Adopting a Cat? Here’s the Scoop on the Cat Litter Box!
Cats and their litter boxes can be very confusing to a new cat owner. On one hand, you are told that it’s easy to housetrain cats because their instincts attract them to the litter box. On the other hand, you hear of finicky cats rejecting the litter box due to the type of litter, the location, or some combination of factors that you have to figure out before your kitty decides to use the laundry basket instead! Don’t worry! It’s not all that mysterious. This article will give you the information you need about litter boxes, cat litter, litter box furniture, and how to teach your new cat to use it all.
The Cat Litter Box and Where to Put It
Your cat’s litter box is simply a box, usually plastic and rectangular, that is used as a toilet. There are litter boxes with lids or doors, entry on the top vs the side, and some that even clean themselves! Whatever you prefer, just make sure that it is deep enough to hold a few inches of litter. It should also not be so deep that your cat has a hard time climbing in and out of it.
It’s important to choose a good spot for your cat’s litter box because if they don’t like the location, they won’t use the box! Choose a spot that is easy for the cat to access, but out of the general traffic of the household. Cats like their privacy too! Make sure it’s also located away from your cat’s feeding location. Like humans, cats don’t want to go where they eat.
Many litter boxes come packaged with a small shovel for scooping out feces and litter clumps. If yours does not, make sure you pick up a sturdy one (metal is better than plastic). If you are adopting more than one cat, it’s best to play it safe and get a separate litter box for each cat. You may also want multiple boxes if you have a larger home. They should be spread across your home to prevent accidents.
All About Cat Litter
Types of Cat Litter
Many varieties of kitty litter are available today! There is clumping and non-clumping clay, recycled newspaper, and organic materials like corn or wheat. You can even get cat litter that will monitor your cat’s health. Clumping clay litter is very popular because its clumping property makes it easy to clean. Plus, most cats like it. Litter is something that cats can get finicky about though. While scented litters help cover unpleasant odors, cats do have a very strong sense of smell. So, scented litter can be too strong for some of them.
Cats may also reject a type of litter because it irritates their sensitive paws, or they can develop an allergy to it. When starting out with a new cat, purchase cat litter in small amounts. That way it’s easy to change brands until you find one that you and your cat both like. Some of the most popular brands are World’s Best Cat Litter and Arm & Hammer Cat Litter. The biggest factor for keeping your cat happy with his litter box, however, is cleanliness.
Amount of Cat Litter
You should use enough litter to fill the whole box to about two to three inches deep. If your cat really likes to dig and scratch deeply, you might want to add another inch of litter. (If you add too much though they will end up kicking it over the edge).
Cleaning the Cat Litter Box
Scoop out feces and urine clumps (if you are using clumping litter) at least once a day. The more vigilant you are about scooping regularly, the happier your cat will be with his box. You will also be able to go longer between complete litter changes. Non-clumping litter should be completely changed one to two times per week. Clumping litter that is regularly scooped can go up to two weeks without being fully changed. When you do a complete change of litter, empty the used litter into a trash bag. Then, wash the box out with hot water and a little soap, rinse well, and dry thoroughly before refilling with fresh litter.
Using the Cat Litter Box
Most cats adopted as adults already know how to use a litter box and will adapt to your litter box readily once they know where it is. If you adopt a kitten from a shelter, it will be at least eight weeks old and will have learned to use a litter box. Younger kittens may need to be placed in the box a few times in order to get the idea. You may also need to show your kitten how to dig to cover up after itself. This is done by digging with your hand next to the kitten or gently holding its paws and making the digging motion. Usually, they will figure it out on their own though.
If your cat has been using its litter box and then stops, there could be several reasons. As mentioned above, if something about the cat litter irritates the cat, it won’t use it. Other reasons could be stress or that the area with the litter box is not private enough. It may also need to be cleaned more often, or the cat may want its own box away from other cats in the household. However, a sudden change in litter box habits is often a sign of an illness. It’s important to pay attention if your cat is going outside of the litter box, going more frequently, or not going at all. Most illnesses can be cleared up quickly but should be treated right away. You should have your cat checked by your veterinarian if you ever notice a change in their litter box habits.
The Perfect Cat Litter Box Furniture
Now that we’ve made sure you know how to keep your cat happy with its litter box, it’s time to make sure you’re happy with it! Most prospective cat owners worry about their cats tracking litter around the house. This is bound to happen without the proper cat furniture in place. There are quite a few options on the market but one household favorite is this modern cat litter box cabinet from The Refined Feline. The Refined Litter Box Deluxe is a litter box enclosure that will give your cat some privacy as well as contain their litter. Meanwhile, it’ll look beautiful in your home. It’s even customizable and available in multiple wood finishes so that it blends with your decor!
The Refined Feline also makes a Litter Catch to go alongside the cabinet to catch any stray litter that your cat may try to carry out with them. Being a cat parent no longer means having to deal with litter around your home or an unsightly litter box sitting in the middle of a room. The Refined Feline also makes modern cat trees, cat wall shelves, and more!
You will be an expurrrt on cat litter, cat litter box furniture, and all things litter box in no time with these tips!
For more expert litter box tips check out: How to Keep Cat Litter From Tracking All Over the House