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Litter box 101

Here are some tips from CATalyst about setting up the litter box and making it the place your cat wants to go.

There are many choices in litter, but most cats prefer unscented clumping clay litter.  To find out what your cat likes, offer a couple of different options in various litter boxes and see which one they use the most.

It is recommended to scoop the litter at least once a day if not twice a day.  Cats don’t like a dirty litter box.  If you do use clumping litter, at least once a month empty it completely out and wash it with soap and water.

If you have only one cat, you still may need two litter boxes.  Ideally, there should be one more box per household than the number of cats.

Litter box liners have a tendency to hinder box scooping with clumping litters.  Some cats don’t like the feel of plastic and can puncture the liner with their claws, so it may be best to skip the liners.

While some cats would prefer covered litter boxes, most cats don’t. When you’re placing the litter boxes in the house, you need to think about what would be best your cat.  If the litter box is downstairs it might be a problem for your older cat.  Make sure not to place them by loud appliances as it may be scary them.  Litter boxes should offer cats a view of what’s going on as they do their business, yet still offer some seclusion.

The bigger the litter box, the better.  Bigger cats just don’t have enough elbow room in many of today’s boxes.  A plastic storage container that you would store under the bed works great for those cats that need a little extra room.

Some cats can have a higher anxiety level that can play a role in cats missing the box.  Cats don’t like change such as a loss of a family member, a new pet, owners going on vacation, or moving to a new house can prompt a cat to miss the box.  Give the cat a chance to calm down by offering some more interactive play time and attention.  Another cause for anxiety may be the relationship in multiple pet homes.  Cats can be surprisingly subtle about their disagreements.  You may not see any fights between them, but one cat and prevent another cat from using the litter box in peace.

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