Litter Box Tips For Your Cat
22 May, 2012
When you bring your new kitten or cat home, they will be exploring their new surroundings and searching for their favorite spots. One of the most important places they need to learn to go to is where you keep the litter box. Most kittens and cats adjust easily to using their litter box. However, if you’re kitten or cat is not using the litter box as they should, below are some tips that should help you.
Location is key!
The litter box should be easily accessible and should be located where your cat has some privacy and can get in and out easily. It should not be anywhere your cat eats because cats will not eliminate where they eat. (Would you?)
If you have a dog, the litter box should be in a place where the dog can not get to. Litter pans should not be located near noisy places like the laundry room or the basement. If the washing machine or the furnace goes on while your kitten is doing her business, it might scare her away from the litter box.
I think I’ll grow into this!
Get the right size
Your kitten’s litter box should be large enough for her to turn around in and have several places to dig. Your cat should be able to use the box more than once without stepping on her previously deposited waste. Purchase a box large enough to fit these requirements for an average sized adult cat.
Get a clumping or pine litter
Cats’ litter preferences are usually formed when they are kittens and most cats seem to prefer a sandy texture. For your convenience in removing liquid waste and keeping odor to a minimum, a clumping litter is recommended. You can get clumping litter in the traditional clay, or you can opt for more environmentally friendly versions made of corn, wheat, or other grains (i.e. pine litter).
Try to avoid using a scented litter; the smell is overpowering to a cat’s sensitive nose and can cause litter box issues. Many of the grain- or wood-based litters have a natural aroma that most people (and cats) find pleasant. (Sammy and I like pine litter because it doesn’t track as much).
Keep it clean
The most important thing you can do to ensure that your kitten does her business where she should is to keep the litter box clean. This means scooping out the box at least twice a day and washing the entire box with soap and water once a week. Use dish soap–preferably the unscented kind–and warm water for your weekly cleanings and rinse the box very well afterwards. If you’re dealing with disease, fleas or a worm infestation, rinse with a weak bleach mixture after you wash with soap and water.
It really is quite simple. If you keep your cat box clean and accessible make sure it’s the right size for your kitten, you shouldn’t have any trouble with litter box issues. However, if you follow all of the above and your cat is still not using the litter box, consult your Veterinarian as your cat might have a urinary infection. Good luck!