Litter training issues with 2 kittens

danhutch88

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I'm new to this forum and a new kitten owner! Lived in houses with cats lots but never had my own.

I've recently adopted 2 brothers at around 11 weeks old (3 weeks ago). I'm friends with the person who gave us them, and they said they were pretty much litter trained when we got them.

When they arrived we had the litter tray from the previous house, and filled it with the same type of litter (wood chip). They stayed inside the travel box for a while as expected, and we didn't see them use the toilet.

We realised they had wee'd a couple times in the corner, and moved the tray there and one of them started to use it. The other struggled, so we got an extra tray and put it in a different part of the flat, and also some "puppy pads" for the surrounding areas as advised by the previous owner for accidents.

After a few weeks, the smaller kitten who was struggling to use the tray is still struggling, although he definitely has used it for both. Whenever we see him crouching down we pick him up and put him in a tray as gently as possible and he stayed for a few seconds then jumps out.

We've also watched him after eating, and put him in a tray over and over again but he jumps back out. Sometimes after multiple attempts he has went in the tray, but he really doesn't seem to like it.

The more alarming thing is that the other kitten I think is also now going outside the tray sometimes.

We've tried more trays (up to 4), varying amounts of litter, different cleaning products. We've put puppy pads down near the trays so that any accidents are easily cleaned up but I'm starting to think are they becoming used to the soft pad instead of the litter?

We're also unsure on the litter type, we were advised to use this type of litter for kittens but they don't seem to like it. Is clumping litter a no go at this age?

Can anyone suggest any tips please? I've provided as much info as I can think of, please let me know if any other information would be useful.
 

verna davies

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Try using sand or soil in one of the trays, it often works. Some cats just dont like the feel of litter under their paws.
 
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danhutch88

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Try using sand or soil in one of the trays, it often works. Some cats just dont like the feel of litter under their paws.
Definitely worth a try, thanks. He does look uncomfortable walking on it to be honest, I've only ever used the smaller clumping litter in the past but have read this isn't good for kittens?
 

verna davies

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If they get used to sand or soil, you could slowely mix a little of the litter of your choice in with it until its all litter. Also, their pads will become less sensitive as they get older.
 

di and bob

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I would call the previous caregivers and ask them what they used. Older kittens are fine with clumping litter, it is the very young ones, like 4-6 weeks that eat it sometimes. I would use a clay clumping litter and find out if they would use it, the wood may hurt their paws or they truly don't know what it is. Besides, clay litter is fun to push around!
 
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danhutch88

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I would call the previous caregivers and ask them what they used. Older kittens are fine with clumping litter, it is the very young ones, like 4-6 weeks that eat it sometimes. I would use a clay clumping litter and find out if they would use it, the wood may hurt their paws or they truly don't know what it is. Besides, clay litter is fun to push around!
That's the strange thing, the previous care givers are friends of ours and they said they used the wood chip litter with no issues. I'm not sure if being with the mother / father helped? Setting an example sort of thing, not sure if that makes any difference.
 
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danhutch88

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The main thing I'm curious about is the use of "puppy pads". We've put these near the litter trays, as a friend recommended them for accidents and it is much easier than cleaning up off the floor, but the kitten who struggles now wees on the pad outside of the tray. It's almost like he's getting used to the pad?

I've removed the pad from the main tray they use, because although they're better than the floor/carpet its not a long term solution.
 
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