How many litter boxes does a cat household need?
It comes down to considering how clean cats like to be. As they are fastidious by nature and prefer not to use already soiled litter boxes, you number of litter boxes you need equals the number of cats plus 1. This means there is more than one litter box available. If you are away during the day…or for a few hours, this provides a second clean litter box for your cat to use (instead of your potted plants!).
What is the best brand of litter box?
Your cat doesn’t really care what type/color/shape/covered/uncovered/brand of litter box you prepare for them. What he needs is a box that is about 25% longer than his body and wide enough for his entire body to turn around in. It needs to be deep enough to contain 2-3 inches of litter, even when the cat is scratching to cover soiled litter. If you have a kitten, older cat or cat with limited mobility, consider a low sided and wider box for easier access. Remember that if you cat cannot get in to the litter box and use it comfortably, then they won’t use it at all (and will probably find a place of their own!)
Where should I put the litter boxes?
Cats prefer quiet but convenient places for their litter boxes. Ideal locations are places where they won’t be frightened or interrupted by people or sudden noises (toilet flushing, furnace turning on). Most important is to locate the litter box away from their food and water.
If possible, try not to change brands or locations once you’ve found ones that work for your cat(s).
How often to litter boxes need emptying?
Cats are clean creatures and therefore expect their litter boxes to be scrupulously clean as well. This means checking the litter box frequently during the day to ensure that soiled litter is removed.
Empty & wash the cat litter boxes WEEKLY (no pine-scented cleaners or ammonia, just hot soapy water and a thorough rinse with hot water).
Once per month, rinse with a dilute bleach solution (40:1) to destroy any microorganisms living in the box.
What kind of litter?
From a veterinary perspective, we advise using unscented, dust-free and clay-free litter. I can see the eyebrows raising over this one!
Here’s the real scoop! Your cat litter box will not smell if the soiled litter is removed frequently and the litter box is washed weekly. Imagine what your bathroom would smell like if you only flushed once a day, or once every couple of days. And we do agree that cat poop smells. But instead of considering that smell to be annoying, consider it a sign that the litter box has been used and is ready for scooping!
Unscented is important so that the cat’s delicate nose is not irritated. Dust-free litter is important as it will not irritate your cat’s airways.
Clay-free is highly desirable because of its ability to absorb so lots of liquid. Why? Because many cats end up with the clay caught on the paws. Once it is on their paws, they ingest the clay while grooming their paws. When this happens repeatedly, the clay in the digestive tract (which is a giant sponge for liquids) continues to absorb liquids and can form a gastrointestinal blockage that needs surgical removal. Which is why we don’t recommend the clay based cat litter.
What is my cat has an accident?
Firstly, punishment NEVER works with cats. Just like with humans, accidents do happen. When you discover the accident:
Use an ENZYMATIC odour eliminator to clean the area of the accident.
Block the cat’s access to unacceptable areas.
Alternatively, place their food bowl or a clean litter box there.
If your cat continues to eliminate outside the box, schedule a veterinary visit to rule out a physical problem. It is really important to attend to this type of problem quickly, because leaving this can allow a bad habit to become ingrained.
That’s it! Enjoy your kitty!