Questions about weaning/potty training

okimom

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Hello, Just need some advice because I've read different things on the internet, I swear I google EVERYTHING because I love my kittens and mama cat and want to do what's best for them. So, I have 3 kittens, 5 weeks old, one has finally started eating and drinking water AND got him to use the litter tray (yay me!). The other 2 are NOT interested in the food at all, although they have started pecking at the water a bit. One of the 2, the little white one, when he gets near the food dish, starts scratching at the floor, and they meow a lot when the other 2 are eating (Mama cat and the little grey one). They are very playful, all of them, they are used to me holding them now :-) I have found a forever home for one of them, but not the other 2 yet.  

So my question is, do I need to be concerned the 2 are not eating yet? They are all 3 still feeding from mama, and also, should I remove her from the room so they are less reliant on her? (I keep them in a room, nice size, with their own cat bed that they LOVE, huge cat play area with lots of toys), it's blocked off with a box that I can climb over so mama cat get out but the babies can't, to keep them safe.  Also, I try and get the other 2 to go to the litter but no luck yet, do I just need to be more patient?  

Just wondering what to do that is kind and will get them off to a good start. Thank you.
 

dandila

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I'm going to answer only because no one else has yet.  What are you feeding the kittens?  Wet dry or mush (dry food soaked in liquid)?  One way to coax them to try solid food is to top it with some KMR kitten milk replacement or goat milk that is available at the grocery.  Give some to mom, too.  

You don't need to remove Mom.  She knows more than you do about getting the weaning process going.  They are still pretty young.  As long as she has a way to easily remove herself from them, like something to jump up on and lay down, she'll be fine.  Mom will also teach them bathroom manners just as our mothers taught us.  It sounds like you're doing everything right.  I know it is not easy to not worry or second guess yourself while kitten raising.  I find myself laying awake at night trying to figure out if everything is okay with my litter.
 
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okimom

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Thanks Dandila. I tried mush, they didn't like it, tried dry didn't like that, tried wet, love it. When I went home last night the white one started eating now, so 2 down 1 to go. Mama cat likes to sit on top of the box I used to block the door way, they cannot reach her but she can watch them, I think she likes the me time. 

Thanks for the reply, I will try not to stress too much.
 

Sarthur2

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They will all learn to eat on their own and use the litter box. They do not all learn at the same pace, but are in the age zone to begin experimenting while still nursing mom too! All sounds good and normal, and you have them in quite a nice set up! :)

PS: The scratching behavior next to the food dish is a cat's natural instinct to "cover" their prey for later so no other animal can eat it.
 
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okimom

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Thank you so much! Good to know about the scratching thanks!

I have another question, well 2 actually! When is it ok start using regular litter, like the one that mama cat uses (she has hers in a different room) I use kitten litter at the moment it smells like wood chips and 2 of them are using it but the other one is just peeing EVERYWHERE except the litter tray.

Also, when is it ok to let them run free? One of them has already figured out how to climb on the box that's blocking the door and I saw mama cat helping him up lol sneaky. I might not have a choice if they get out.

Theirs kitten stuff is hard work lol
 

Sarthur2

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Kittens ARE work, especially when they begin running around! They can run free at any time, but you may not want them to without supervision. Kittens are notorious for breaking things and getting stuck in tight spots and unable to get out and can die if not found, so you may wish to actually close the door, and just let mama in and out a bit. I personally don't recommend they have the run of the house right now.

You can use regular litter at any time. They may prefer it. You just don't want them to eat it, but you could try the kitten who won't use the box in a small pan, like a cake pan, with regular litter to see if it makes a difference. Try taking the kitten's paw and showing it how to "dig" and see if it catches on. Put this kitten in the box directly after every meal to encourage it to use the box. It may just need a few more days. I recently had a kitten that peed on the pee pad next to the box for a good week or so after the others had mastered it, but she caught on. So also put down some pee pads!
 

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I noticed my kittens watching Mom using her own litter box that was outside of their pen.  Maybe if you could put Mom's in the same room with them, they might get it.  After they watched her intently, they both crawled in their litter box...one of them just sat there but the other one really used it.  So funny.  They are both doing really well with the litter box but they are at 7 weeks, almost 8.  Wee wee pads are a great suggestion.
 
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okimom

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Wow thank you! I had never even thought of the pads! I have 2 cake pans in there now I will put some reg cat litter in it see what happens.
Thank you both!!

I am sure I'll have more questions later lol
 
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okimom

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Ok more questions!
Wasn't sure whether to start a new post or not...

How soon should I take them to see the vet? They need deworming correct or is that something I just get from the vet?

