7 Best Pieces of Litter Box Advice From a Professional Cat Behavior Consultant

A cat behavior professional named Laura took the time to write a helpful guide for cat owners experiencing litter difficulties.

Whether your cat won’t use it, is peeing next to it, peeing around the house, or displaying other unusual behavior regarding their “business,” this is your comprehensive guide to ensuring you have optimized their litter box set-up. Cats can be particular, so if you have not invested in their litter box placement and set-up correctly, you could prolong the problem.

1. Take Your Cat to the Vet

Cat at the vets.
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

The first step, she says, is always to take the cat to the vet when they refuse to use their litter box, whether or not you believe it’s behavioral. A cat parent verified the importance of taking your cat to the vet even when you disbelieve there’s anything wrong medically.

They reflected on when they caught their cat trying to pee on their couch. After yelling at the cat it abruptly stopped, but sure enough, they caught the cat in the act again the same day. So they reluctantly brought it to the vet, where they were informed that the cat had a urinary obstruction that would have been fatal had they ignored it. Better safe than sorry.

2. Improve the Location of Your Cats Litter Box

Cat coming out of litter box with top on it.
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Laura says cat owners often neglect to realize how much location matters to cats. After all, if YOUR bathroom was located in the dark corner of a basement, as she puts it, would you want to use it?

That’s how your cat feels. So you should place a litter box on each floor of your house, and it should be somewhat private but not entirely isolated from everything else.

3. Spread Out Multiple Litter Boxes

Cleaning the Litter Box.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

How many boxes do you have? According to Laura, you must have one box per cat, plus at least one extra. Two boxes placed next to each other count only counts as one box. She apologizes and says “spread those boxes out!” There’s “no clumping of resources.”

4. Deep Clean Them, Often

Ragdoll cat surrounded by Litter Boxes.
Photo credit: Floppycats.

You must scoop away the cat business from the litter box once daily and replace the soiled litter with fresh litter. Twice a month, Laura advises that you scrub the container with soap and water for a deeper clean.

Another commenter praised the regular deep cleanings, adding that they make your living space smell much better. This person has opted to do it weekly to keep their place smelling fresh.

5. Get the Right Type of Litter

Litterboxcom™ Cat Litter Subscription‎ Floppycats pouring into Litter Robot 3
Photo credit: Floppycats.

Laura also discusses how cats care about what litter you put in their box. Unscented clumping clay, she says, is what most prefer. Litter that contains pellets and crystals should be avoided, Laura shared, because they can be sharp and abrasive on your cat’s paws. When pouring the litter inside the box, ensure it is two to three inches thick.

6. Check That the Litter Box Is Big Enough

A Litter Robot with litter boxes.
Photo credit: Floppycats.

Did you know most commercial little boxes aren’t big enough for your cat? Laura elaborates that your cat should be able to turn around inside their litter box without touching the walls.

When in doubt, Laura suggests you go bigger. Another crafty replier says they repurpose storage totes as litter boxes by cutting a hole in the side for accessibility. They also offered that cement mixing tubs could also do the trick. Other Large Litter Box options.

7. Keep It Uncovered

Photo Credit: Floppycats.

Laura provides a few reasons why getting an open rather than a closed-lid litter box is better. For one, they’re often too small. Secondly, you’re less likely to remember to clean them, and they trap foul smells. Finally, most cats dislike doing business in an enclosed litter box. She compares this to how humans loathe using porta-potties. When you put it that way, I get it.

Litter Robot – The Automatic Litter Box Alternative to Scooping

Photo credit: Floppycats.

“My initial thought when I first saw the Litter- Robot was…that thing is MASSIVE. Little did I know, it is one of the smartest and handiest cat inventions my sister has had me test so far. I work away from my home a good portion of the day and the Litter-Robot has been a lifesaver. I can depend on having a clean litterbox for my cats all day long.” Learn more about the Litter Robot.

This thread inspired this post.

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Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,

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