A Cat's Litter Box Helps Prevent Unwanted Surprises Around the House
Every indoor cat needs at least one litter box. Cats are notoriously clean animals and most will need little, if any, training to learn to use the box.
Sometimes a bad experience will make a cat shy away from using the litter box. That being said, by selecting the right box for your cat, cleaning it daily, and placing it in a quiet, out-of-the-way corner, you minimize the chances of your cat developing an aversion to their litter box.
There’s a lot of advancements that have been made in litter boxes and in the litter itself. Many people love clumping litter and a box that manages to clean itself. This can make the prospect of keeping your home clean for your cats much easier. This article will focus on several aspects of litter boxes and how they can help.
Litter Box Placement
Depending on the size of your home, choosing the best spot for your cat's litter box can be a challenge. Your cat will want it in a quiet spot, out of the way of household traffic. You probably don't want it in a visible area. Neither you or your cat will want the litter box placed close to food and water dishes.
Once you have narrowed down the spots where you could place a litter box, there are a few other considerations. For people with multiple cats in a household, multiple litter boxes are needed. Cats don't really like to share. Ideally you will have one more litter box in your home than you have cats. At the very least, there should be the same number of litter boxes as there are cats.
Another concern if you have more than one cat is the exit from the litter box. Some cats enjoy stalking each other and will wait outside the litter box to pounce. A few times of this happening and the victim may decide to find somewhere else to do their business.
Particularly if you are using a covered litter box, make sure the location doesn't leave your cat feeling cornered. They should be able to see out of the litter box for anyone that may be waiting when they exit.
Self-Cleaning Litter Boxes
Self-cleaning litter boxes are a great way to save time and ensure your cat's litter box stays clean. A clean litter box is crucial, as your cat may find somewhere else to go if the litter box is dirty. A clean litter box also keeps your home smelling fresh.
There are several different types of self-cleaning boxes. You can find open litter boxes and others with hoods. The transition to a self-cleaning litter box may be a big adjustment for your cat, so you may want to stick with a style that resembles the litter box they currently use.
When making the transition, add the new litter box close to the existing one. Give your cat the option of using the litter box they are familiar with while they become accustomed to the new addition.
If they don't start exploring the self-cleaning litter box in a few days, you can encourage them to use it by skipping a few days of cleaning their existing box. Given the choice between the fresh, new box and the dirty one, most will use the clean option. Once your cat is comfortable with the self-cleaning box, you can remove the original one.
Choosing the Right Cat Litter
Choosing the right cat litter can be tricky. Some cats do not seem to have a preference, while others are more finicky. It is also possible that a member of your household, either human or feline, may have allergies that influence your choice.
- Clay - The most common choice. Plenty of options, including scented and unscented, clumping and clump-free. It is heavier than other options and is not an environmentally-friendly choice.
- Paper - Made from recycled paper products or newspaper, soft and extremely low-dust, making it a popular choice for ill or injured cats. Absorbent, but non-clumping.
- Pine - Lightweight, low-dust, and naturally controls odors. Available in both clumping and non-clumping options. Environmentally-friendly.
- Silica - No concerns about dust, very effective at trapping moisture. Longer-lasting than clay. One of the more expensive choices.
- Wheat - Another environmentally-friendly choice. Clumping, unique in that it is flushable.
You may have to try a few types of litter to find one that both you and your cat can agree on. Cats are tidy by nature, so if you are having litter box issues, there is something else going on. A trip to the vet can help rule out physical problems. After that, you may find changing types of litter, the type of box you are using, or the location of the box may solve the problem.