A cat behavior professional named Laura took the time to write a helpful guide for cat owners experiencing litter box 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 picky, so if you haven’t set up their litter box correctly, it can cause ongoing issues. But worry not! We’ve consulted a professional cat behavior expert to bring you the best litter box advice. These valuable tips will help you navigate the world of feline bathroom etiquette, ensuring your cat’s happiness and minimizing any litter box problems. Get ready to unlock the secrets of the purrfect litter box setup, where your cat’s comfort is the key to success.
1. Take Your Cat to the Vet
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
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
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
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
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
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.
7. Keep It Uncovered
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.
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