Kittens under 4 weeks need to be stimulated in order to go to the bathroom after each feeding.
To do so, use a soft cloth and dampen it with warm water. This cloth can be a cotton ball, tissue, or washcloth. Gently rub the kittens’ anal area to stimulate urination and defecation. Completely solid feces usually will not form while kittens are drinking formula.
If you notice the kittens are having trouble urinating or defecating, consult a veterinarian. Kittens may start looking for a place to go as young as 2½ weeks of age if this is the case use a small, shallow litter pan with non-clumping litter. Try using Feline Pine or Yesterday’s News (must use pellet litter to avoid kittens consuming clay litter). Avoid using paper or fabric to help eliminate teaching kittens’ bad habits.
Kittens have sensitive skin and can develop urine scald if not cleaned properly after being stimulated to urinate. Wipe the kitten in the groin area with an unscented baby wipe after urination.
Litter Box Training
By about 4 weeks of age, kittens are ready to begin using the litter box. Make sure you have a low sided litter box for the kittens to get in and out of easily.
Start them off by putting them in the litter box and scratching the litter with their paw. The kittens will pick this up very quickly. While they are learning to use the litter box, put them in it several times a day for a couple days if necessary.
- Kittens who are unfamiliar with the litter box will taste the litter. Use unscented, non-clumping pellet litter for young kittens. Feline Pine or Yesterday’s News (pellet litter).
- Several litter boxes may be necessary depending on the size of the litter.
- Litter boxes must be kept clean.
Make sure the kittens can easily locate their litter box by keeping them in a small room or bathroom.
- Kittens are very messy when first learning to use a litter box. They will step in their excrement and track it through the room. At this time, it is especially important to keep all surfaces clean and covered.