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Feral kitten and litter box



 
 
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  #1  
Old August 29th 04, 07:54 PM
Priscilla Ballou
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Feral kitten and litter box

Folks,

I am crossposting this to health+behavior and rescue. I posted an
introduction about the feral kitten I'm suddenly responsible for on the
rescue group, but I now have a specific question that I would welcome
help with from either group. I will repost the introductory post at the
end.

My current issue is that the kitten feral, probably about 6 weeks old,
doesn't know what a litter box is for. I've put him down in it after
meals, but he doesn't do anything. Over night he left poop in one
corner of his cage and pee in another. Neither was in the litter box.

Is he not old enough to have good enough control yet to use the box? Or
what?

We're guessing he's six weeks old from a telephone conversation with a
vet. We're taking him in for a checkup and parasite treatment in a day
or three, depending on when there's an appointment available. His eyes
are open (and a beautiful deep blue), he's teething (and one can feel
the beginnings of his teeth when he closes his mouth on a finger or the
like -- like the end of my nose, heh heh), and he chomps down on canned
kitten food and sardines with vim and vigour when you put him next to
the plate, but he loses interest when the plate's just on the floor of
his cage with him. He's extremely friendly and seems almost desperate
for holding and attention. He purrs and cries, but does not suckle
inapropriately (i.e. I think he's fully weaned) and only occasionally
kneads. He can be held in one hand, but overflows the palm a bit. He's
still wobbly on his feet, and his head seems too big for his neck, but
he's very interested in exploring his surroundings and likes to play
with the edge of my nightgown or the sheet or my hands (I know -- I have
to train him out of that) or with actual soft toys. He's got a round
belly but is pretty boney otherwise. I think vet attention to parasites
will improve that.

He's a darling little guy, but I want to be able to leave for a
conference at the end of the week. My mother is coming down to sit my
older cats, and I've told her about the surprise kitten in the
guestroom, but I don't know about leaving if the kitten isn't using its
box. There's only so much one can/should ask from one's 80 year old
mother! ;-) (She is a cat person, though.)

Any suggestions?

Thanks!

Priscilla

Here's the original post:

This afternoon my stupid neighbors caught a feral kitten whose mother
would probably have come back and gotten it if they'd left it alone.
After it was caught, who knows if she would? And then they didn't want
the kitten! One family said "no" to their daughter who wanted it for a
pet and the other has a daughter who's allergic, so guess who's taking
care of the kitten?

On the upside, this is the most friendly feral kitten imaginable, and,
yes, we're sure he's feral. It's a small street, and no-one has a cat
with kittens. We're estimating its age at about 6 weeks. Its eyes are
open and deep blue, it's got teeth barely coming in, and it laps up wet
food now that it knows it's food. I had to put some on my finger and
then smush it on his face before he got it and waded into the dish (yes,
two forepaws firmly in the goop) and slurped some up. He loves to be
held and petted, so all those instructions in how to socialize a feral
can be tossed right out the window.

The first chance my friend Melissa and I will have to get him to a vet
for a check-up -- and probably worming and anti-flea treatment -- is
Wednesday evening. For the time being he's in the big cat cage in my
guest room with a towel-lined box, a pillow-case covered hot water
bottle, a dish of food and one of water, a kitten-sized litter pan, and
a stuffed animal (fox). I'll sleep in there with him to keep him
company -- in the room, not in the cage! There are limits to my
suckerdom. ;-) I'm keeping my three cats out of the room.

He's black and white, more a leotard than a tuxedo, as I described him
to someone this afternoon. White paws, splotches on chest & tummy, and
one funny mark on his mouth. In the sun you can see the tiger markings
under the black. Too cute for words. He fits into one hand and has
tiny claws like needles. He very occasionally hisses but frequently
cries if he's not getting petted or otherwise having attention paid to
him. Melissa was petting him and found his "sweet spot" under his left
ear. She had him totally blissed out. Wierdest feral I've met, but
then he's very young.

He seems quite healthy -- not emaciated, nice round tummy even before
discovering wet kitty food -- curious, interested, playful. One eye is
watering just a little bit, and I want to keep an eye on that, but aside
from fleas he seems in very good shape. And we think he's a he.

So far names being tried on are Sprocket, Freckle, Spock (he has pointy
ears), and Sunshine Junior.

If all goes well, he will become a part of Melissa's family, but even if
it doesn't work out we are both determined he will be going to a good
home. Heck, he's already socialized! ;-)
  #2  
Old August 29th 04, 08:00 PM
Cat Protector
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I would put the kitten in the litterbox and take his paw and dig a little in
litter. It is going to take time and patience and you may have to do this
several times until the kitten learns what the box is for.


