My New Kitten Refuses to Use Liter Box

Updated on December 28, 2008
R.J. asks from Las Vegas, NV
15 answers

I had to beg my husband to allow us to get a new kitten considering we already have a cat. Well the kitten and I have bonded very well. He follows me around the house and is totally a lap cat. BUT the kitten does its business every night on my husbands blanket or anything that my husband has laying on the floor. There are times that I do catch it and put the kitten in the liter box but then it wants to go on the outside of the liter box and I just put him back in the box and eventually he will do his business. I've only had the kitten a couple of days and my husband is telling me to find it a new home. I really am attached to the kitten and my 17 month old is wonderful with the kitten. But, I have to agree with husband that it NEEDS to stop pee'ing on his belongings. Any and all advice will be greatly appreciated. I'm told the kitten is 7 weeks old but is very tiny. Thanks in advance!!

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So What Happened?

Well unfortunately the kitten is no longer with us. BUT I did find him a home that will give him lots of love and knows way more about potty training a kitten. I'm sad to see the kitten go but didn't want the kitten to get frustrated with me or feel like it wasn't loved at all. I recieved a photo today from the lady and he seems to be doing very well. Thank you everyone for all your advice. now I know for future reference if we decide to try again later on down the road. This time though we plan to get an older kitten who wasn't taken away from the mother so quickly.

More Answers

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D.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

When I first got my cats, I was told by the Rescue center to keep them in the bathroom for 4-5 days with items of EVERYONE in the house so that they would become used to the scent of their new family and adapt to their new potty.

I slept in the bathroom on the floor with them (I was afraid they'd get lonely), and when they went pee in their beds I changed the lining to more of my t-shirts and my roommate at the time, and put the kittens in the litter box. By day four they were ready to explore and we never had any issues with peeing on the floor or carpet.

My kittens were rescues from a breeder and were already traumitized extensively. Kittens shouldn't be seperated from their mothers until 6-9 weeks old, and this can cause seperation anxiety just like in kids.

Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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S.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi! I am a feline foster mom and have had this problem many times. First of all the new kitten should be confined to a small area (like the bathroom) unless you are watching and/or holding. Can you ask where you got the kitten, what brand of litter they were using. Cats are very perticular about their litter boxes. There are a lot of things that can cause a cat or kitten to stop using the box. The smell, the fact that the other cat uses it, if it isn't really clean, etc. How is your older cat taking to the kitten?

This is a tiny baby. If this baby is 7 weeks, it has only been using a box for a week or two. Just the change of coming to your house is a hard thing for a kitten this age.
If you want you can email me and I will give you my phone number so that we can talk. Babies take time and energy to train, no matter what kind they are. Also, buy a gallon bottle of Natures Miracal, you will need it.

Also, there is a lot of information on line.

[email protected]____.com

1 mom found this helpful
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K.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi, R..

First of all, I have to say, my husband and I are not cat people. We're dog people... But when we moved to California, the dogs stayed in Texas and cats came with us...

What does that tell you....

In October 2007, my husband found our little Angel, near a trash dumpster. Neither one of us knew what to do with her... I was told by a lady at my job that I shouldn't get attached, since Angel was probably only a day old, she would die.

Angel is an active 14 1/2 month old cat...

When it was time to train her to use the litter box, I did it after I feed her, her bottle. After she ate, I would put her in the litter box, and then take one of her paws and move it around in the litter. In a couple of weeks, she got the hang of it..

Personally, I think the kitten knows that your husband doesn't want it there, so thus it uses his stuff as a place to releave itself.... I'm sure if your husband was nicer, the kitten would be too.

Good luck.

K.

1 mom found this helpful
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G.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

We just got a new kitten as well (and already had 2 cats, a dot and a 4 year old). The first several weeks at night we would crate the kitten. We used our plastic dog carrier and had a small litter box inside, food and water. Since it is a smaller space, the kitten is more likely to use the litter then have the mess near them. We kept the kitten in our spare bedroom since there was a little meowing the first few nights. This gets her in the habit of using the box at night.
Good luck,
G.

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T.F.

answers from San Diego on

First thing. Have you taken the cat to the vet? If not do so. We also got a new kitten that went everywhere. I made it live in the bathroom for a week. It did not help. Yes it went while living there in the litter box, but when you it was out it went wherever it could and a lot of the time in front of us watching it.
The kitten got hurt playing with the older cat. My husband loves the animals that we have so much that on day one of the injury he insisted that I take it to the vet to get checked.
I took the kitten, it was fine just pulled something, and when they checked the temp it was 105. As it was the day before thanksgiving i left the kitten there for the weekend so that they could monitor it and give it meds. The temp came down and it went from having loose stools to normal stools and only a few a day instead of the amount that it was going. Turns out that the kitty has a sensitive tummy and the kitten food we were giving must have made its tummy upset or it had a bug and needed the meds.
Either way once the fever was down and the food changed it stopped going where ever it could. The kitty was just trying to show me that something was wrong. It never looked or acted sick, which was amazing considering the fever, but it needed meds and to be checked. It was trying to tell me by going everywhere.
T.

