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PLEASE help - kitten and his horrible pooing habits

(23 Posts)
TheMoonInJune Sun 06-Oct-13 20:13:42

Oh I am so upset.

I have two twelve week old kittens. They won't use the litter tray. I assume they know what it is for as they poo and wee next to it which is bad enough but it is in the kitchen and easily mopped up. It isn't pleasant to come down to in the morning but hey.

I had someone come in to clean the carpets professionally last week and already I have had several weeing incidents in the corner of the lounge sad Then today, the back door was open (so they could have gone outside) the litter trays clean and readily available and one of them had done a huge, quite sloppy poo. I just started crying - stupid I know.

I have never had a cat do this before. Short of locking him in the kitchen I don't know what to do. I suppose I could put a litter tray in the corner they use but they don't use it anyway and I am worried that will reinforce the idea that that corner is their toilet? At a loss sad

Talkinpeace Sun 06-Oct-13 20:20:17

separate them. its stress that one owns the litter tray and the other does not

usualsuspect Sun 06-Oct-13 20:22:20

Get two litter trays.

I'm not a kitten expert I'm afraid, but yes two trays sounds like a good idea. How long have you had them?

in the meantime you can buy Simple Solution from Pets at Home which is a magic liquid which will get rid of any smell in the carpet or anywhere else. Honestly, it's amazing.

TheMoonInJune Sun 06-Oct-13 20:26:21

I have THREE litter trays!

Thanks for the Pets at Home suggestion.

usualsuspect Sun 06-Oct-13 20:27:11

Oh sorry, I assumed they were sharing one.

usualsuspect Sun 06-Oct-13 20:28:21

I would shut them in the kitchen over night,and when you go out.

TheMoonInJune Sun 06-Oct-13 20:29:27

I'll have to but today for example, I was in the house and the door to the garden was open - they could easily have gone outside. It just makes me want to scream. I don't understand why they are doing it?

Talkinpeace Sun 06-Oct-13 20:30:24

I'm afraid I mean separate the cats.
I had two kittens and put up with 11 months of pooing.
I took the one who was not pooing back to the rescue centre.
THe remaining one has never pooed in the house since (5 years)

the one I handed back was the bully. THe pooing was by the bullied.

ZebraOwl Sun 06-Oct-13 20:34:09

It takes serious deep-cleaning to get the smell that tells cats "this is your toilet" out of things: biological washing powder is the best stuff to use & there are also cleaning sprays available designed to deal with this. Normal commercial cleaners are v unlikely to have the right stuff in to tackle the problem.

The ideal, litter-tray wise, is one per cat in the household & then a spare. I only have one (very large) tray for my two (littermate) 18-month-old cats (got them at 8 weeks) but they are happy to literally share it, apparently well in touch with their inner Romans... Are they able to get in & out of the tray easily? Small kittens do not always cope well with big trays. Enclosed trays can be scary too, so if you have one it might be worth trying an open one - you can get them v cheaply. If you only have one tray atm, I'd suggest you invest in a second so they can have one each.

It is possible they don't like the type of litter you have in the trays, have you tried changing it? I use wood-pellet litter: it absorbs odours & breaks down to sawdust, basically.

If the poo was sloppy, the kitten responsible may have been caught short. Have you changed foods, or is this an ongoing issue? If the latter (& you're not already doing so) look into trying them on high quality foods because they're less likely to have the gubbins in that so often upsets feline tummies.

Can't blame you for feeling rather overwhelmed by this, but am sure someone on here will be able to help you find The Answer(s): there are heaps of v knowledgeable people around who are invariably v helpful when people are having problems with their cats smile

cozietoesie Sun 06-Oct-13 20:35:39

TheMoon

They're really too young to go outside so I wouldn't leave the door open. Have they received their full vaccination course?

(In fact, leaving the door open may be unsettling and stressing them if they're used to a smaller indoor space. Do you know their history?)

ZebraOwl Sun 06-Oct-13 20:36:09

Ha! In the time I was writing my reply (& removing blond!cat from sitting room for attempting to steal my brother's dinner, he is a chancer, that one) I see several people have suggested things & indeed you'd replied!

TheMoonInJune Sun 06-Oct-13 20:40:12

I've had them since birth - they are my cat's kittens. They are sweeties, the most beautiful friendly little cats but I have had to banish them outside when I'm at work during the day (VERY safe secure garden by the way!) as otherwise what would I come home to!?

I'll try them with Iams. They whinged as they preferred Sainsburys own weird kitties but they are going back to it if it stops the sloppy poo!

I love them to pieces, but ...

cozietoesie Sun 06-Oct-13 20:46:08

You shut kittens outside when you're at work?

Have they been vaccinated yet? They shouldn't be going out in any case until a couple of weeks after their second shots.

Nyborg Sun 06-Oct-13 20:47:10

I'd start by getting them checked by a vet. Once you know it isn't medical, you can start dealing with it as a behavioural/anxiety problem.

I agree that you need to clean with biological washing powder and/or Simple Solution to be sure you're getting all of the smell completely out.

Buy a Feliway plug-in and put it where they spend most time. I don't think they should be outdoors at this point but think about confining them to easily cleaned places when you're out - a porch, a bathroom, part of your kitchen?

Runny poo is not normal. I'd try them on a "complete" (this is crucial) biscuit and water for a few days and see if that firms up the poo.