"Priscilla Ballou" wrote in message
...
Folks,

I am crossposting this to health+behavior and rescue. I posted an
introduction about the feral kitten I'm suddenly responsible for on the
rescue group, but I now have a specific question that I would welcome
help with from either group. I will repost the introductory post at the
end.

My current issue is that the kitten feral, probably about 6 weeks old,
doesn't know what a litter box is for. I've put him down in it after
meals, but he doesn't do anything. Over night he left poop in one
corner of his cage and pee in another. Neither was in the litter box.

Is he not old enough to have good enough control yet to use the box? Or
what?

We're guessing he's six weeks old from a telephone conversation with a
vet. We're taking him in for a checkup and parasite treatment in a day
or three, depending on when there's an appointment available. His eyes
are open (and a beautiful deep blue), he's teething (and one can feel
the beginnings of his teeth when he closes his mouth on a finger or the
like -- like the end of my nose, heh heh), and he chomps down on canned
kitten food and sardines with vim and vigour when you put him next to
the plate, but he loses interest when the plate's just on the floor of
his cage with him. He's extremely friendly and seems almost desperate
for holding and attention. He purrs and cries, but does not suckle
inapropriately (i.e. I think he's fully weaned) and only occasionally
kneads. He can be held in one hand, but overflows the palm a bit. He's
still wobbly on his feet, and his head seems too big for his neck, but
he's very interested in exploring his surroundings and likes to play
with the edge of my nightgown or the sheet or my hands (I know -- I have
to train him out of that) or with actual soft toys. He's got a round
belly but is pretty boney otherwise. I think vet attention to parasites
will improve that.

He's a darling little guy, but I want to be able to leave for a
conference at the end of the week. My mother is coming down to sit my
older cats, and I've told her about the surprise kitten in the
guestroom, but I don't know about leaving if the kitten isn't using its
box. There's only so much one can/should ask from one's 80 year old
mother! ;-) (She is a cat person, though.)

Any suggestions?

Thanks!

Priscilla

Here's the original post:

This afternoon my stupid neighbors caught a feral kitten whose mother
would probably have come back and gotten it if they'd left it alone.
After it was caught, who knows if she would? And then they didn't want
the kitten! One family said "no" to their daughter who wanted it for a
pet and the other has a daughter who's allergic, so guess who's taking
care of the kitten?

On the upside, this is the most friendly feral kitten imaginable, and,
yes, we're sure he's feral. It's a small street, and no-one has a cat
with kittens. We're estimating its age at about 6 weeks. Its eyes are
open and deep blue, it's got teeth barely coming in, and it laps up wet
food now that it knows it's food. I had to put some on my finger and
then smush it on his face before he got it and waded into the dish (yes,
two forepaws firmly in the goop) and slurped some up. He loves to be
held and petted, so all those instructions in how to socialize a feral
can be tossed right out the window.

The first chance my friend Melissa and I will have to get him to a vet
for a check-up -- and probably worming and anti-flea treatment -- is
Wednesday evening. For the time being he's in the big cat cage in my
guest room with a towel-lined box, a pillow-case covered hot water
bottle, a dish of food and one of water, a kitten-sized litter pan, and
a stuffed animal (fox). I'll sleep in there with him to keep him
company -- in the room, not in the cage! There are limits to my
suckerdom. ;-) I'm keeping my three cats out of the room.

He's black and white, more a leotard than a tuxedo, as I described him
to someone this afternoon. White paws, splotches on chest & tummy, and
one funny mark on his mouth. In the sun you can see the tiger markings
under the black. Too cute for words. He fits into one hand and has
tiny claws like needles. He very occasionally hisses but frequently
cries if he's not getting petted or otherwise having attention paid to
him. Melissa was petting him and found his "sweet spot" under his left
ear. She had him totally blissed out. Wierdest feral I've met, but
then he's very young.

He seems quite healthy -- not emaciated, nice round tummy even before
discovering wet kitty food -- curious, interested, playful. One eye is
watering just a little bit, and I want to keep an eye on that, but aside
from fleas he seems in very good shape. And we think he's a he.

So far names being tried on are Sprocket, Freckle, Spock (he has pointy
ears), and Sunshine Junior.

If all goes well, he will become a part of Melissa's family, but even if
it doesn't work out we are both determined he will be going to a good
home. Heck, he's already socialized! ;-)



  #3  
Old August 29th 04, 08:00 PM
Cat Protector
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I would put the kitten in the litterbox and take his paw and dig a little in
litter. It is going to take time and patience and you may have to do this
several times until the kitten learns what the box is for.