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M.G.

answers from San Diego on

You might want to try using Cat Attract brand litter. I don't know what they put in it, but it's irresistible to cats. It's very pricey, but my mother had a lot of success with using regular litter and then just sprinkling a bit of Cat Attract on the top of her litter pan after her cat started spite-peeing on my father's things.

The kitten may not like the brand of litter you're using. My older cat stopped peeing entirely when I tried to change brands and ended up giving herself urinary crystals, which resulted in lots of medication and me switching back to her regular litter. Maybe you should try a different brand as your "regular litter" and then a little Cat Attract to get him interested.

You need to make sure you spray any area he's peed in with an enzymatic urine cleaner from the pet store or he'll more than likely continue peeing on it, because even if we can't smell the urine when we clean it with regular cleaners, cats can still smell it and that will signal to the cat that "this is a good place to pee".

Also, it's ALWAYS a good idea to take cats to the vet if they toilet outside their litterboxes, because inappropriate elimination is very commonly a symptom of something else.

How old is the kitten? Cats who are taken from their mothers too early (younger than 8 weeks) tend to have a lot of inappropriate behaviors, like toileting outside litterboxes and suckling/nursing on clothing and things like that. A vet can help you learn to curb those behaviors if it's a result of the kitten's age.

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J.W.

answers from San Diego on

Cage your kitten at night. There is an ownership thing going on, the cat wants to mark him and claim him. Get the cat neutered right away. They can do it when they are 8 weeks old or a pound in weight. If you let a male cat start marking his territory there is a chance that he will continue. Get him to the vet!! Get a spray from the store to deter him and use it. Cage the cat if needed while you clean up and remove his targets. If you see him headed to a target, throw something that makes noise. I used a can with pennies taped inside to control my dogs. You can't get to them in time so that makes it easy.

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D.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

How is your husband responding to the kitten? Sounds like the kitten is seeing your husband as a threat and marking his territory (showing who's boss). We have our cat sleep in one of the bathrooms (where she can get to the litter box) with the door shut. Meanwhile, your husband needs to bond with the kitten as well. Good luck!

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G.M.

answers from Las Vegas on

Hi R.,
Box training kittens is really a fairly easy thing to do. Get a large box, not a shipping box, but something like a washer crate or the like. Cut it down so that you can lift things, cat, etc. over the side but tall enough so kitten can't get out. Put the litter box in one corner, her food, bed, etc. as far away on the other end of the box as you can. Leave her in that space for a day or two. Cuddle her, talk to her, hold and play with her, give her a toy or two to keep her occupied, but always put her back in this big box space. Be sure she's there at night time. Cat's won't eat or sleep where they poop, so she will learn that the litter box is for pee, not the bed, food space, etc.

We've done this with every cat we've ever owned, and it's never failed us. First couple of accidents, out comes the big box. Couple days later, no more pee anywhere in the house but the litter box.

Good luck!

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J.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

I am experiencing something similar but with a puppy! She perfers to do her business on my hubby's side of the bed, either on it or under the bed. But not on mine, by the way she is totally my dog, she likes hubby but she adores me. I think it has to do with marking their territory. Your kitty, like my pup, is super attached to you. So as a way to push your hubby away and claim you all to herself she does her business on his things. We seem to have broken pup of this habit for the most part. My hubby started giving her more attention and affection and I gave less. So now she is more attached to him, still prefers me but she is happy as a clam to be on 'daddys lap' and is not going potty on his stuff any more. Also, try keeping kitty confined to a small space with the litter box most of the day. Good luck and I will say this training cats is easier than dogs!!

