10 Tips for Successful Litter Box Habits
November 26, 2010 Leave a comment
Cats and litter boxes go hand in paw. The types of boxes – covered, uncovered, automated – and the variety of litters – clay, scoopable, newspaper, wheat or corn based –can make the choice difficult, but ultimately, it’s the cat who makes the final decision.
Cats and even young kittens use the litter box easily. However, two factors can contribute to litter box problems: many cats are being kept indoors and people (56 percent of cat owners) have more than one cat. As a result litter box accidents may occur to due poor housekeeping and inter-cat aggression.
Here’s what to keep in mind:
• The rule of the thumb is one box per cat, plus one.
• Offer a choice between cover and uncovered boxes. A large cat will need a large litter box or the likes of a plastic storage box.
• Keep the litter simple – cats do not like highly scented litter.
• Scoop at least twice a day at least, more often if you have a dog that likes to “snack.”
• Place boxes in a low traffic, but accessible area (would you want to pee in a dark, scary basement?). Multiple locations may be necessary.
• Avoid liners; they’re just messy and tear easily.
• Keep a good cleaner on hand in case your cat has an accident. If the “accidents” increase, get help before the problem becomes ingrained.
• Watch who uses the box and when: Multiple trips to the box or camping out may mean urinary or constipation problems.
• A poor quality diet is reflected in a stinky litter box. The end result (literally) of better nutrition is less poop that smells less.
• Sprays and additives that are supposed to control odors do not replace regular scooping and they could be offensive to your cat.
Lisa A. Pierson, DVM, has some good information on litter boxes at http://www.catinfo.org/litterbox.htm.