I am fostering two baby kittens about 8-9 weeks for our local humane society. I have had them for about two weeks. I plan to adopt them once they have had their shots and are spayed. They are both female and will not use the litter box. I have been keeping them in the bathroom to confine their mess. They are small and if I let them roam the house I may not find their little pee spots.
I noticed that they are unrolling the toilet paper and will potty on it, so I tried putting some toilet paper in their box and they still won't touch it. The box is small so they can easily get in it. I really don't know what to do. I thought it was instinctual for cats to use a litter box.
By tiffcamchloe from Fredericksburg, VA
First things first. Were they inside or outside raised before you got them? If they were outside that might be why they won't use the box. If this is the case, try planting some catnip in their litter. That should attract them to the box. And the more familiar with being in the box they become the more apt they are to start using it.
If that's not the case and since they seem to like tp so much; try cleaning all the litter out of the box and lining it with nothing, but toilet paper. Do this until they get accustomed to using the box, then slowly add no more than a cup of litter at a time and mix it up with the toilet paper. Once you have gotten them used to having the litter in with the toilet paper and have been able to gradually add enough of the litter, start gradually not putting as much toilet paper in. In other words, gradually transition them over from toilet paper to litter.
In the meantime, take your toilet paper off the roll and keep it in an easily accessible (for you) box that they can't get into.
With patience and persistence I'm sure you'll have 2 kittens that will be life long parts of your family. (08/17/2009)
One thing I would do though. If you have a big house, try putting a litter box in several different areas of the house. Then as they get older gradually move the boxes closer together till they are all close to the area that you want to keep it. Then gradually take up one box at a time till you just have the one.
I had to do this with one kitten I had because invariably when she had to go she'd be at the opposite end of the house and couldn't find her way. So I bought 2 smaller size litter boxes and put one in the living room, one in the bedroom, and the larger one in the laundry room which is where I wanted it to end up. Once I did this I had no more accident spots. Then once she was about 3 months old I started moving the ones in the bedroom and the living room closer and closer (at 2 week intervals) to the laundry room till they were all 3 in there. Then over a period of a week I picked up the smaller 2 boxes. These I kept for "travel litter boxes" for whenever we went on a trip. (08/17/2009)
I took my kittens away from their feral mother when they were three or four weeks old. I had 5 total so you can imagine the chaos of caring for 5 kittens that are still incredibly dependent. I always kept the litter box nearby and as soon as they were done feeding, I put them in the litterbox and moved their feet around to show them what to do. (At first they were eating the litter, but I always kept an eye on them and removed it from their mouths.)
I also rubbed their back right above their tail with a damp washcloth. That is how the mama kitty stimulates them to use the potty. This seemed to work as they do not have any problems with it anymore. So try sticking them in the box as soon as they are done eating and "show" them what to do. I also like the idea of multiple boxes that you move closer together. I kept all those kitties for 3 months, had them fixed and found them loving homes. I even got to keep 2. (08/18/2009)
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