I have had many pet parents contact me through the years to ask me for advice in regard to their kitties’ litter box issues. For one, I have had readers say that their cats have stopped using their litter boxes altogether.
There may be a number of reasons for this:
- Your kitty may be ill, so a trip to the vet is in order.
- You have changed his brand of litter.
- You have changed the location of her litter box.
- You have changed his litter box to a type that’s unfamiliar to him.
- You have changed your kitty’s food or overall diet.
- You are undergoing a major life change, such as a move, or the birth or a new baby…etc.
Barring that your cat has health issues, cats are very clean, fastidious creatures who demand the right bathroom products, and territories in which to do their business. So it’s important to use the right litter in the right litter box in the right location.
Natural Litter is Best
When choosing cat litter, make sure that it is free of fragrance, dyes and other harsh chemicals. This can have numerous toxic effects on cats ranging from respiratory ailments to urinary tract issues. It’s always best to choose natural litters that are made from biodegradable products such as pine or cedar. And try to avoid clay or clumping litters, as these can be bad for kitties, and the environment.
Use the Right Litter Box
Most cats prefer boxes that are large enough for them to sit and stand in with plenty of room to move. Older cats and kittens require boxes with lower sides, for ease of entry and exiting. But most cats prefer bigger boxes. If you have multiple kitties, the rule of thumb is that you should provide one box per cat.
Location, Location, Location
Cats like to do their business in a cozy yet spacious private place, away from noisy household appliances, dogs, kids and clutter. A spare bathroom, or large laundry room where you can keep the litter box a reasonable distance from the washer and dryer work great.
And make sure that your cat(s) have easy access to their boxes, so that they don’t have to travel long distances in order to find them.
Keep it Clean
Felines are very fussy about the cleanliness of their litter boxes. So always remove solid waste, (ie., poop) as quickly as possible. Be sure to rake the litter, to help absorb liquid waste. And thoroughly clean their boxes and replace the litter at least once a week, if not more.
Lily and Murphy’s Litter Box Advice
I use a large litter box, which I keep in my bathroom, next to my toilet, for my cats. As for their litter, they prefer Kitty Diggings, a simple, natural, inexpensive product made from Fuller’s Earth, which is free of any fragrances and chemicals.
I clean the box twice a week by first pouring the used litter into a large bag. I then place the box under the bathtub faucet and run some hot water into the bottom to loosen the leftover debris.
I next pour the water from the box into the toilet, then drizzle a little bit of mild liquid soap into the bottom of the box, run some more hot water from the bathtub faucet into the box and place the scooper in there, allowing this to soak for a few minutes.
Finally, I wipe off the scooper with some paper towels, pour the water from the box into the toilet and rinse out the box with some more hot water, which I pour into the toilet.
After wiping out the box with paper towels, I sprinkle some baking soda along the bottom, and then add a couple of inches of clean litter.
Voila! My kitties have a safe, clean place to do their business. And we’re one happy little family.
Do you have any suggestions or questions about kitty litter issues? Feel free to share them in the comments space below.