Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Pay attention to your cat's litter box
If the box is squeaky clean and your cat still prefers a corner of the carpet or your laundry hamper, go see a vet. Your cat might have a physical problem.
Some cats are picky about the box.
Boxes that appeal to humans aren't always right for the cat - it needs to be large enough to dig, scratch, and turn around in, and it has to be easy to get into and out of. Many humans like covered litter boxes, and many cats dislike them, because they trap the smell. The average cat has fourteen times the sense of smell or an average human!
Automatic litter boxes are convenient for us, and many cats accept them. Other cats don't like them at all. If you have an automatic litter box and your kitty avoids it, opt for a large plastic box scooped manually.
Many cats don't like to share.
Many multi-cat households only have one box, and this can also lead to problems. A rule of thumb is one box for each cat, and maybe one extra. It’s okay to have the boxes side by side.
The cat usually doesn't care whether you use a liner in the box or not. Cats do care about the depth of the litter. Most manufacturers recommend two to three inches, but if your cat likes to dig around you might want to go up to four inches. Clumping litter is easier to scoop.
Make sure to choose a scoop that matches your litter - larger particles require larger holes to sift clean litter out. Scoop the box at least twice a day.
Keep the box clean
Regular scooping and replacing the litter will keep the box clean and smelling fresh for quite a while, but eventually you’ll need to empty it and clean it. Depending on the type of litter you use this might need to be done weekly or more rarely. If you don’t like the smell, you cats won’t like it either.
Wash the empty box thoroughly with hot water and detergent. Rinse well and spray with a mild bleach solution. Make sure you don’t use a cleaner with ammonia, because this smells a little like a cat’s pee, and might make them avoid the box.
~ Maria Sadowski ~