"Priscilla Ballou" wrote in message
...
Folks,

I am crossposting this to health+behavior and rescue. I posted an
introduction about the feral kitten I'm suddenly responsible for on the
rescue group, but I now have a specific question that I would welcome
help with from either group. I will repost the introductory post at the
end.

My current issue is that the kitten feral, probably about 6 weeks old,
doesn't know what a litter box is for. I've put him down in it after
meals, but he doesn't do anything. Over night he left poop in one
corner of his cage and pee in another. Neither was in the litter box.

Is he not old enough to have good enough control yet to use the box? Or
what?

We're guessing he's six weeks old from a telephone conversation with a
vet. We're taking him in for a checkup and parasite treatment in a day
or three, depending on when there's an appointment available. His eyes
are open (and a beautiful deep blue), he's teething (and one can feel
the beginnings of his teeth when he closes his mouth on a finger or the
like -- like the end of my nose, heh heh), and he chomps down on canned
kitten food and sardines with vim and vigour when you put him next to
the plate, but he loses interest when the plate's just on the floor of
his cage with him. He's extremely friendly and seems almost desperate
for holding and attention. He purrs and cries, but does not suckle
inapropriately (i.e. I think he's fully weaned) and only occasionally
kneads. He can be held in one hand, but overflows the palm a bit. He's
still wobbly on his feet, and his head seems too big for his neck, but
he's very interested in exploring his surroundings and likes to play
with the edge of my nightgown or the sheet or my hands (I know -- I have
to train him out of that) or with actual soft toys. He's got a round
belly but is pretty boney otherwise. I think vet attention to parasites
will improve that.

He's a darling little guy, but I want to be able to leave for a
conference at the end of the week. My mother is coming down to sit my
older cats, and I've told her about the surprise kitten in the
guestroom, but I don't know about leaving if the kitten isn't using its
box. There's only so much one can/should ask from one's 80 year old
mother! ;-) (She is a cat person, though.)

Any suggestions?

Thanks!

Priscilla

Here's the original post:

This afternoon my stupid neighbors caught a feral kitten whose mother
would probably have come back and gotten it if they'd left it alone.
After it was caught, who knows if she would? And then they didn't want
the kitten! One family said "no" to their daughter who wanted it for a
pet and the other has a daughter who's allergic, so guess who's taking
care of the kitten?

On the upside, this is the most friendly feral kitten imaginable, and,
yes, we're sure he's feral. It's a small street, and no-one has a cat
with kittens. We're estimating its age at about 6 weeks. Its eyes are
open and deep blue, it's got teeth barely coming in, and it laps up wet
food now that it knows it's food. I had to put some on my finger and
then smush it on his face before he got it and waded into the dish (yes,
two forepaws firmly in the goop) and slurped some up. He loves to be
held and petted, so all those instructions in how to socialize a feral
can be tossed right out the window.

The first chance my friend Melissa and I will have to get him to a vet
for a check-up -- and probably worming and anti-flea treatment -- is
Wednesday evening. For the time being he's in the big cat cage in my
guest room with a towel-lined box, a pillow-case covered hot water
bottle, a dish of food and one of water, a kitten-sized litter pan, and
a stuffed animal (fox). I'll sleep in there with him to keep him
company -- in the room, not in the cage! There are limits to my
suckerdom. ;-) I'm keeping my three cats out of the room.

He's black and white, more a leotard than a tuxedo, as I described him
to someone this afternoon. White paws, splotches on chest & tummy, and
one funny mark on his mouth. In the sun you can see the tiger markings
under the black. Too cute for words. He fits into one hand and has
tiny claws like needles. He very occasionally hisses but frequently
cries if he's not getting petted or otherwise having attention paid to
him. Melissa was petting him and found his "sweet spot" under his left
ear. She had him totally blissed out. Wierdest feral I've met, but
then he's very young.

He seems quite healthy -- not emaciated, nice round tummy even before
discovering wet kitty food -- curious, interested, playful. One eye is
watering just a little bit, and I want to keep an eye on that, but aside
from fleas he seems in very good shape. And we think he's a he.

So far names being tried on are Sprocket, Freckle, Spock (he has pointy
ears), and Sunshine Junior.

