I have the same problem! I have an older cat that doesn't smell at all. We just got a kitten and we're fostering a mama cat with kittens and these cats smell bad when they poop! I immediatly clean the cat boxes. I clean them two or three times a day now because it smells so bad. We use the clumping litter too!
Are you saying they will outgrow this? They are only eating kitten chow, so I don't understand why they're so stinky!
Kitten's poop does smell bad, I think it's their little digestive tracks getting started. Give them lactaid only if you give them milk, cats are lactaid intolerant. Also, KMR (KMS?) Milk re-placer is very healthy and they find it (all cats) yummy. We use the 2nd stage formula for feeding sick cats.
What about the mama cat? She's pretty stinky too! Is it because she's nursing kittens?
I don't give them milk, only kitten chow, even for the mama cat because my vet said she needed the extra calcium supplied in kitten food to nurse her kittens. I also give an occasional bit of canned cat food to the older cats as a treat.
I also have another question, if you don't mind! The kittens I'm fostering are about 5 weeks old now. It seems like the mama cat is not cleaning them as well because they're starting to poop anywhere. I do keep them corraled in a large bathroom area. I don't know why she's not cleaning them so much anymore.
Also, when can I expect to start training these little kittens to use a litter box?
If they're healthy in every other way, then they should be fine (normal stool, not runny?). Also, are you using a decent quality clumping litter? Non-clumping doesn't mask odor at ALL.
They don't make litter boxes of a height/size kittens can use. I usually cut down a box lid, give it a one inch-two inch rim, and use that to train them to it. (They can't climb into normal boxes, to small and uncoordinated).
Mother cats usually don't keep their kittens clean when they're stressed, depressed or unhappy. Are they in the bathroom all the time? Is this cat a stray you just got? Cats tend to get claustrophobic and lethargic from being restrained to small areas. It's why in extreme medical emergencies, they use "cage rest", in which they lock a cat in a kennel cage 24/7. It's bad for them emotionally, but if they need to heal and moving will do injury, it's sometimes necessary.
I'm not saying this is the problem, but something is. It could be she's unhappy with being locked up with two smelly kittens who poop everywhere! :)
Seriously though, that's a point. Cats are neurotic about bathroom habits, and she can only do so much with them if they're getting their own poop on them. If they do, use a slightly damp washcloth (no soap) to wipe them off.
Cats like any creature have a "psychological breaking point." If the stress levels of mess or danger get to be to much, they'll "mentally break". Usually this means they disassociate from the problem.
Lets say you took a mother cat's kittens, and (Never do this, of course! Who would?!?! Just stating the obvious!) made the kittens cry, without letting the mother resolve the problem. Eventually she'll "snap" and give up. Just go sit somewhere else and ignore the problem. She isn't being callous, it's emotional survival. Those that don't handle this well end up neurotic messes.
Otherwise, take some off their poop (or mom's, might work better) and put it in the cut down litter box. Put the kitten in their and "show it to her (not hard, they'll notice even if doesn't seem they are) and maybe scratch their front paws in the litter (trying to mimic their behavior). It''ll help kick in the instinctive reaction. This usually works almost immediately, but sometimes takes a few tries with the slower ones.
The bathroom area is just off our bedroom, so I blocked off the sink area with a baby gate and let them have that plus the toilet area. That way the mama cat can jump over the baby gate and lay on our bed or look out the window. She seemed fine with that but lately (the last couple of days), she's been trying to get out of our bedroom when I open the door. I guess she's getting bored about being in our bedroom! I also noticed that even though she's still nursing them on demand that she also will lay elsewhere and is wandering away from them more. She has had a few loose stools but I had just introduced a little canned cat food to her so I thought that might be it and I stopped giving it to her. I wonder if she is a bit stressed?
So you think I can go ahead and try to train the kittens? They're not too young? When does the mama usually wean them? I heard between 6 and 8 weeks. When would be a good time to start trying to give them kitten food? After the mom weans them? And should I wet the food to start out with? We think they are about 5 weeks old right now. They are just absoloutly adorable and so active now, playing and scampering around! It's fun to watch them. Thanks for the advice!
