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What Cats Look for in a Litter Box

litter-boxWhen a cat urinates outside the litter box, it is usually saying one of two things, either “I don’t feel well” or “I hate my litter box.”  The first thing an owner should do after finding urine in an inappropriate location is to make an appointment with a veterinarian so that the medical causes of urinating outside the box can be ruled out or addressed.  Once your cat has a clean bill of health, however, it is time to look at the litter box.

Many covered litter boxes are too small and dark for cats to comfortably move around in.  They can also stink.  With just a short investment of time, owners can easily convert large plastic storage boxes into litter boxes that cats adore.  Find a storage box that is at least twice as big as a typical litter box.  Cut a hole in one side leaving a lip that is short enough for a cat to easily step over but tall enough to hold in the litter.  There you have it:  a litter box that is large and airy but that still has tall sides to control the mess.  If you absolutely have to have a cover on the box, drill multiple large holes in the corresponding top to let light in and odors out.

Of course, this type of box does not eliminate the need to follow the rules of basic cat litter management:

  • always have one more litter box than the number of cats in your house
  • use a clumping cat litter (cats seem to prefer unscented varieties that contain activated carbon)
  • scoop out the boxes at least daily
  • dump, wash, and refill the boxes with clean litter monthly
  • clean up any “accidents” around the house with a cleaner designed specifically to eliminate urine odors.
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{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Elayne May 31, 2011, 10:04 am

    Hi, I thought that litter that clumps wasn’t good for a cat because it might clump inside them when they clean themselves. I use litter made from recycled newspaper. Is that okay?

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