If all goes well, he will become a part of Melissa's family, but even if
it doesn't work out we are both determined he will be going to a good
home. Heck, he's already socialized! ;-)



  #4  
Old August 29th 04, 08:48 PM
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Often cats that have lived exclusively outdoors all or most of their
lives have no idea what to do when presented with a litterbox with the
expectation that they pee/poop in it. They are used to going in dirt and
have no idea what litter is. Your best option, and one that I have used
many times successfully, is to put dirt from outside in the litterbox.
Putting one of the kittens poops in the box should help as well.
Gradually add litter to/remove dirt from the box until it is changed
over enough that you can dump the contents and use plain litter.

Megan



"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do
nothing."

-Edmund Burke

Learn The TRUTH About Declawing
http://www.stopdeclaw.com

Zuzu's Cats Photo Album:
http://www.PictureTrail.com/zuzu22

"Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one
elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and
splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then
providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision,
raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and
material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his
way."

- W.H. Murray


  #5  
Old August 29th 04, 08:48 PM
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Often cats that have lived exclusively outdoors all or most of their
lives have no idea what to do when presented with a litterbox with the
expectation that they pee/poop in it. They are used to going in dirt and
have no idea what litter is. Your best option, and one that I have used
many times successfully, is to put dirt from outside in the litterbox.
Putting one of the kittens poops in the box should help as well.
Gradually add litter to/remove dirt from the box until it is changed
over enough that you can dump the contents and use plain litter.

Megan



"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do
nothing."

-Edmund Burke

Learn The TRUTH About Declawing
http://www.stopdeclaw.com

Zuzu's Cats Photo Album:
http://www.PictureTrail.com/zuzu22

"Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one
elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and
splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then
providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision,
raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and
material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his
way."

- W.H. Murray


  #8  
Old August 29th 04, 09:34 PM
Cat Protector
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Well I think the OP said this kitten was about 6 weeks old so they may get
used to a litterbox without the dirt trick. I have to wonder where the
mother cat is though. 6 weeks seems kind of young to be taking this kitten
away from the mother.

wrote in message
...
Often cats that have lived exclusively outdoors all or most of their
lives have no idea what to do when presented with a litterbox with the
expectation that they pee/poop in it. They are used to going in dirt and
have no idea what litter is. Your best option, and one that I have used
many times successfully, is to put dirt from outside in the litterbox.
Putting one of the kittens poops in the box should help as well.
Gradually add litter to/remove dirt from the box until it is changed
over enough that you can dump the contents and use plain litter.

Megan



"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do
nothing."

-Edmund Burke

Learn The TRUTH About Declawing
http://www.stopdeclaw.com

Zuzu's Cats Photo Album:
http://www.PictureTrail.com/zuzu22

"Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one
elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and
splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then
providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision,
raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and
material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his
way."

- W.H. Murray




  #9  
Old August 29th 04, 09:34 PM
Cat Protector
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Well I think the OP said this kitten was about 6 weeks old so they may get
used to a litterbox without the dirt trick. I have to wonder where the
mother cat is though. 6 weeks seems kind of young to be taking this kitten
away from the mother.

wrote in message
...
Often cats that have lived exclusively outdoors all or most of their
lives have no idea what to do when presented with a litterbox with the
expectation that they pee/poop in it. They are used to going in dirt and
have no idea what litter is. Your best option, and one that I have used
many times successfully, is to put dirt from outside in the litterbox.
Putting one of the kittens poops in the box should help as well.
Gradually add litter to/remove dirt from the box until it is changed
over enough that you can dump the contents and use plain litter.

Megan



"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do
nothing."

-Edmund Burke

Learn The TRUTH About Declawing
http://www.stopdeclaw.com

Zuzu's Cats Photo Album:
http://www.PictureTrail.com/zuzu22

"Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one
elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and
splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then
providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision,
raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and
material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his
way."

- W.H. Murray




  #10  
Old August 29th 04, 09:59 PM
KellyH
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

"Cat Protector" wrote in message
news:[email protected]
Well I think the OP said this kitten was about 6 weeks old so they may get
used to a litterbox without the dirt trick. I have to wonder where the
mother cat is though. 6 weeks seems kind of young to be taking this kitten
away from the mother.


Go back and read her whole post again. She said what happened regarding the
mother. Her neighbor trapped the kitten and the mother is a neighborhood
stray/feral.

Even though 6 weeks is young to take a kitten away from his mother, if the
mother is indeed feral, it is better for the kitten to start becoming
socialized now. Which, it seems you are having much success at!

You may also want to try taking a damp cottonball to his behind after he
eats, stroking him gently with it. Then, put him right in the litterbox.
--
-Kelly
kelly at farringtons dot net
www.kelltek.com
Check out www.snittens.com


 




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