How to Stimulate a Kitten to Have a Bowel Movement

A mother cat uses her rough tongue to stimulate elimination.
A mother cat uses her rough tongue to stimulate elimination. (Image: Nneirda/iStock/Getty Images)

Kittens can’t have a bowel movement on their own until they're 2 or 3 weeks old. Until then, the mother stimulates elimination by licking around the kittens' anal areas after feeding. If you’re hand-raising a kitten, you’ll take on this task until the kitten has the physical capability to eliminate without assistance.

How to Stimulate Elimination

A healthy mother cat grooms her kittens after every feeding, concentrating on the anal and genital areas. This naturally stimulates them to eliminate. You can simulate the mother’s actions by rubbing a wash cloth moistened with warm water around the kitten’s anus. You can also use a piece of gauze or a cotton bowl, both of which are similar to the texture of the mother cat’s tongue.

How Often to Stimulate

Kittens need to eat and eliminate frequently; the younger they are, the more often they should do both. Kittens less than a week old typically need to eat and eliminate every three hours. Between 3 and 4 weeks of age they may need to eat four to six times a day. Feeding frequency decreases to four times a day at 6 weeks and three times a day at 12 weeks. By this time, kittens might not have a bowel movement after every feeding the way they did when they were younger, but they should eliminate at least once a day. If an older kitten doesn’t eliminate after a feeding, you can try again after the next, or after she’s played or had a nap.

Related Searches


Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

Related Searches

Check It Out

How to Make an Elevated Dog Feeder

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!