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Kittens – Litter Training 5 – In their new homes

30 August, 2006

LitterTrays1

So here’s what I have to remember to do or tell kitten owners before they take their new kittens home:

1. Remember to fill the litter tray with both the fresh litter that the kitten is used to, and also add a little of the bag of “soiled” litter. That way the kitten doesn’t have to get used to new litter, and it can smell where it’s supposed to do its business.

2. When you get home, place the kitten in the litter tray and allow it to smell the litter. Scrabble its paws a little so it gets the message.

3. Do not locate the litter tray near the kitten’s food or drink – cats will not defaecate or pee near their litter trays.

4. Locate the litter tray somewhere where the kitten will have some privacy, e.g. not near a door where the neighbourhood cat can stare in. Cats like to poo & pee in private.

5. If you have more than one cat, the rule is one litter tray per cat, plus one. If you only have one cat, you might want to consider getting 2 litter trays because some cats will poo in one and pee in another.

6. If you live in a multi-story house, put litter trays on each floor – kittens are small and may not be able to get to a litter tray on time.

7. Whether you have a hooded or non-hooded tray is your choice, but if you do have a hooded tray, take out the charcoal filters which tend to obscure the air ducts and hence, the ventilation – cats do not like pooing in smelly trays.

8. Clean the litter tray frequently, at least once a day. If you are using a clumping litter, change the litter totally at least once a week.

9. Do not use air fresheners to try to take away the smell of the cat litter – the chemicals used in air fresheners may be poisonous to cats.

10. If the kitten makes a mistake, do not rub its nose in the mess. Cats do not generally like to soil their living environments. Put the mess in the tray and the kitten in the tray. Try putting the kitten in the tray after it has eaten as it may move its bowels then.

11. If you have a multi-cat household, messes may occur if the cats are stressed, so make sure there are enough litter trays so that the dominant bullying cat cannot monopolise all the litter trays at the same time.

12. To clean messes, use a biological detergent, and surgical spirit, or a good cat urine/poo remover.

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5 comments

  1. hii im gettin a new kitten soon… but it has really long nails n they do dig in to my skin. what can i do 2 stop this or help the situation? when i carry it i need an thick cardigan to stop it from hurting me so can i do anythingelse?


  2. Hi Sam,

    Healthy kittens’ claws are naturally sharp. If they weren’t sharp, I would be worried. They get less sharp with age. It is normal to have scratches from kittens until they learn not to scratch! Also young kittens do not have the muscular control to control their claws, so they tend to scratch more. But fear not – they soon master their claws as they grow older.

    If they are unusually aggressive, what you can do is when they scratch, you get up and leave them alone – that sends out the message that they are not going to get any attention with scratching.

    Another good tip is to scream loudly as though you are in pain. This will shock them into realising that they are hurting you – often kittens don’t realise they are hurting you because they are used to playing with brothers and sisters who are covered with thick fur. If they try to climb up your trousers or jeans, you must pick them up and put them on the ground and say “no” in a firm voice.

    When you play games with the kitten, don’t use your fingers as bait or get the kitten to pounce on your fingers – that is asking for trouble and encourages bad habits.

    If they are really aggressive, then it is possible to flick your finger on their paws, gently if they deliberately try to scratch. All my kittens soon learn not to use their claws – it takes them awhile, but they learn as they grow up.

    Please also have scratching posts and pads for the kitten – this will enable it to blunt its claws and shed the outer layers of its claws. It will also give it something to scratch!

    Also, you can clip the tips of their claws – you need to get a proper cat claw clipper for this, and be very very careful – only take off the tip. If you take off more you will cut into the blood vessel in the claw and cause a lot of pain and bleeding.

    Finally, I have seen little claw covers being sold for cats. I do not recommend them because they are not natural. But if the situation really becomes impossible, you might want to try them. If you’re lucky the kitten will let you get them on without too much scratching!

    Best wishes.


  3. I just got a new kitten that is litter trained, however i am having issues with it doing it’s buisness everywhere but the litter box. I have done evrythg but the part where i was supposed to add old “soil”…Please help!!

    Thanks,
    Shari


  4. nice post 🙂


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