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Kitten not using tray

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by Across97, Jan 21, 2020.


  1. Across97

    Across97 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi all,

    I know this thread has probably been posted a million times but each case is different.

    We got a female British shorthair kitten on Friday, she’s about 13 weeks. She’s settled in okay so far, formed a good bond with us all and is eating and drinking well, playing a lot and seems generally happy.

    Saturday/Sunday we were in all day with her and she used her litter tray really well. It’s quite a big one, with a lid and a flap. Flap was a bit heavy for her so we prompted it open and it’s stayed open ever since.

    Yesterday morning I came downstairs and she had messed on the sofa between my mum leaving the house and me coming downstairs (about 40 mins), cleaned it up, eliminated the smell best we could.

    Today she messed in the corner, about 5 inches away from her tray and it was quite wet so think she went a couple times.

    Does anyone have any ideas why she used her tray and seemed happy with it and now the complete opposite, don’t think she’s even been in it since Sunday.

    We’ve taken the lid off the tray and put it in the corner where she messed today so hopefully this might help but any other suggestions?

    She’s so playful and got such a nice nature, just seems out of character a bit.

    Thanks all :)
     
  2. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    Good move removing the lid. Now add a couple more open litter trays. :)

    Are you talking about pee or poop or both?

    How is her poop? (firm, loose, etc)
     
  3. Across97

    Across97 PetForums Newbie

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    Both poop and pee today, only poop yesterday. I’d say it’s fairly normally, fairly firm but not rock solid. I don’t think there’s any health concerns or anything, and she was hiding for a while after we’d cleaned it up so I think she knows what she’s done. It’s just trying to get her to correct it
     
  4. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    No no she doesn't know "what she's done". Cats avoid the litter box for a reason. What the reason is, often the human has to be super detectives to figure out :). They don't know it's "wrong" because to them, it isn't wrong. They have a reason for it.

    Hiding away indicates illness or pain usually, or stress, maybe she is just feeling overwhelmed. Is your home quiet or is there a lot going on? Is she being given time to herself or is she all the center of attention being the new family member and all?

    I am sure finding herself in a strange place with strange people is causing her stress, after all. She's lost her home and mum and litter mates all at once. That's a big deal.

    Often kittens don't know they have to go until it's too late to make it to the litter box. I know however that you've said she will go right next to the box so it is unlikely to be that.

    It's possible she doesn't like the litter you are using. Are you using a plain clay litter with no added perfumes? The litter should have no odor at all. Are you using the same litter she was using at the breeder?

    Perhaps she is having trouble getting into the box. How high are the sides? Add some very low sided litter boxes all around. At least one in every room, for now.

    When she pees on the floor sprinkle some litter over it, sweep it up and put it in the litter boxes, so the boxes smell like her.
     
    chillminx likes this.
  5. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    @Across97

    I agree with lorilu.

    Your kitten is probably hiding when you are cleaning up because she knows you are annoyed with her. She has no idea why you are annoyed. But your annoyance frightens her. She is only a baby still and she is suddenly alone in a strange place, without the comfort of her mum and litter mates.

    She could be soiling because she doesn't like something about the litter tray, (perhaps the type of litter) and she is showing you this by soiling right near the tray, so you can hopefully put things right for her.

    The reason she probably soiled the sofa could be because you left the flap on the tray. I always remove those flaps, they are a menace! Cats dislike being completely enclosed when they are at their toilet. At least they should be able to see out of the door of a covered tray. In the case of your kitten she will be better with an open tray (as you have now provided). But as lorilu mentioned, your kitten needs at least one more tray, preferably two more.

    If you are providing a non-clumping litter it is very difficult to keep the tray smelling clean, unless you empty out the lot every day, wash the trays and replace all the litter. If the trays do not smell clean to your kitten she will not want to use them.

    If you are providing wood pellet litter (which some breeders use, also Shelters use it as it is cheap) then it really needs a sieve tray. I have a Brit-pet sieve tray and also 6 ordinary trays - [I have 4 cats] and one of my cats prefers to use the sieve tray. The Brit-pet is the best of the sieve trays, though there are cheaper copies available,

    https://brit-pet.com/

    It is also possible the kitten has a urinary problem such as feline cystitis, which can be a stress-related illness. I would feed her wet food only to ensure she is getting enough fluids in her diet to flush her bladder through fully.

    If the soiling continues even with providing extra new trays and new type of litter, I would arrange for her to have a checkup with the vet.
     
    cheekyscrip likes this.
  6. Across97

    Across97 PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks both for you replies! We try not to make it clear we’re annoyed because I know cats don’t respond well to that sort of thing.

    She’s used the litter tray quite a few times today already so let’s hope she keeps that’s up. We repositioned it to the corner where she went yesterday and she likes that without the lid.

    We’re using catsan litter, but we’ll keep an eye on it in case it’s that she doesn’t like.

    But thanks for the advice and we’ll keep an eye on it and bear what’s you said in mind
     
    chillminx likes this.
  7. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    @Across97 - I'm pleased to hear she is using the tray today. :) It will be best to add at least one more tray, even if she doesn't use it now, she will want as she gets older because most adult cats like to pee and poo in separate trays (though they may vary which tray they use for which).
     
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  8. cheekyscrip

    cheekyscrip Pitchfork blaster

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    Thought the same... more litter tray...
    Cats are funny critters...mine used to like having company while pooping... waited till someone was in the toilet or was waking me up to go with him!
    Sometimes something might scare the cat during the poops and they are reluctant to go there again...
    Make sure the tray is clean and observe closely what your kitten likes...
     
    lorilu and chillminx like this.
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