Lets talk about pets baby: fussy felines – cat litter for kittens and beyond

Anyone over 30 will get other obscure reference in the title of my new series.  Anyone under 30…ask your Mum.  Kidding of course – doesn’t everyone love Salt and Peppa?  They would actually be really good pet names, perhaps for a pair of Caveys (I can never remember how to spell guinea pig – thank you spell check).

So, it’s pretty clear that the world is full of pet lovers.  Some cat people, some dog people, some fish people, but there is a good reason that pet care is a hugely growing industry.  We love our pets – and why wouldn’t we, they are so cute!  In this series, I will be covering a few different topics that I find interesting, intriguing, or just plain mind boggling.  I hope that they will be of some use to my lovely readers.  If not, who doesn’t like pictures of cats?

First, let me introduce my puddys:

This is Shannon aka Shan, Shaz, Shanny Pants, and many deviations on the theme.

This is Moonlight, aka Moo, Moo Moo, Moo Moo Pants, Moo-ma-licious, and deviations on the theme.  Shhh….she doesn’t know she’s a cat!

These two are my current main players in my life.  Over the years I have had many different pets, some conventional, some not so conventional, so I’m sure we’ll chat about those in the weeks to come.  For now I thought I’d start small, with an issue I believe alot of people face.

Focus on kitty litter

If you have an indoor cat, you will most certainly have a litter tray (or a very nasty carpet).  Out cats are pretty much 50/50 indoor and outdoor.  When we shut the window they come and go through, they of course make their wees etc in the litter box.  Also sometimes when it is wet outside and they are feeling lazy.  We’ve had our cats from Kittens (they are nearly 2 years old now), so the whole litter issue has been a factor from day one.

Taking kitten home

When you take your kitten home, the litter box should be your main focus if you want to crack ‘puddy potty training’.  Some come to you fairly used to the litter box.  When they are first born their Mama takes care of toilet detail for them, but as they grow the idea is that they emulate their Mum and use the litter box.  This can be hit and miss, especially if they’ve not been actively encouraged to use the litter box, or perhaps even had access to one at the home you buy them from.
[Sidenote: it is really important to make sure you buy kittens from a good home where they are well treated and well cared for.  Worming and nutrition should be checked on before you take your kitten home.  I will do a more comprehensive post on this later in the series, plus one on rehoming older pets]

When you are home, it is important you have a litter tray the kittens can access.  Sometimes the sides of a ‘big cats’ litter box can be to high.  I bought one specifically for kittens.  When it comes to litter, it is a good idea to try and use the same type they have been used to up to now, so make sure you ask.  The brand isn’t usually important, but the type is.  You can get wood based, clay based, paper based and more.  You can also get clumping or non-clumping, and ones with or without thinks like odour control.  These are more of a matter of personal preference and not something that your cat will worry about.  I think the easiest way to keep a litter tray fresh is simply to change the litter on a regular basis, and scoop and poops as soon as you know they’re there.

My two kitty’s were used to wood chippings, which is a viable alternative to cat litter.  The lady I bought them from was a real animal person, and explained to me that the kittens were trying to eat the litter she put down (this is very common, and to be discouraged), so she was using wood chips.  I used wood chips when I bought them home, and then progressed to wood based litter.  Over time your cats will get more used to where their kitty loo is, and it is possible to change the litter to a type you prefer.  I have tried clay, but went back to wood as I prefer it.  Recently the supermarket replaced my order for wood pellets with paper litter, which looks rather like shredded tissue paper (something which you will recognise if you’ve had cats for a while – they love to shred the loo roll).  It’s been down for 3 days, and the cats have opted to pee in the rain rather than use it, so the jury’s still out on this one.


Grown up kitty

Once your kitten is using the litter box regularly, it’s best just to leave them to it.  Cats like privacy when they’re doing their business, so it’s best not do disturb them if you can help it, especially in the early days.  As long as your kitten knows where its litter tray, food and water are, they usually get on with it themselves.  It’s a good idea to keep them in a smallish area to begin with, but you can gradually move them further afield when their habits are more regular.  As they grow, they will be far more self-sufficient, but keeping a few constants in their lives till you are sure they will be ok with the change is a good idea.  That being said, once they are more confident, I recommend changing things like litter and food (will do another post about food later in the series) on a semi-regular basis so they don’t get fussy, and will only use the most expensive food/litter that you can only get three towns over.

