How to improve litter box skills post UTI?

peanutbutterbonanza

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I recently adopted two kittens that are ~12weeks old. The male kitten (Peanut) was adopted with a pretty serious UTI and when it didn't get better further tests showed that he had a massive bladder stone. It's since been removed and he's no longer peeing blood (yay!)

While he had the UTI he would often jump into the litter box to pee but just as often he would just pee whenever he was (and he was peeing very frequently), but we were hoping that as this issue was fixed his litter box habits would also improve. So far, my boyfriend and I have just been periodically placing him in the litter box and he will usually pee there when we put him there but we only see him go in on his own infrequently. He hasn't completely finished his course of antibiotics but when the vet last did a urinalysis they said they didn't detect ant bacteria so I think it must be dealt with pretty well.

He had his surgery six days ago and he's still on pain killers and antibiotics but he's healing well. He does seem a lot more likely to pee outside of the litter box when he's distracted/busy/excited (playing with the other kitten, exploring new boxes, etc.) but we're not sure how to encourage him to prioritize the litter box. Currently he spends the nights in my bathroom so that I can clean up after him better but I'd really like to not have to keep him confined (plus, he's habits are definitely worse in the bathroom than anywhere else, probably because he's used to peeing anywhere in there).

I have an enzymatic cleaner that I've been using really diligently, and he's not peeing in consistent places. Tomorrow I'll be getting some litter box attractant powder, so I'm hoping that will help but I'd really like to know what has worked for other people. I'm just worried that since he's had such an ongoing urinary tract issue so young that he never learned very good litter box habits at all.

He's never pooped outside of the litter box, but I've never seen him bury his poop or his urine.
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. I read your previous thread - and am so glad that they took care of his bladder stone!! It sounds to me like he may not have complete control over his bladder - just because you said he pees when he is distracted. Have you told the vet what you are seeing about his peeing habits? I encourage you tell them exactly what you are noticing about his peeing behavior. You could also try the stimulation technique that is normally reserved for much younger kittens, in case he just doesn't 'get it'. Maybe you can use the link below to give you some ideas about this process?

And, you could consider laying down some puppy pee pads around/near the litter box to see if he might pee on those, just as a starting point. It is possible that he doesn't correlate the litter box with peeing, but given he does so with pooping, I am not sure that is really the issue. He can sense the urge to poop and then goes to the litter box, I am not sure why he wouldn't do the same with peeing.

As far as not covering his 'deposits' in the litterbox, some cats never do. However, he is still young and once he is fully recovered, over time you could see that change.

How To Train Kittens To Use The Litter Box – TheCatSite Articles
 
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