Heh heh...they sound pretty normal. The kittens aren't eating solids? I thought they were. I generally put the food down (wet/ dry) and they start eating whichever they like when they're ready. And don't worry about softening the dry, they've got really sharp teeth (ow!). It's good 'exercise' for the teeth.
If they're pooping, go ahead and put the litter box in like I said. If they're starting to toddle around , they should be able to get in. It should take no real effort on your part, it should just be instinct taking over. Kittens will keep drinking from their mother up to six months of age (if the mother lets them!) There's really nothing wrong with it, it can actually make for a very friendly, well adjusted cat. We have two who did this and they're like having dogs, always jumping in our laps, wanting to be held and cuddled. Remember, they're house cats, not 'savage hunters' (don't tell them that!) and indulging them in this way will make for a better pet (If you don't want a loner)
It's mostly up to the mother. I'd let her wander freely now (mom). She's at that point where she's decided they don't need to be watched 24/7 and she'd like some "alone time". She sounds like she's doing pretty classic mom cat behavior.
Are you keeping the kittens or adopting them out? When they get really fat, we call them
"trundle buss's" because of the way they do short little waddling bursts of speed!!! (like a bus speeding up)
LOL! Trundle buss's, I like that! They are pretty funny to watch! No, we are not keeping them. I already have a dog and two cats. My daughter just got a kitten right before we got these kittens. I'm also fostering a really sweet lab dog right now, so I've got my hands full!
I would let out Sweet Pea (the mama cat) but I'm afraid my own cat might get into a fight with her. She's already not crazy about me bringing in all these strange animals. She's been hissing at my daughter's kitten whenever she gets too close. (I wrote a post about that awhile ago about how to introduce a kitten to an older cat). My poor baby! She's been used to being the Alpha cat, queen of the house and then I bring in all these animals! She's had her world turned upside down!
Thanks for all the advice! I will try the litter box for the kittens today. I already have kitten food down for the mama cat, so I'll see if they ever get interested in it. So far not. Thanks again! You've been a big help!
Savas, Sweet Pea (the mama cat) still has diarehea. It's been about 4 or 5 days now. Do you think I should take her in? The thing is I can't spend huge amounts of money on her. We're on a pretty tight budget. Otherwise she seems to be eating ok. Should I just wait awhile or do you think I should take her to the vet?
One other thing I forgot to mention. She's never had any shots. She's actually a cat that belongs to a friend of mine who had to temporarily move to a shelter type place when they lost their home. It's been upsetting to me that they never got her fixed or her shots but she's not my cat and the way my friend grew up, cat's were just outside cats that took care of mice and stuff. So, they probably won't have the money for vet bills. I agreed to take her animals temporarily because I knew they'd lose them if I didn't. I really do want to help but I'm not going to be able to afford huge vet bills.
I don't mean to make my friend sound bad. She really is a nice person. She just grew up with the attitude that pets were just pets and you didn't take them to the vet. I know she loves her animals and I've been trying to talk to her about getting their shots and getting Sweet Pea fixed. I just feel bad for this poor cat. This is her third litter and the first two died. This is the only litter that produced healthy kittens. And she's less than two years old, herself.
She's really been wanting out of my room too lately. I'm kinda afraid to let her in case she had something she could pass onto my other cat. She's also used to being an inside/outside cat too and I won't let her outside.
What would you do?
Ugh, that's a tough one. The problem with cats is they're so easy to pick up. So they tend to not get the vet care they need. We started out the same way, picking them up, trying to find them homes, not really doing the vet thing back a decade or so ago.
You should be able to get the shots/ cat fixed if your friend's in a shelter. Usually the local shelter either does or can tell you about free/low cost vet service. If your friend can go down with you, and presents her "ID" showing her status, they should do it for free (NYC has this kind of service).
