When Do Kittens Start Pooping? (How to Understand, Stimulate, and Care for Newborns)

When Do Kittens Start Pooping

If you’re adopting a kitten or a mother cat has had a litter in your home it’s an exciting time and you probably have a lot of questions.

One of the questions that come up a lot is, ‘When do kittens start pooping?

It’s a normal question. You want to know that your kittens are healthy, and you’re probably wondering when you’re going to start finding poop laying around, right?

I’ve reared and seen my fair share of kittens over the years, so I can answer this question for you and clear up some of the other kitten pooping questions you may have!

When Do Kittens Start Pooping?

As a rule of thumb, for the first 3 weeks or so a kitten will not be able to poop on their own and if they are being cared for by their mother you will likely not even notice.

The mother cat stimulates her kittens to poop by licking their bottoms after every feed. You’ve probably noticed her doing this and just thought she was grooming them I bet.

Anytime after 3 weeks, you can expect a kitten to start pooping without being stimulated. Although the exact time will vary depending on the kitten.

How to Stimulate a Kitten to Poop

As I mentioned earlier, the mother cat should be taking care of her kittens and stimulating them to poop after each meal.

If for any reason, however, the mother is not able to do this you can do it.

You can read a step-by-step process of how to use the Triangle Method to stimulate a kitten to poop here.

Take a warm washcloth and gently rub it on the kitten’s bottom, mimicking the motion and feeling they would get from their mother’s tongue.

Don’t overdo it if they don’t poop. Just rub it gently for a couple of minutes and keep an eye on them for any signs of discomfort.

A kitten will defecate after most, if not every meal. If you think a kitten has not had a bowel movement for 24 hours I recommend taking them to a vet as soon as possible for a checkup.

3 Week Old Kitten Won’t Poop

Taking into account everything I have said so far if your 3-week old kitten won’t poop there a few things to ask yourself:

  • Have you or the mother cat been stimulating the kitten to poop and they’ve stopped?
  • Does the kitten look constipated, is their tummy swollen?
  • Has it been more than 24 hours since the kitten last pooped?
  • Is the kitten eating properly?

If it’s been at least 24 that you know of since the kitten last popped or if they are not eating well you need to seek the advice of a vet.

3-week old kittens are very delicate so you shouldn’t take any chances. If they aren’t pooping regularly take them to a vet.

Newborn Kitten Poop Color?

It’s not the most pleasant task, but you should keep an eye on the color of your kitten’s poop as this is a good indication of how healthy they are.

Newborn kittens up to 3 weeks old should have brown poops like a slight yellow cast sometimes. It should also be firm for the most part.

As your kitten starts transitioning on to dry food their poops will change color. Depending on the food it can be lighter or darker, it’s not a huge issue as long as it’s still a brownish color.

They should still have solid poop, this is quite important. Runny poop may mean they have a diarrhea bug, worms, or some other intestinal issue that needs addressing.

It shouldn’t be too smelly either. Cat’s poop does smell, doesn’t all poop? But if it’s offensively bad there might be an issue.

Final Thoughts

In almost all circumstances the mother will stimulate their kittens to poop and do an awesome job looking after them.

If you have to intervene for any reason then you can stimulate them via the method I explained above.

As long as they are pooping after most meals and their poop is a healthy color and firmness there is nothing to worry about.

As I also explained, pop your kitty to the vet sooner rather than later if you have any concerns. It’s better to err on the side of caution with young kittens.

Another article I wrote that might prove helpful for some – Here’s what to do if your kitten plays with their poop

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