How to Stimulate Young Kittens & Puppies to “do their business”

How to Stimulate Young Kittens & Puppies to “do their business”

How to Stimulate Young Kittens & Puppies to “do their business”

During the first 3 weeks of their young lives, neonatal kittens and puppies are not able to urinate or defecate (pee and poop) without their mamas stimulating them through licking. If you have an orphaned kitten or puppy less than 3 weeks old that you are bottle feeding, you will need to be their “mama” and help them go potty via stimulation.

Stimulate the Kitten/Puppy at Each Feeding

  1. Be sure to stimulate the baby to empty its bladder and/or bowels before or after each feeding.
  2. Stimulation to help them pee should be done every time you bottle feed.
  3. Use a soft, absorbent, disposable cloth (Pet-Ag Wee Wipes are perfect) and avoid products that could irritate the neonate’s skin.
  4. There are effective ways to position the kitten/puppy during stimulation. Turn them on their back, hold them with their rear-end toward the floor, or sit them on a table with their tummy facing toward you. Use whatever method works best and does not make the kitten/puppy uncomfortable.
  5. With one hand, hold the kitten/puppy steady, and carefully rub the genital region with your soft cloth or tissue in a circular motion. The baby should start to pee. Continue stimulation until the neonate is finished (which typically lasts between 10-45 seconds). Watch a How to video on kitten stimulation.
  6. To help the baby poop, use the same technique on their behind to stimulate their muscles to push the poop out. Stimulate them until no more stool is passed.
  7. Stimulating the kitten/puppy at each feeding is a healthy way to keep them regulated.
  8. When bottle feeding babies, be sure to follow feeding instructions and frequency guidelines.
  9. A kitten/puppy should pee at each feeding, and it should be light yellow or clear in color.
  10. Poop of bottle-fed neonates should happen 1–2 times each day, have a mustard yellow hue, and be formed – not loose. If you are concerned about the frequency or consistency of the kitten’s/puppy’s bowel movements, please consult a veterinarian.
  11. Last step is to clean the kitten’s/puppy’s genital areas with a Pet-Ag Wee Wipe or a wet cloth. Urine or feces that remains on the skin can burn and irritate it. Keeping kittens and puppies clean will help them stay healthy and happy.

What’s Next?

When kittens are between 3 and 4 weeks of age, they can be introduced to the litter box. Use a small cardboard box or plastic litter box with just enough clay litter to cover the bottom - Don't use clumping litter.

Puppies typically start controlling their own elimination when they are between 3 - 4 weeks old. At 4 weeks, introduce puppies to pee pads. At this age, puppies no longer need stimulation to help them with elimination.

Before you blink, your pet’s potty training will be complete – then cuddles and companionship are such a treat!