Kitten petrified of the litter box

by Aria
(US)

Hello All! I have one 22 yr old domestic and just rescued 3 (I was just getting 1) kittens. They came litter trained and were fine until today the more timid of the three won't even go near the corner where we have the litter box.


Now, my older cat is blind and might not have seen her in the box but no one is injured. Just yesterday all three of them were running in and out of it and playing in the litter with no problems.

My mother was complaining of the smell (they just got wormed and have a bit of the runs) and started spraying a deodorizing spray. I have forcibly removed the auto spray air sanitizing spray several times, this last time into the trash I think she may have gotten the point.

But it makes a horrible squeak/puffing noise that might have scared her, but I'm unsure as to why she won't even go in the other litter box just two rooms (open floor plan) way.

She just had a vet check and is perfectly healthy. Could it just be the spray is making her uncomfortable?

Any help is greatly appreciated! and so for the long explanation!
Aria






My Thoughts:

First, thank you for rescuing these cats! Second, I'm sorry to hear that one of them is having problems.

I believe, Aria, that it could be a combination of things. The new environment, an encounter with your resident older cat, and/or the spray.

Smells and noises are always a problem, but I would lean towards scary noises as being the most likely culprit for the immediate cause.

She may be afraid of litter boxes in general at this point. Also, kittens sometimes won't make the trek across the house to another room to use the toilet.

The best recommendation that I can give anyone when bringing a new cat home, old or young, with or without a resident cat already is this...

Always start them out in a single room. Set up a room with everything... cat bed, litter box, food and water bowls (placed far away from the box), toys, a scratching board, and hopefully some climbing furniture like a cat tree.

This gets them used to the new place and using the litter box properly with no distractions, no frightening encounters, and so on. It also prevents accidents, fights, intimidation, the spread of disease, etc.

Then, you can gradually introduce them to resident pets and the rest of the house.

It's work, yes, and it requires some planning but it pays off in the form of a well adjusted household.

The good news is that with some direction and guidance, kittens often bounce back quickly.

Set up a room for the kittens, and put her in the box after every meal. She'll likely get the idea pretty fast.

I hope that helps. Please let us know how she makes out.
-Kurt

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