deposits, it is normal for some cats not to bury them. Some cats bury their deposits sometimes, some cats never bury them, and some cats always bury them. It depends on their individual circumstances. Just because your female kitten always buries her deposits doesn't mean her brother will.

    Cats leave their faeces exposed to display to any strange cats passing by, that the territory is already occupied by a cat.

    Other times cats instinctively bury their faeces as a way of hiding their presence from predators or potential prey.

    So it may be that your little guy will always want to display his deposits as a way of announcing the territory is 'taken'.

    Scratching outside the tray after toiletting is also not unusual in some cats. It can be litter tray behaviour learned from the kitten's mother, or it could be because the kitten doesn't like the type of litter or the fact the tray has already been used by the other kitten.

    It is great you are providing 4 litter trays! If only everyone I talk to on this topic would understand just as you do, how many litter trays cats really need!

    You mention 'wood litter' - do you mean wood pellet litter? We use this at shelter because it is very cheap, but all the trays need to be emptied out every day, washed and refilled with new litter, so it is quite a time consuming business (at the shelter). It is really the only way to ensure the trays are clean.

    Wood pellet is non-clumping so it is difficult to tell which parts of the tray are soiled and which parts are clean. The whole tray can easily become contaminated with the smell of pee and poo after a couple of pees and a poo have been deposited. So emptying out the whole tray is the only way to be sure of providing clean litter.

    Alternatively wood pellet litter needs to be used with the correct Sieve Tray and then it is more economical and the tray stays cleaner. However the trays are not cheap (too expensive for us to buy at the shelter) and not all cats take to them. You could perhaps try a kitten tray if you wanted to stick with the wood pellets. For it to work properly as a system for him you would need to replace all 4 of the trays with sieve trays.

    https://www.brit-pet.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=SST-001

    However, my advice would be to stick with the trays you have for now, and try some different litters. Cats generally like a fine granular litter which clumps well. Plant based litters are ideal e.g Cats Best Oko Plus, Worlds Best, Super Benek, Maizy, Greenwoods. A major advantage of these is that poo deposits can be flushed down the loo.

    Some of these litters can be bought from Pets at Home if you wanted to try them.
    Cats Best and Worlds Best can also be bought from Amazon or from Zooplus UK.
    Super Benek and Greenwoods can be bought from Zooplus UK.
    Maizy can be bought from Pets Corner stores


    Change over one tray at a time and see how things go. If the new litter is not used, take a scoop of old wood pellet litter from one of the trays and mix it in with the new granular litter.

    If the tray gets used, then switch over each tray one by one until all 4 trays contain the new granular litter.

    Ensure the trays are placed separately so there are 4 distinct toilet areas. They also need to be placed in areas of low human traffic and away from machinery such as washing machines, dishwasher etc.
     
    #2 chillminx, Feb 13, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
  3. moomoo10

    moomoo10 PetForums Member

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    Thank you so much for your reply. it's a topic i'm completely ignorant about as all our previous cats were outdoor cats and it's been many years since any were kittens.

    I figured as we had 2 kittens they might not like sharing litters so thought I'd provide a few incase that's what the problem was. I do empty them regularly and even if they're totally clean he'll inspect the tray and pee beside it! So he knows where he's meant to go. I cant stand the thought of not getting this resolved and having a stinky house! i'd never heard of litter sieves so thanks for the link.

    I think in the first instance I need to try one of the other litters you mentioned and pray that's the answer. Apart from one tray they are all in private places.

    again thank you for your advice, Lilian ps I've downloaded a pic of them, Teddy Pom Pom is the white one.
    IMG-20180113-WA0003.jpg
     
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  4. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Aww, they are so cute! I love them. :)

    I think as he is inspecting the tray and then peeing beside it he can smell something he doesn't like in the tray. Cats have a sense of smell that is at least a hundred times more sensitive than a human's sense of smell, and a tray that smells clean to us may not smell clean enough for a cat to want to use it.

    If you have put out brand new litter in a clean washed tray and he still pees next to it, then perhaps it is the smell of the wood pellet litter itself he doesn't like. Definitely worth trying some other litters I think. You can get small bags from Pets@Home and Amazon to try out. If you decide to keep using it then it is best to buy in bulk from amazon or zooplus to keep costs down.

    Please don't worry, I am sure we will resolve this. It can be a matter of trying things out to see what works. :)
     
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