How soon can mama cat be spayed? I haven't seen them feeding from her much lately and they are eating the soft food every day. They do seem to be sleeping a lot today and mama too. I play with them at least 30/40 mins 2x every day and make them chase and run around. The little buggers are still peeing on the floor.

They are 6 weeks now.

Thanks for all the help!
 

Sarthur2

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Kittens can start well-kitten vet checks at 8 weeks for their first shots and de-worming. Sounds like mama can be spayed any day now, especially before she goes into heat again, which will likely be soon.

Your kittens need to be litter trained asap. Try feeding them in a small enclosed space like a bathroom with door closed and litter pan right there. Leave them in there for a few minutes or better yet, sit with them and put them in the box. What kind of floor are they peeing on? Can you give it a good cleaning so their scent is no longer on it? Hope it's not carpet. They are getting into a bad habit. Do they not use the pee pads even? Do they at least poop in the pans? And which litter are they using? They may not like the litter.
 
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okimom

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I think it's just the white one that's peeing I don't catch the others doing it and I see the litter is being used by one of them or 2 of them not sure. How soon after feeding do they go? I picked up the white one when I saw her scratching at the floor in the corner where she's peed before and I put her in the litter and scratched with her paw she wasn't interested and jumped out. I put the pee pads down yesterday and nothing yet but I feel for sue she's going to pee on the floor again. She popped on the floor so I put that in the litter tray. I use these wood chips well that's what they smell like, thy are soft, and also I put some reg litter non clumping with it just a little. I really don't know what to do. I did get some spray for pets to clean up the pee and I also got that spray that cats aren't supposed to like so they won't pee in the area and that doesn't work, she still pees there. Mama cat has her litter tray in there too so I was hoping she could show her how it's done. Ugh.
 
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okimom

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Well I was following her around the room like a crazy person, she jumped in mama cats litter and started playing around, scratching, digging, jumped out, went to her old pee spot, cried, scratched, jumped back in mamas cat litter, dug a little hole and went pee!. This is the highlight of my weekend. Smh. Now hopefully she keeps going in there!!!
 

Sarthur2

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Hurray! Sounds like she figured it out! Whatever litter mom uses put in the kittens boxes too. I'm so excited for you! Yay!
 

dandila

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Congratulations!  Another hurdle, crossed.  Keep up the good kitten rearing.
 
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okimom

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Thank you both! Lots of poop in the litter this morning yay!

Ok so we purchased a huuuuge cat tower for them, it has 8 scratch posts lol it's really big. The kittens all love sleeping on the top ledge all huddled together but there's no room for mom and she doesn't like it she will keep meowing and meowing I think it's because she wants to cuddle with them or nurse them? I think it's good they don't rely on her so much. They got out of the room last night because they can climb up the box that's blocking the doorway now and I have nothing else to put there so I'm going to have to close the door soon to keep them in.

Can mama still be spayed if they are nursing a little but not as much? I have homes for all of them now (yay!) and wondering how soon they can leave. Will be sad to see them go though. And what's the best way to take the kittens to their new owner? Will mama cat go crazy if they're not there? Will she cry a lot? Should I let her see the new owner first? Ugh just want to do it right. Thanks!
 

Sarthur2

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They should not be separated from their mom for a minimum of 8 weeks. They are even better socialized by mom at 10 to 12 weeks. Mom can be spayed now. Mom does not need to meet their new parents. She will miss her kittens and look for them for a couple of days.

It is best if you tell whomever is taking kittens to stock up on all the supplies they will need before taking the kitten (wet food, kitten chow, litter box, litter), and let them know what the kitten has been eating already. If they pick up from you they need a pet taxi. You can also deliver. Please make sure they go to good forever homes and not strangers, and make sure anyone who changes their mind feels free to return the kitten to you and knows how to reach you. A follow-up call to check on the kittens is nice a few days later. But please do keep them with mom until 8 weeks, even if you take her for her spay.

Cat tree sounds fantastic! Sounds like mom is crying because she can't get to her babies up there! :)
 
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okimom

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dandila

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Adorable tabbies!  About giving kittens to new owners...I read on the site someone that has a rescue takes them to their new homes with the mother cat.  That way, mom can see that they are not coming back home and won't keep searching your house for them.  I thought that was a great idea.

The kittens I have are 8 weeks now and mom is still teaching them stuff like soft paws & teeth...she plays with them a lot.  Many subtleties in kitten rearing that I think are taught between 8-10 weeks.  I'm keeping mine for at least 10.
 

Sarthur2

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And my four kittens are 10 weeks today, and mom is still teaching them social skills, which I think is invaluable. They learn them best from mama cat! :).

I have never heard of taking mom to see her baby off.

Are you keeping mom or a kitten?

They are too precious in your photos! :)
 
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