My New Kitten Isn’t Eating or Pooping: What Should I Do?

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New Kitten Not Eating or Pooping

Bringing a new kitten home is a joyous occasion filled with playful antics and heartwarming purrs. However, it’s not uncommon for new pet parents to face a little hiccup: their tiny feline friend refusing to eat or not using the litter box.

If you’re scratching your head wondering why your new kitten isn’t eating or pooping, you’re not alone.

In this guide, we’ll dig into the usual reasons behind these quirks and share some nifty solutions to help your kitten settle comfortably into their fresh surroundings.

Reasons Why Your New Kitten is Not Eating

As a cat owner, seeing your new kitty not eat must be frustrating. However, the good news is that not all causes require a trip to the vet.

Here are the most common reasons for the lack of appetite in new kittens:

  • Your kitten might not be familiar with the type of food you are giving them.
  • Your new kitten may be feeling anxious in their new environment. On average, new kittens take from a few days up to two weeks to settle into a new place.
  • The transition to a new house might cause changes in your cat’s routine. Because cats are creatures of habit, every change in their environment might result in a shift in their behavior.
  • The kitten’s food bowl might be dirty. Cats are considered the cleanest among domestic pets. So they like everything around them to be perfectly clean.
  • The bowl might be uncomfortable for the kitty. The friction that happens between the kitty’s whiskers and the bowl can make eating annoying.
  • If you have a resident cat, make sure to keep him away from the kitten until they get used to each other.
  • The kitty can lack an appetite for several health conditions, like constipation, dental diseases, stress…etc.

PS: If your kitten is less than six weeks old and has not eaten for more than 12 hours, you should consult a veterinarian.

Why Your New Kitten is Not Pooping?

If your kitten isn’t eating, he will have a hard time defecating. However, a lack of bowel movements can also indicate digestive issues. To help determine the root cause, here are some suggestions:

  • If the kitten is barely eating or not eating at all, he will not defecate. That’s because there is nothing in his intestines.
  • The location of the litter tray is uncomfortable for the kitten.
  • The litter box might be dirty.
  • Sudden changes in the environment can make cats anxious. Constipation is a common symptom of anxiety and stress, which may be the reason your cat hasn’t been defecating.
  • Dehydration can also lead to constipation.

You should consult a veterinarian if your kitten shows any of the following symptoms:

  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Straining when trying to defecate
  • Swollen belly

These symptoms might be a result of intestinal obstruction, which is considered an emergency.

How to Make Your New Kitten Start Eating and Using the Litter Box

In order to determine what your is kitten’s preferred food, you will have to do some experiments. Here is what we recommend doing:

Satisfy Your Kitten’s Appetite: A Proven Eating Strategy

  • Try to know what kind of food the kitten was raised on, and give him the same. Then, gradually introduce new options over time.
  • Try canned food with strong smells like fish. This will tempt the kitty’s appetite.
  • If the kitten is being picky about the food, consider various kitten food flavors until you find out what your kitten likes best.
  • Keep the food and water in a quiet place and away from the litter box. Cats hate to eat their food in dirty places or in very exposed ones where there’s a lot of distribution.
  • Make sure that the food is warm, especially in winter.

How to Help Your New Kitten to Start Pooping

  • Don’t introduce the kitty to the whole house at first. Keep him in a safe room and provide him with food and fresh water. This will relieve stress and assist him in assimilating into his surroundings.
  • Be patient and give your kitty the time he needs to be familiar with his new surroundings.
  • Encourage the kitten to use the litter by putting him in the litter box.
  • Put the litter tray in a safe and calm environment.
  • Keep the kitten well hydrated.
  • Stimulate the kitten to poop by massaging the abdomen and wiping the anus with a warm compress (This approach should be performed for orphaned kittens younger than 3 weeks old ).


If you haven’t had any pets before, you will find the first few days with your kitten overwhelming.

Not eating and pooping are common issues among cats when they are introduced to new environments.

But most of the time, this problem is easily fixed by following a few simple tips. However, we always insist on consulting a vet’s opinion in cases where basic tips don’t seem to be helpful for the problem.

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