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T.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Sorry R., I laughed my butt off, and still laughing about your letter... and I am sure your saying under your breath serves him right for not wanting the kitten.. its pay back time !!!! Don't give up yet, they have sprays you can use to help in training go to the pet sotre, or you will have to put it in the bathroom with the litter box, where ever you find the cat pee rub some of the litter on it put it back in the litter box. Is this a male cat, cause its harder to train a male than female and if its not neutered yet, or spayed do so as soon as its old enough, the sooner the better, specially in males so they won't spray in the house. Kittens & puppies can be a lot of work, like having a new born around, your hubby I can tell isn't happy about his items being pee pee on, Laughing sorry... oh man good luck

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E.N.

answers from San Diego on

Hi, we just got a kitten in Nov. We actually kept the kitten in one bedroom with its food and litter box, never let it out for about a week. We of course were always in the room playing and we would bring him out occasionally at night to snuggy. But we did this so the kitten would get familiar with where everything is at. I read that they learn how to use the box from there mom....well mom wasn't here! So i read you can place them in the box and use thier front paws to scrathc in the litter. Somehow it stimulates thier natural instincts. Try keeping the kitty in one area for 4-5 days. I know it's hard because they are so little. My husband actually slept in the room the box was in with him for a few nights, we just felt he was too little to sleep all alone. Take time out now to fix the problem, and your kitty will be good to go soon!

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A.G.

answers from Las Vegas on

I have been a cat owner for pretty much ALL of my life. And ALL of my cats have been 100% litter box trained. And....I hate to say this....I would NOT live with cats that weren't. So here is my advice.

1. Do you have friends who have cats that are litter box trained? Or a vet that keeps cats in the office (that are litter box trained)? Cats learn litter box stuff from other cats. And if your cat was rescued, and is ONLY 7 weeks, it probably didn't have enough time with mom to learn about the litter box. (BTW both of my cats were rescued, but I didn't get them until after 3 months old. During this time they were raised by a lady who had other litter box trained cats)

2. Although my cats are 100% litter box trained, I did go thru a 2 day period where my girl cat decided she didn't want to use her litter box (see story below). I talked to my vet about what to do and this is what she suggested. But UNSCENTED litter. Cats have a stroger scense of smell, so any perfume litter is REALLY offensive. If you buy the gravel, try the sand and vise versa.

3. My girl cat (who had NEVER had a problem with litter box) decided to STOP using her litter box for 2 days when I brought my newborn son home from the hospital. She decided my bed was her new bath room. She was obviously doing this on purpose. She always idd it in front of me. And my 5 year old cat was old enough to know better. And so this probably won't work for you....but I thought I would mention it anyway. After she did it, I picked her up by the scruff of her neck, yelled at her, and threw her in the garage (which she hates) for 2 hours or so. After doing that for 2 days, she learned. Your little kitten....probably doesn't know what she is "SUPPOSED" to do......but I thought I would mention this for future refferance.

4. Lastly, keep her in one room (as suggested below), with her food, litter box, water, and bed. Maybe being in such close proximatity to the litter box for a few days will help her get the idea.

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V.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hello R.. So sorry to hear you are going through this. I have no advice but wanted to let you know that I sympathize with you. My son rescued a very tiny kitten about a year or year and a half ago. We already had a male cat in the home, and he thought it would be a great idea to give him a friend to play with. The new kitten, a female, was a mistake. I love her dearly, but she pees on stuff all the time. She hasn't pooped anywhere, she knows enough to do that in the litter box, but she pees all over my son's stuff, as well as my daughter's stuff. (My daughter has always hated her but my son adores her). A few weeks ago my daughter said the kitten (Nina Simone) sat right on one of the curtains (they hang on the floor a bit from our french doors) and peed right in front of her! I thought I had it figured out for a while, because it stopped happening - it seemed she would do it when the litter box needed to be changed, and my son hadn't done it fast enough - but now I'm not so sure. She has also peed all over some baby stuff that a friend gave me, which I've heard is normal if baby stuff is used. Best of luck to you, I REALLY sympathize. I think this kitty must be a byproduct of tide or Gain because that's all I spend my money on anymore, plus ammonia to get the smell out.

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S.H.

answers from Honolulu on

It's interesting that the kitten only does this on your husband's things.

Or,maybe it's because you already have a cat, and the new kitten does not want to go in his/her little box. Perhaps get another litter box JUST for the kitten.

Maybe, put something of your husbands IN the litter box...

Or, keep your kitten in a certain room...with the litter box. And keep her there to acclimate her/train her to go IN the litter box.

Or, go to your pet store where you got the kitten and ask them.

Usually, cats have no problem going in a litter box... it's curious that your kitten does not, and instead goes on your husband's things.

Perhaps, as a kitten prior to your buying her, she was raised in a place where the kittens just went pee/poop anywhere and not in a littler box. So now this is her "habit."

You can either wait it out... and see. Or, take her back since it has only been a couple of days.

Here is a link on it:
http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=1+2137&aid=...

Perhaps do a Google search on training kittens to use a litter box as well?
Good luck,
Susan

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