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When to allow new kitten the run of the house?


Savannah Super Cat
Our kitten has been with us for 2 weeks. We had him stay in the master bathroom for a week, then allowed him access to the master bedroom. He has been trying many times to run out the door to explore the rest of the house. We have spent tons of time with him so far - he knows us well enough to sleep in my children's laps - and we let him into the living room once for several minutes when he managed to get to it, but then we returned him to the bedroom. Just yesterday we noticed that he had used the laundry basket in the bedroom as a litter box instead of the box he has used in the bathroom that he has been using for 10 days. Did he forget where it is ( hard to believe as he must have seen it when he went into the bathroom for his food). Or is he mad that we don't let him out? How do you know when it's okay to let him go where he likes? Thanks!


Look at it through the eyes of the new baby;>) Okay...he was confined and was making mad dashes to break out of the PRISON! ;>) LOL Now that he is allowed out...I will assume that the litter box is still in the confinement room? boy remembers being shut up in that room. Even though he is aware that the litter box is in that area...door open......HE ALSO REMEMBERS THAT WHEN HE GOES IN THAT ROOM THE DOOR HAS BEEN CLOSING;>) They will avoid the confinement room like the plague ;>) Try adding a couple more litter boxes for now and make sure that every room you are in has one when he is with you. Remember he is a baby...he wants to be with you...and he is not going to be too keen on leaving you to try to find a litter box. As he gets older and knows you will not close the door, run away or dissapear..he will not have the separation issue .In a short while you will be able to remove some of the boxes. Just know that if he has to go...he has to go and try to keep anything off the floor that tempts him at this time;>) All will be fine...just think like the cat for now;>) Love that little soul;>)


Staff member
Shelby makes a good point. Also, laundry baskets have always seemed to carry a special appeal to cats to be used as litter boxes, it might be helpful to make sure the laundry basket is put somewhere that the kitten can't get to, e.g., in a closet, or get a laundry basket that has a lid.


Staff member
Great advice from Shelby. I let mine explore the house after their 2 week confinement. I would follow each one around while they explored to comfort them if they found something scary and to be sure there weren't any unanticipated dangers for them to encounter. Mine quickly learned where the litter boxes were and never had an accident. Sometimes one would get "lost" in the house and start chirping for rescue but that lasted only a day or two. You have to keep a close eye on the kitten for the first week or so because it will find every single thing/place that could cause them harm no matter how well you think you've baby proofed the house. I kept mine confined when I wasn't home until I was sure they would be safe without supervision.

Brigitte Cowell

Staff member
I think adding additional litterboxes around the house while the kitten is very young saves problems developing. Also just think to grab the kitten every hour or so and put into a litterbox. If they use it at that time, praise them and tell them what a good kitten they are... positive reinforcement just like with puppies. With a small kitten, the house may be large enough that they forget the way back and when the urge to pee hits it can hit fast for a young one (like a human child)... you can remove the extra boxes gradually but worth dealing with a few more boxes now maybe.

I also think Shelby has a point about if the only litterbox is in the confinement room they may avoid that one...