Have they always been hopeless at going in the right spot? If so - make sure they know where they should be going - that will mean that when they use the litter tray, you don't clean it immediately as otherwise you'll confuse them.

You may need to dedicate a day or a weekend to reinforcing litter training. I'd do that by lifting them into the tray as soon as they walk away from any meal, if they make peeping noises, first thing in the morning, last thing at night, and if they ever look as though they're concentrating. Frankly, I'd lift them into the tray whenever the thought occurred to me for a few days and then I'd make an enormous fuss of them when they get it right.

Good luck. I know it's miserable to deal with, but worth a big effort for a short time to try to get it fixed.

TheMoonInJune Sun 06-Oct-13 20:53:35

Thanks. The poo isn't (sorry!) diarrhoea sloppy, exactly, but loose-ish. Like chocolate that has melted slightly but not entirely (hope no one is eating chocolate.)

I wouldn't normally have them outside, although in fairness the garden really is very enclosed, but I am at the end of my tether. The only place I can really shut them is the kitchen which isn't very big and it seems kinder really to let them play in the garden rather than spending all day in the kitchen with their own poo. (They do have access to the garden shed when outside with water, food and a basket.)

Mum came from a rescue centre and she is also funny about using the litter tray and I don't think she has "taught" the kittens very well. She will use it but sometimes she has been known to poo next to it. The thing is, they poo a lot more frequently than she does - if they are downstairs overnight it isn't unusual to come downstairs to three or four deposits.

I'm starting to think the only answer is laminate flooring!

Not not laminate flooring! That's really bad for wee. It ruins it. The best stuff is rubber flooring, vinyl flooring (you can get stuff that looks like laminate) or, if you're minted, Amtico, which is totally cat proof and fab.

JerseySpud Sun 06-Oct-13 22:10:16

Have you thought they may be stressed by being shut in the garden? Maybe put litter trays in separate rooms for now and keeping them separate.

JerseySpud Sun 06-Oct-13 22:11:26

When i got JerseyCat he wasn't litter trained and i had to get used to his signs that he was ready to pee or poo and then trained him myself. After a week he never had a problem again apart from being a thieving bugger most of the time and doesn't pee or poo outside of the tray now

TheMoonInJune Sun 06-Oct-13 22:24:22

Jersey - they are only put outside when I'm at work, the rest of the time they snuggle up on the couch or my bed. This morning for example when they did the poo on the carpet in the lounge they hadn't been outside at all.

Trying to read their signs! Thanks!

ZebraOwl Sun 06-Oct-13 22:55:27

I'd definitely suggest trying other litters to see if that encourages them to use the tray(s).

While I completely see your reasoning behind shutting the kittens out, I think you'd be better shutting them in. When mine were wee they were shut in the kitchen if they were Home Alone to ensure their safety & they were fine. Outside is potentially very dangerous for them - if a strange cat got in & either infected them with something horrible or attacked them (or both) you'd never forgive yourself, would you? Kittens can be terribly determined climbers, too, so there's a real risk of them managing to get out in a way that would seem impossible to do. (Unless you have a moat? I cannot express just how much I am now hoping you have a moat...)

While black!cat has always been fine with using the tray blond!cat needed a certain amount of training/help - all along the lines described above. You can help get them to poo by stroking their back legs in the way mummy cats do when they're training their young. (Mine are not great at burying their poo: the situation they lived in before coming to me didn't allow their mother to show them this. It also led to them thinking that The Toilet was a general area, not the tray itself. We have now cleared that one up, but I did a couple of times have to clear up puddles because blond!cat (then tinyblondkitten) decided to wee on the floor where the tray usually was whilst I was cleaning the tray during a litter-change...

It might be a good idea to try James Wellbeloved food for them (most petshops seem to stock it & you can order online, Zooplus tends to be cheapest place for most foods, I think) because it is hypoallergenic without being bank-breaking.

fidgitydaisy Thu 10-Oct-13 00:17:11

sounds like their mum is the problem - if she goes outside the tray so will they. You will need to train them yourself. They don't know they are supposed to use the tray.

When they are outside you don't know what they are eating. Hence the soft poo. I wouldn't be letting them out at all yet.

whattherainknows Thu 10-Oct-13 12:23:14

How many cats do you have? 3 trays may not be enough if you have 3 or 4 cats. The general rule of thumb is 1 litter tray per cat + 1. You can probably get away with one each if they also go outside.

Do the adult cats use the tray? Kittens learn from their parents, so if the adults don't use it the kittens will have no idea what a litter tray is or how to use it.

When they go outside of the tray, don't just throw away the poo. Put it in the litter tray. For pee, you could soak it up on a tissue and bury that in the tray. With this technique I have even litter trained my house rabbits.

You will also need to use an enzyme cleaner on the areas they have been doing their business, otherwise the smell will remain (you probably can't smell it but they can) and they'll continue to go there. This is the one I use (although one review says it can't be used on wool) www.amazon.co.uk/Simple-Solution-Stain-Odour-Remover/dp/B004GBZ1TO

Lastly, check they can get in/out of the trays easily. They are only small.

I hope some of the advice in this thread has worked. I now what a pain cleaning up after cats can be (we had a few accidents when my cats were shut in after one had surgery and they were missing the big outdoor litter box).

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