6 tips for improving your cat’s litter box experience.
If your litter box experiences have been a little off-mark lately, there are things you can do to get back on track. The one thing to keep in mind is that your cat needs to feel safe and secure without being totally isolated when she’s using the litter box. Your kitty is a member of the family and deserves to have a desirable place to do business.
Consider these six tips for improving your cat’s litter box experience:
1. Choose a quiet yet safe spot. Shoving your cat’s litter box in the furthest spot away from your living area, or hiding it in a corner or behind a piece of furniture is not the most desirable location. Cats are social and curious creatures. They enjoy being able to see everything yet also need to feel safe while using their litter box.
Finding just the right spot may be a challenge. To discover what works, consider placing a few boxesaround the house and let your cat decide which location he prefers. Certainly, don’t place it near where your cat eats or drinks or near an object like a washing machine that can spook your cat while he’s right in the middle of soiling.
2. Scoop often. If you can smell a reeking litter box, your cat will likely be repulsed since cats’ noses are many times more sensitive than humans’ sniffers. Trying to mask an overloaded litter box by using scented litter, air fresheners, plug-ins, or perfumes won’t solve the problem and further offends the cats’ highly developed olfactory organs.
Be sure to twice daily scoop out the soiled litter, replenishing with new litter when necessary so you maintain a constant depth of about four inches. Your cat appreciates a clean, fresh-smelling place to eliminate. You might also consider adding baking soda to the litter or investing in an odor control kit. Modkat sells one that includes two bamboo charcoal filters and is effective for beating back odors.
You should also be completely replacing the litter twice a month. While the box is empty, wash it thoroughly with warm water and unscented soap.
3. Don’t fix what’s not broken. If your cat has been successfully using its litter box, refrain from the urge to relocate it to a different spot just because you’re in the mood to rearrange your furniture. Cats are creatures of habit. Moving it around in your home or apartment confuses your four-legged friend and disrupts its routine. You should also avoid changing the litter brand, especially if the current brand meets your cat’s checklist.
4. Keep the space tidy. On occasion, your cat may accidentally miss its target and go just outside the box onto your carpet. Marci Koski, a cat behavior consultant with Feline Behavior Solutions, suggested buying runners to protect your carpet. They are inexpensive and readily available at home improvement stores.
5. Provide the right fit. Use a litter box that is the right size for your cat, about 1x the length of your cat, or enough room to turn comfortably around. A box that's too small can result in scattered litter or mishaps.
6. Respect their personal space. There should be a litter box for every cat in your home plus one. Each deserves its own throne in its special spot. Avoid lining up litter boxesnext to each other so your cats don’t have to pass one another on the way to their personal space, especially if one cat is more territorial than the other.
Is your home multilevel? The experts also recommend maintaining a litter box on every floor so that your kitty doesn’t have to travel far to do business or be tempted to find a more convenient or accessible area such as your clothes hamper.