How do you litter train feral kittens?

I have three 5 1/2 week old kittens who were born to a young feral cat on my front porch. They've all been to the vet already to get an upper respiratory infection cleared up, and are otherwise healthy. They're doing great and their mama cat is happy to come in to feed them regularly (yes, we've spoken to our vet about sedating her here and getting her in to be spayed). The mother, being a feral cat (or we suspect may have been lost or ran off at a very young age), does not use the litter box, so I'm trying to train these kittens myself. I've tried putting poop in the box, scratching the litter, moving their paws to scratch the litter, putting them in the box at various intervals after mealtime, but they're not taking to it. I've switched from clay non-clumping to a non-clumping pine litter (also trying to get mama cat interested), and now they like to play in the box, but continue to go on the sheets I have lining the room. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Best Answer

  • Universal WhispererUniversal Whisperer Member Posts: 595 ✭✭
    Accepted Answer
    Try using a litter box with 3/4 potting soil in it and 1/4 clay litter & see if the cat & kittens will use that. With some ferals, I've had to start them on a mixture of 3/4 potting soil & 1/4 clay litter because they didn't know what litter even was. I also usually confine a mother and kittens to an extra large plastic dog crate with food, water, a box with a towel in it for a bed, and a litter pan. That also encourages the cat & kittens to use the litter. Again, I would try 3/4 potting soil & 1/4 clay litter in the pan because outside cats frequently are used to using soil. Once they use the soil mix, you can gradually add more litter and less soil to the mix to convert them over to litter.
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