For most cats, indoor bathroom facilities are required at least some of the time, and most cat owners choose to meet this need with a litter box. Sadly, unlike human toilets, most kitty facilities do not neatly flush away debris, so it’s important to make time to maintain your cat’s “toileting” area properly, and to be aware of problems that can arise. The most obvious thing to note is that cats are generally very clean animals, and they don’t typically like to use an overly soiled box. Therefore, to prevent soiling around your home, it’s important to scoop out solid waste regularly. Daily or twice daily patrols should be sufficient, but getting rid of waste as soon as possible helps your cat to feel comfortable. Top up the litter to replace the amount taken out, but be careful not to overfill, as this can encourage your cat to dig more litter out of the box.
When litter becomes saturated, it’s time for a complete change. How often this happens will vary depending on your cat’s fluid intake and kidney health, as well as on the type of litter you use. Traditional types are likely to require a change around twice a week, while clumping litter that is properly scooped may be good for up to a month. All types of litter should be replaced completely at least monthly, and this is a good time to give the box a thorough clean with soap and water to remove any lingering issues. Plastic boxes should be replaced approximately every 6 months to a year to prevent contamination of scratches or other blemishes.
While scented litters and liners can help to disguise odors, some scented additives, such as citrus, are not good for cats and can put some felines off from using their boxes. Cedar wood is one option that cats seem to prefer, but it’s important to choose products that suit your animal. Other types of liners may physically irritate some cats, who will then refuse to use the box.
Don’t be afraid to try different types of liner and litter until you find the ones that work for your cat, but do stop changing products once you’ve found a set that works. Cats prefer consistency, so once you have a system in place, try to stick with it. Don’t forget that your pet also cares about the state of the box’s surroundings, so cleaning up litter that gets tracked out onto your floors, too. Check out this floor mat, which helps keep tracked out litter under control, scents the area with a cat-friendly odor, and lets you donate food to rescued pets all in one go.
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