Pumpkin's kittens questions

anticus

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Pumpkin has a thread in the Feral & Stray forum, but since her kittens were born indoors I thought this was the best place to ask questions about them, since I'm a first time kitten owner. The five kittens will be 3 weeks old tomorrow and it's time to begin litter box training. I've read & watched enough material to give me a modicum of confidence in training, but I can't find the answer to this question:

Can all five kittens be litter trained in the same box or do we need multiple boxes? I figure at 8 weeks they will all need their own, but I'm specifically talking about training.

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Ellis75

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I don't think it would be a problem to use one or two while they're so young, provided you clean the litter boxes frequently. I think most people with young litters of kittens use one or two litter boxes. Make sure they have fairly low lips so the kittens can get in easily; you could even use the low boxes that canned food usually comes in if you want.
 
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anticus

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I've looked on this site and elsewhere but can't find the answer to this question: When should the kittens no longer need to sleep in the nesting box? I know they are starting to ween at 4 weeks but should they still stay in the box? If not, should I get a small bed for them? I presume they will all still sleep in a heap (or sometimes lined up, which satisfies Dr. Wifey's OCD).
 

susanm9006

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Once they start exploring it’s good to have a few places that mom and babies can relax. As long as the nesting box is easy and safe for the kittens to get in and out of its fine for them to still use it. Mom usually starts spending more and more time out side though and the kittens join her A blanket on the floor or a cat bed or two will provide napping spots for mom and babies. Depending on the size of space they have to roam it’s good to have a shallow litter box at each end of the space so that the kittens don’t need to go far to use it. You also want a natural litter, like worlds best (corn litter) or SWheat scoop in the box because often little kittens will eat or taste their litter.
 
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anticus

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Susan thank you so much! Pumpkin is spending a lot of time outside the box now. We have a shallow litter box for the babies - I introduced three of them to it today but they did not take advantage. We're using unscented, non-clumping paper pellets as litter, which I will clean after every use. Gee all I will do is clean litter for the next 2 months.
 

susanm9006

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It can take a number of weeks before the kittens fully get the hang of using a litter box so you might be doing more floor cleaning for awhile as well.
 

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They will see Mom use the box and copy her behavior. Cats instinctively want to dig a hole, pee or poop in it, then cover it up. There's not a whole lot of training you will have to do. Just give them the means and the opportunity.
 
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anticus

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We're coming up on 4 weeks on Tuesday and soon the kittens will wean from Pumpkin to solid foods. I've read articles that say that mama will teach her kittens how to hunt, but I wonder what Pumpkin will do? She grew up outside - will she teach them what she learned - or how she eats now, which is just walking to the food dish?
 

susanm9006

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Unless they are left outdoors, which I hope they will not, they won’t learn to hunt from their mom but kittens do inherent a built in prey instinct and the games they play with one another often mimic hunting activities. As far as weaning, you can help them wean by providing wet food and encouraging them to try it by putting a little piece in their mouth or by mixing kitten replacement milk with kitten wet food and trying to get them to lick it off your finger or from the bowl. You may have to try this every day for a week or two before everyone gets the hang of eating. But even with that they will continue to nurse off of mom until she starts walking away or even hissing at them when they try. The age at which mom’s will do this really varies but by 8-10 weeks the kittens should be eating well enough that mom can go in for her spay. You don’t want because she can go into heat and get pregnant.
 
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anticus

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Thanks susanm9006 susanm9006 - the kittens will not go outdoors. Pumpkin's spay appointment is scheduled for week 8. She is currently in heat again and it has been difficult. Extremely stressful - and we expect yet another heat cycle before her appointment. But Midnight just got neutered so hopefully he will be permanently closed for business. The vet told me that it is not possible for him to father kittens anymore, but I keep reading that it takes 3-4 weeks for the kitten making juice to dry up.

We were just playing with the kittens and several of them have some teeth already so I'm going to introduce kitten milk replacement then kmr mixed with wet food (Royal Canin Mother & Kitten) then eventually just solid food over the next 4 weeks.
 
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anticus

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Okay, I want to get your input on this situation: The kittens have learned how to climb out of their pen when the door is open, which is 4x4x4 gated cage. I seriously miscalculated their ability to climb. There are too many places they could hide on our first floor and get trapped. The only door is the one to the utility room. Our current options are:

A) Put them all in the utility room, where Midnight had been staying. Fill it with both adult and kitten litter boxes, food and water for Pumpkin, places to lay and play. It's a 12x6 room. Pumpkin would have to be confined there as well and would have to ask to come & go. The problem is that we wouldn't be able to hear them if there is an issue.

B) Put them in the guest bedroom upstairs, near our bedroom. It has a door. But Pumpkin would have to be confined in there as well. It's a little bigger than the utility room but there's furniture in it, so less room to navigate than the utility room.

C) Leave them where they are in the parlor in the pen, and Pumpkin would have to be confined it there too. I'd have to put her litter box in, which reduces the space significantly - and I would have to put the paper pellet litter I got for the kittens in her box. She's never used that kind of litter. I worry about her hurting herself trying to escape the pen.

D) Something else we haven't thought of. Human parents of a litter of kittens - what did you do?
 

susanm9006

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I would go with the upstairs bedroom and just let Pumpkin out when she needs a breather from the kids.
 
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anticus

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susanm9006 susanm9006 - Do you say the upstairs bedroom because it's a little larger? If so, the utility room has more space for them to play. Or were there other reasons?
 

susanm9006

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susanm9006 susanm9006 - Do you say the upstairs bedroom because it's a little larger? If so, the utility room has more space for them to play. Or were there other reasons?
I just worry about utility rooms because they are things like furnaces, washers or hot Water heaters with little gaps a kitten can get behind and potentially get stuck. A bedroom is easier to kitten proof. Also, they are too young to be with a strange cat (not sure who Midnight is)..
 
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anticus

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Midnight is their father. The utility room is totally kitten proofed! Here are two photos...
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The tubs will go, of course. We would put the nest box it, an area rug, some towels and toys. One of my main concerns is that it is a room Pumpkin hasn't spent much time in. She is really comfortable downstairs. Only really comes upstairs to tell us it is an hour before breakfast time.
 

susanm9006

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Has Midnight met the kittens before? I am always concerned with males and small kittens. Many are fine with them but some are not.
 
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