It’s a topic that we as feline lovers shy away from. That one dirty little secret that we try our best to hide….The litter box. Well here are some tips to make that dirty little secret a thing of the past so we can focus on the joys of being owned by our feline friends.

Did you know that the number of litter boxes you have is very important?

A great rule of thumb is to have a litter box for every cat in your home…plus one. No one loves a public restroom, your kitty friend feels the same way.

How often should the litter box be cleaned?

Each litter box should be scooped once daily. Also, a thorough cleaning of each box with brand new litter should be done once monthly. No one likes to go in a dirty bathroom so why would your cat?

What kind of litter should I use?

The absolute best litter is a dust free litter. Dust free litter can cut down on potential allergies and respiratory problems your kitty can develop by breathing in dust from common clay litters. There are several clumping litters that are dust free but my recommendation is a walnut or corn based litter. Transitioning your kitty to a new litter should be done gradually. Change can be hard for anyone, your feline pal included.

What kind of litter box should I use?

Cats are wonderful creatures, but also very peculiar and particular. Some prefer privacy, so a covered box may be best suited for your shy feline friend. Others prefer an open box for more room and comfort. I do recommend a very low profile box for our senior kitties as arthritis can make it difficult to get in an out of the box. One suggestion is a large, plastic under the bed storage bin. This allows tons of room and it is low enough to provide easy access.

What if my cat isn’t using the litter box?

First make sure that you have followed the above steps. Provide multiple options, clean boxes and adequate litter. If you are struggling with your cat preferring the carpet or tile rather than the litter box there are a few methods that may help get your cat back on track. Cat attract litter can encourage cats to go back to the box. Enzyme based cleaners should be used to eradicate any lingering odors in the not so great areas that your cat has chosen to do their business. You can also utilize pheromones to help relax and calm your kitty. Feliway is a great product that helps promote a calm and happy atmosphere.

For loads more tips and helpful information regarding litter box problems, I recommend the website catinfo.org. Click on the litter box tab on the right for great information to help with those pesky litter box problems.

I’m always here for you and your litter box questions…

Dr. Alisha Spivey

D13R2P USA, Illinois, Metamora, Cat leaving container