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Advice on Training a Stray Kitten

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by catalan, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. catalan

    catalan PetForums Newbie

    Jun 26, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Hi there,

    We've just adopted a stray kitten we've called Alan (we think he looks like a boy). Alan appeared when quite young at our friends house with his (also stray) mother who has been going there for food for some time. As far as I can tell Alan is about 12 weeks old. He's been at our house for just over a day now and I've got a couple of questions that I thought perhaps this board could help with.

    He seems quite relaxed in his body language but insists on hiding in hard to get to places and hissing at anybody that gets too close to him. He's fine if you just sit a bit away from him quietly and get on with what you're doing, but nobody's managed to touch or pick him up yet because he just darts away and hides somewhere else.

    This makes litter training him pretty difficult. So far he's refused to go to the loo in the litter tray. From reading around this board I've gathered that it'd be good if I could place him in the litter tray after sleeping and eating, I can't get near him to do this. He's pooed twice in the same place on the carpet, it's not in a secluded spot or anything, just in the open on the carpet and I don't think he's had a pee yet as I can't smell it and I would imagine that I'd be able to. Each time he's pooed on the carpet I've picked it up and placed it in his litter tray, then covered it up with litter.

    Finally, when he's on his own (especially but not exclusively) he will almost continuously cry for long periods of time. I don't know if this is because he is hungry (I think I've been feeding him adequate amounts), because he needs to toilet and doesn't know where to go, because he misses his mother or just because he's lonely. We've been trying to keep him in a pretty confined area, because I've read it's better for them to become accustomed to a small area before opening up the whole (in my case 2 bedroomed) flat. However, the incessant crying makes me want to let him wander around and know there's someone else here.

    Sorry about the (probably) really long post, but I just wanted to know if I'm doing the right things and if not then what should I be doing?

    Thanks in advance,

    Alan's new dad!
  2. Summer1098

    Summer1098 PetForums Senior

    Jun 20, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Congrats on the new kitty! I'll do my best to help you with the few issues you are having with him.

    About not letting you touch him, he is obviously not used to humans. What you have to do is build up his confidence in you by slowly approaching him, talking to him calmly doing your best not to scare him. Try temptinghim with treats and toys. Hopefully it won't be long before he'll be eating out of your hand.

    Alan doesn't seem to be potty trained, and I advise you to start training him as soon as possible. Something you could try is putting a little sand into the litter tray so he can get the idea.

    About the crying, it's pretty normal for puppies and kittens to cry on the first few days. Just make sure Alan has plenty of toys to keep himself occupied when you are not present, and when you have time, try playing games with him (like dragging a toy along the ground for him to chase).

    Keep us updated with any progress you are making with Alan.
    Good luck
  3. Simba9952

    Simba9952 PetForums Member

    Apr 26, 2009
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    Hi catalan,

    I have previously posted some similar advice on this as I have experience in this area with a two year old my parents got after a family member died.

    Tom (the cat in question) used to hide behind sofa's and wouldn't let anyone touch him etc

    What I did was, laid on the floor, at his eye level, and tried to gain his confidence. It's not easy and takes time, but if you are standing or crouching you have a much bigger presence which can scare your cat. Bow your eyes if he stares at you and always defer to what he wants. This will build his trust in you and his own confidence. Once he starts to come out of his shell you must enforce strict (but fair) guidelines for his behaviour and you will end up with a well balanced cat. Remember, your the one earning the trust.
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