Otherwise, the diarrhea is probably stress related. We give our cats a few milligrams of pepto bismol and it usually clears it up. Use a feeding syringe, you can get it at the local pet store, for a few dollars. Probably a quarter of the syringe to 1/2 full, depending on how big a cat it is. You want to "shoot it" into the back area of the mouth, throat. Do probably a quarter syringe twice a day (morning night). There's a spot where the jaw hinges, if you press gently and firmly on both sides, it will force the mouth open. But you can usually slide the syringe right in through the side of the mouth. Just don't "deep throat" her! :) Try to get the syringe to the base of the tongue area. Don't worry, it's easier than it sounds.
Most illnesses are passed from sharing water/wet food, or blood from fighting (which is rare, cats tend not to fight to that level). There are ways to ensure that there shouldn't be any transmission between cats when one is a carrier (which sweet pea may not be, if the kittens have been healthy, with no problems or deaths, then it's likely.
I forget, how many cats do you have (your own)? And how old are they? And they're fixed? It makes a difference on how they react to the newcomer. Also, how long are you going to have Sweet Pea? (great name!).
As far as letting her out, let me see what you say about your other cats and how long you'll have her before answering...
Hi Savas! Thanks for writing back! Let's see, I have one cat of my own, she's 10 years old and fixed and declawed. My daughter recently got a kitten who's 3 months old and she's not fixed or anything yet. I don't let my own cats outdoors, never have, because I don't want them to get in any cat fights, or get run over or catch any diseases or anything. I've always just kept them indoors.
Sweet Pea is used to being able to go in and out but I don't want to let her at my house because I don't want to be responsible if anything happens to her. She's used to dogs and gets along fine with my dog but my older cat is not at all happy about the extra animals I've brought in and hisses at them and runs away.
I have no idea how long I'll have their pets at this point. (I'm also watching their lab who is just a sweetheart!) I did tell my friend that I'd find homes for the kittens. I was thinking about letting Sweet Pea out of our room once the kittens were weaned. I don't know how she and my other cat will be with each other.
This litter produced healthy kittens, but her first two they died. Is that significant? I have no idea how healthy Sweet Pea is since she's never been seen by a vet. I'm tempted to go ahead and get her shots, but I know they'll want to run all kinds of tests or whatever and I can't afford that. I'll look into what you said about getting free care. I don't know how or if that will work where I'm at. My friends are about 1 1/2 hours away from me in this shelter so they're seeing the animals about every two weeks or whenever they can afford the gas.
Thanks for all the info! I appreciate it so much!
You've got a tough situation. If you're going to have Sweet Pea for a while, you have to at least let her out of your room. Otherwise, she'll drive you crazy, you'll drive her crazy, and she'll drive her kittens crazy.
Your older cat will be really p*ssed...but...well, there ya go. :) She's the queen, it's her divine right. She will be at a disadvantage being declawed, so watch out for if they fight. I'd let them have a go at it, work it out at the start, and then things will settle down. If you break it up to soon, it'll just leave the matter of dominance in the air and create stress for all.
If Sweet Pea's first to litters died, she probably has some parasite or whatnot...but it's not an absolute. If your cat have had their shots, they should be fine.
But the three month old kitten is a worry. She'll want to drink from the mother, who will let her. Now, the big problem here is that if that kitten starts drinking, it's less for the others. The kitten will probably move right in with the others.
I'd really get her checked out as soon as you can. Frankly, I hate to make you worry, but the kittens are getting into a period of age where if there is a genetic or parasitical problem, they'll start to suffer problems.
Most of the tests and shots can be done for under $100, $150 dollars. At least then you'll know where you stand.
I suppose there's no real danger in letting her out (room, not housed!), but if you can, get her checked first to be safe. And let me or your vet know if there's any change in the kitten's behavior, stool, eating habits, eyes, etc... you want to know asap if they're facing eye related infections or liver/kidney related illnesses at all.
Hello, my persian cat is very dirty after going 2 andbecause of this he has a smell, he is free around the house and we enjoy that very much but now i'm worried about hygiene... can i wipe him? can i use baby wipes? these are convinient! is this normal?
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