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Cat litter problem

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by Eviecat, Aug 31, 2016.


  1. Eviecat

    Eviecat PetForums Newbie

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    Hi all!
    I hope somebody will be able to advise me.
    After losing our 15 year old girl in February we decided that we were ready for another kitten.
    We got a 13 week old rescue kitten on Saturday-Evie. She is adorable and a bit crazy like all cats I suppose. The only issue is that she doesn't know how to bury her poo. That wouldn't be an issue except she keeps trying to bury it by scratching wall, floor and everything but the litter. In doing that she is stepping in her poo and then running around the house. She is currently using a regular sized litter tray.
    Thank you for reading my long post.
     
  2. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Hello @Eviecat and welcome :)

    Congrats on your new kitten :) I am afraid you will have to accept that not all cats bury their poo. Some bury it all the time, some bury it sometimes, some never bury it all. Two of my girls never bury their poo, but my other cats bury theirs. Never burying poo at all and scratching floor and walls is a habit kittens may acquire from copying their mum, if the mum did not bury her poo. Kittens learn litter tray behaviour from their mothers.

    Perhaps there was a history with the mum having litter trays not kept clean enough so she didn't want to get her paws soiled, hence the scratching the floor and walls. Or perhaps it goes back further than that, to your kitten's grandmother or her great g/mother etc etc. and is a habit that has been passed down fromm generation to generation. It does tend to happen this way. In the past I fostered a mum and her 4 kittens and mum did not bury poo and scratched the edges of the trays, walls etc The kittens all followed suit as they started using the tray, by copying her.

    Whatever the cause once a kitten has acquired the habit of not burying poo, and of scratching floor and walls there is nothing you can do to change their behaviour and to intervene is to risk putting them off using the litter tray and using the floor instead, giving you a far worse problem to solve.

    In your kitten's case I understand she is stepping in the poo whilst in the tray and transferrring it to your floors. Not pleasant and far more of a problem for you than not burying her poo and scratching surfaces. The fact her poo is sticking to her paws suggests it is rather loose ? If it was formed and firm it would be less likely to stick to paws when she stands on it.. What diet are you feeding her ? Same as the Rescue fed her? I would not feed her dry food as that could cause looseness.

    Young kittens are sometimes clumsy at their toilet because they lack the fine motor skills and judgement to place their feet carefully in the tray to avoid their poo. Fortunately they grow out of it by the time they are about 4 months old, and I have never known a kitten of more than 5 mths to step in their poo.

    You may find that providing XL litter trays helps. And a sand-like litter e.g. Cats Best Oko Plus, which is a clumping litter, popular with cats, economical to use and great at absorbing smells. Put a good depth in the trays e.g. 2.5 inches and scoop the poo as soon as its deposited if possible.

    Provide her with at least two trays, located in different parts of the house. If you want to reduce the scratching then move the trays away from the walls, though she is still likely to scratch the floors.
     
    Eviecat and moggie14 like this.
  3. Sherylina

    Sherylina PetForums Member

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    Great advice above.

    What you could also do is get a hooded litter tray and then she should only scratch the walls of the tray :)
     
    Eviecat likes this.
  4. Eviecat

    Eviecat PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you both for your replies. I hope that she soon learns how not to step into her poo. It will make life a lot easier. I will try your suggestions of trying bigger tray and when she is a bit bigger try her with the hooded one so she doesn't scratch the walls. I will try to change litter as well to the one that she had at the rescue-similar but bit different. I will do these changes gradually so I don't confuse her. She is on Royal Canin kitten dry fiod which is what she was on at the rescue centre. She refuses to eat any other food except dry.
    Her stepping into poo problem might have something to do with her not being with her mum since 3 weeks old. At the rescue they said that a farmer found her and was going to drown her but the rescue stepped in and hand reared her from 3 weeks old. So she didn't have mum to copy litter habits from. In the rescue she shared her home with 11 cats so litter use must have been a bit hectic,lol.
    I have adjusted her litter tray yesterday and took out bottom plastic sheet and put more litter in. No bowel movement yet but she did manage to successfully cover up her wee so I'm hopeful. I will keep making small changes if necessary and let you all know how she is getting on. Thanks again.
     
  5. Mar234k

    Mar234k PetForums Newbie

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    Did you ever fix this? I'm thinking I may have to not have my kitten any more over this.
     
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