Cat litter box pros and cons? Here you will find some useful information that can assist you in finding the right litter and box, as well as to understand why your cat is misbehaving and how to address such issues.
In addition to providing your cat with good quality food, fresh water, toys, and a place to sleep, your cat will also need a box and litter to do his business.
Many new cat owners get overwhelmed by the number of cat boxes and litter products available today. Although, many cat owners have trouble training their cat or cats to use the box and litter product they just purchased.
Cats can be very picky about the litter type, box size, sharing with other cats and location. By understanding your cat's needs you will prevent some future frustration and also will be able to identify some health issues your cat may develop.
There are several types of cat litter boxes out there. They vary in size, shape, covered/open, self-cleaning, automatic, and so on. When choosing your cat's litter box, make sure you select a box size that will have enough room for your cat to do his business.
Cats like privacy when using the cat litter bos, so we recommend that you get a box that has the top. By having the top will also help you to keep your house cleaner.
When we adopted our first cat, we purchased an open cat litter box. For months she used the open top litter box, but the floor outside the box was always dirty with litter everywhere. We tried to minimize the amount of cleaning we had to do by covering the floors around the box with paper and rubber mat. After a while we decided to purchase a box with the top.
Initially our cat was a little shy about the box, but we used the same litter she was already using. Few minutes later, she was inside and happy about her new box. She still carries a little bit of litter when she exits the box, although it stays on the rubber mat right outside the box. We use the rubber mat because it is easier to clean, but you can purchase any type of mat to fit your home and budget.
Remember, you will need to clean the covered box the same way you would clean an open box. If the box is not clean, your cat may not use it...and you will find that he/she is using your furniture as the new box.
If your cat does not like the covered litter box, you should change to an open litter box. There are boxes that have higher walls, which can help to keep the litter inside the box and not on your floor.
Liners did not work for us.
The point of a liner is to make cleaning easier, but it was messier then before, the liners would have small holes in, which were done by our cats - covering their business. So we decided to keep it simple - no more liners.
We also tried boxes that had steps. It did not work for us either, our female cat would pee at the corner top by the steps, and unfortunately, the steps were always dirty. The boxes both of my cats are using now are the standard hooded large cat litter box, and so far we had no issues.
You may also try the automatic
self-cleaning litter box. The price of this box is substantially higher
than the standard litter boxes available, but if you have the budget for
it you should try. There are a few automatic self-cleaning litter box
out there, so make sure you do your homework. In addition
to the initial purchase cost, you will also need to purchase refill and
fillers which are not the least expensive out there.
The formula for good litter box behavior is one box for each cat, plus one. By adding an additional box it can prevent fights over using the litter box.
Also, to prevent ambushing and other territorial arguments, litter boxes should also be placed a part from each other, preferably in different locations.
Location is another very important factor. Cats like privacy while using the cat litter, but if it is too hard to get to, in a noisy place, or in a dark and cold basement your cat will not use it.
Your cat litter boxes should be conveniently located. By the laundry room, second bedroom, sun-room, bathroom, closet, garage, etc. Keep in mind, if you are placing a litter box inside a closet be sure to keep the door wedged from both sides to prevent your cat from being trapped inside or locked out.
If your house has more than one floor, you should also place a litter box in each floor. Some cats like certain areas of your house and will spend more time there, so make sure you have a litter box available there. By having litter boxes available in different areas of your house will help to prevent behavior issues and it can also help if you have senior cats, which it will make easier for them to use it.
Also, be sure to keep the cat litters away from their food and water bowls.
Final note, always place the boxes where the cats will use them, not where is convenient to you.
There are several reasons your cat may stop using the cat litter. Your cat may be telling you that the litter box is dirty, that he/she does not like the litter type, that they don't like the location where it is or that they cannot access it. It also could be that they don't have enough privacy - very active place, loud, other pets, humans or kids. It also could be that the boxes are too small or that there not enough boxes.
Make sure you clean well the areas your cat soiled. Cat's sense of smell is much stronger than ours, and they are highly motivated to continue to using that area instead the litter box. There are several products that can remove the smell from carpet and fabric, in addition to steam cleaning.
The reason could also be health issues. Your cat could be showing signs of medical issues, such as: diabetes, urinary track problems, cystitis (painful bladder inflammation), or partial urethral blockage. If the reason your cat stops using the litter box is not environmental, you should contact your Vet immediately.
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