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Litterbox 101

Any cat parent will tell you that our feline friends are very opinionated and picky.  Sometimes our opinions and preferences on proper cat care are not actually shared by the cats themselves.  A good example of this is This Litterbox.

Litterbox maintenance is a rather unpleasant aspect of living with cats.  If you browse the various litter products available today (many versions of covered litterboxes,  automatic scooping boxes, self-sifting boxes, litterbox bags, deodorizing powder additives…) one thing is clear: humans want to distance themselves from dirty litter as much as possible!  Unfortunately, we may not realize that our adversion to the litterbox can create a stressful situation for our cats.

For example:

– Cats don’t like covered litterboxes – this is very true.  (a) it traps odors and (b) they’re a bit vulnerable during bathroom time and a covered box does not allow them to see their surroundings.   You may think it’s a good choice because YOU don’t have to smell the litterbox as much, but think about what it’s like for them!  Cat urine is ammonia based, so trapping ammonia fumes in a covered box is not healthy for your cat.   And when you do uncover the box to clean it, you get bombarded with strong ammonia fumes as well!  Having an uncovered box in a well-ventilated area is actually much less stinky, especially if you clean it regularly.  Which brings us to:

– Cats like a clean litterbox.  Cats are very clean by nature – and a dirty box stresses them out.  It’s really important that boxes get scooped at least once a day.  It takes a minute or two to scoop a box and it’s done!  Clean litter!

– Cats don’t always like to share.  The Litterbox Rule of Thumb is one litterbox per cat plus one extra box.  That’s a lot of boxes for a multi-cat household, but my experience is that 1 per cat is usually enough.

I found a great article with more great litterbox tips for cat parents:

Here’s The Scoop On Maintaining Your Cat’s Litterbox