Deciding to share your life and home with a newly adopted cat is certainly an honorable undertaking. But before anything else, everything needs to be prepared for your new pet’s arrival. All the necessities should be ready and placed in their proper spots, and your home cat-proofed to prevent unfortunate incidents. The new sights, sounds, scents, etc. can be so intimidating and overwhelming for your new pet. Being prepared can also make the transition period less stressful for everyone.
In addition to the food and water bowls, the litter box is a basic essential that should be in place before the new kitty’s arrival. But choosing the right litter box isn’t just a walk in the park. Cats are so particular with everything in their surroundings. And this extends to their litter box. They can be so fussy that they can easily develop issues with their litter box. When a cat has issues with the litter box, he won’t hesitate to steer clear of it and do his thing somewhere else other than the litter box.
Inappropriate elimination is an issue that cat parents encounter at one time or another. Having the right litter box for your pet is one way to lessen the chances of having to deal with litter box issues anytime soon.
Choosing the right litter box
With dozens of litter box styles and models that are available on the market, choosing the right one for your pet can be pretty overwhelming. Here are some great beginner tips in choosing a litter box that your furball will use.
Size of the litter box
When it comes to the size of the litter box, comfort is the key. The box should be spacious enough to allow your cat to engage in pre- and post- toileting --stepping inside, turning around, scratching, and squatting without hitting the sides of the box. A box with lower sides (about 2-3 inches in height) is best for kittens or smaller cats. For full-grown cats, a 24-inch square box with 4-inch walls is ideal.
Most types of litter boxes are made of plastic. But there are also litter boxes made of 100% recycled paper which makes them disposable. Paper neutralizes ammonia gases and allows good ventilation. There are also wooden litter boxes that are available.
Picking the right location for placing a litter box is just like looking for prime real estate. Cats like to do their thing in private. Do not place litter boxes in areas with high household traffic. They do not want anything that will disturb, distract, or cause fear or anxiety while they are using the litter box.
Types of litter boxes
There are several types of litter boxes. Knowing the pros and cons of each one can help you decide which ones will best suit your pet’s needs, as well as your living conditions.
- Open litter pans
Litter pans are the best choices if you have a small living space. They are easy to clean, too. Cats tend to feel safe and comfortable when doing their business because they can keep an eye on what’s happening around them. Without a cover, scooping needs to be done frequently to prevent the buildup of odor. Also, a dog’s or child’s curiosity can get the better of them and they could end up rummaging through the contents of the litter box. It’s best to place a barrier to keep them out. Open litter pans are also excellent for multi-cat households.
- Covered Boxes
Many cat owners prefer to buy covered litter boxes because they are the best cat litter box for odor control and keeping litter from being scattered in the immediate surroundings. Some covered litter boxes are designed with built-in ventilation. But is this what your cat wants? Some cats prefer covered litter boxes because they can have privacy when doing their business. They enjoy the seclusion that the cover brings. However, some cats hate being confined while using the covered litter box. They may feel trapped because there’s no way they can make a quick getaway when there is a perceived threat. Cats also like to keep an eye on their surroundings, which is an instinct for self-preservation. Also, you might not realize it, but you have more cleaning to do because the odors are concentrated within.
- Self-Cleaning Litter Boxes
Automated litter boxes offer convenience, especially for busy pet parents. These boxes are designed with a mechanism that sifts waste from the litter and deposits it in a container or disposable plastic bag. Some self-cleaning litter boxes have disposable trays, so you won’t have to deal with scooping litter or handling cat waste for disposal. Many cat parents consider these boxes a worthwhile investment because it frees them from the task of regularly scooping the litter box contents. However, some cats are spooked by the sound that the device makes and will not use them at all.
Commonly Asked Questions
- I have multiple cats. How many litter boxes do I need?
The basic rule in deciding how many litter boxes are needed in multi-cat households is to count the total number of cats plus 1. For example, if you have 2 cats, the minimum number of litter boxes is 3.
- Where should I keep my cat’s litter box?
Litter boxes should be placed in strategic places around your home so it will be easier for your cat to get to one when he feels the urge to poop or pee. Choose areas where there is less distraction or disturbance because cats can be jumpy about these things. Cats value their privacy when heeding the call of nature.
- How do I stop my cat’s litter tray from smelling?
Make a habit of scooping the contents of the litter box every day, several times, if you have the time. The box should be emptied of all its contents and given a thorough cleaning with soap and water at least once a week. Using the right cat litter would be helpful as well! Be sure to remove all the dirt and waste by brushing every nook and cranny of the box. Let it dry thoroughly before putting in a fresh clean layer of litter.