And that’s it from me.  I know it may sound odd to deal with poop first, but it’s like when you have a baby, there will be poop no matter what, and it’s a good idea to get the basics sorted before you move onto the more fun bits that come with being a Mum or Dad to a human or fur baby.  Puddles and poops on the floor are not fun, so it’s good to make it a non issue, so you can just get one with loving and spoiling your moggie.

If you’ve any questions, stories or comments, please do share below, as I do enjoy reading them so.

 

55 thoughts on “Lets talk about pets baby: fussy felines – cat litter for kittens and beyond

  1. awwww your cats are adorable! 🙂 And i love your blog! and can't wait to read more! I also followed you on GFC!Also I'm new to blogging and i'm trying to meet some fellow bloggers so I'd love if you had some time if you could check out my blog and let me know what you think! it'd be greatly appreciated! And maybe even follow me on bloglovin or gfc if you like and want to! thanks so much xoxo Randahttp://pandaraige.blogspot.com/

  2. Your Moonlight looks like my Chelsea! When it comes to litter, I'm currently using this really cool looking one that is like little clear glass looking pieces and so far so good when it comes to smell and cleanliness. First time cat lady so it's good to learn the ins and outs. xx

    1. Aw, thank you. It is real fun being owned by a cat 😉 I have seen those clear beads and wondered what they were like. I worried they might be made of silica which is toxic, but that is a good example of why I should read up before making assumptions lol x

  3. I love cats, in fact I have 2 princesses, totally true what you have written, is a great post for those who are starting with a pet kitten, but most need a lot of patience because they are like children! … Greetings.

  4. I have a lovely cat who I often blog about (along with a dog and a bunny). My cat is a funny old trout and much prefers to use his tray than to do his business outside. He will actually come home so he can go to the loo!

    1. My two used to do that when they were younger – play outside all day, then come in to use the loo. Better for the neighbours though – means they can't point the finger when they're bemoaning poops in the flowerbeds 😉 x

    1. LOL – they are little scamps in the first year. Actually, thinking about it, they never really stop being scamps. I know it's not exactly glamourous, but I think getting this bit straight is essential to being a (virtually) stress free per owner 🙂

  5. Then they get to that stage in life when sight and hearing starts to go, and they go outside and forget how to get back in. My Timmy cat is nearly 18, and if he finds his box I am lucky :S Love my cats though!!!

  6. Your two cats are gorgeous! I have one myself called Patch, she's 16 now and has recently started to have accidents a lot so now she has a litter tray upstairs too although sometimes she manages to miss it, bless her! 🙂

    1. Oh bless her heart. You can get 'puppy pads' which are for toilet training dogs for the area your cat likes – though I think the Pampers care mats are a better and cheaper choice. Tickles for Patch 🙂

    1. I am laughing so hard I need to watch what I write. I will be posting about puppies of the canine variety. I take it that's what your bf likes? ;-)I defo recommend a GP for kids. They are friendly and easy to tame, easy to take care of, and not as easy to lose (and IMO have a better temperment) that hamsters/mice etc. I used to work from home – it has it's challenges, but is ultimately very rewarding, especialy when you have kids 🙂

  7. Aw they are lovely!! I have a pooch as you know, Hendrix the black Labrador and I sense he knows I am typing about him as he is staring at me. I don't have a cat, I used to have one that adopted me, he would follow me around, he was feral and very friendly. I called him Jasper!

    1. Aw bless – yes, they do have a sixth sense for these things, and I'm sure Hendrix knows when you are posting about him. I had dogs for the longest time and only switched to cats 2 years ago. To each there is a season and all that 😉

  8. Your kittens are so cute. I hadn't realised how much is involved in keeping pets. It seems that you have become an expert now. Pets are part of your family and it's nice to see how much time you take looking after them

  9. Totally agree – we use wood based litter but after writing this I do wonder whether it would be better and cheaper just to go back to wood chips – especially when bought in bulk. What a great vocation as a cat foster mamma – bet it was hard to give up x

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