We were cat parents for almost 20 years before we learned that there are basic litter box rules. Get a box, put in some litter and clean it from time to time is all we thought mattered. Turns out that we were doing everything wrong and this explains so much…
Over the years we’ve had cats that wouldn’t use the box and we couldn’t figure out why. We had other cats that would frequently get constipated or urinary infections and we never related it to our litter box habits.
There are many things that we should consider when it comes to our cat’s elimination situation, but here are 4 of the basic rules to follow when it comes to your cat’s litter box.
4 Rules For Litter Box Basics
- Size of the box. This is a big one (pun intended) that we didn’t learn until our big boy was refusing to use the box. Feline behavior experts taught us that the box should be a length and a half the size of your cat. Measure your cat from nose to behind (tail not included) and multiple that by 1.5. That’s how big the box should actually be. Since most expensive litter boxes at the pet store are small, scratch that idea. Instead, grab a large storage bin at the department store, cut out a door and use this instead. You’ll save a lot of money and make your cat happier.
- Type of litter. Cats can be picky about the type of litter they use so luckily there are many options. We always suggest using a natural litter. A few extra tips when choosing the right litter would be: A. Don’t use clay litter because it’s been linked to kidney issues in cats. B. Don’t use scented litter because it has chemicals in it that can be harmful to our kitties and our cats don’t care about the smell. C. Choose a litter that you are comfortable with your cat ingesting some of during grooming.
- Clean daily. Our cats are clean beings and they deserve to have a clean box. Scoop the litter at least once per day to satisfy our kitty’s cleanliness and keep them happy. Once we started doing this we were amazed at how our cats’ stopped going outside the box!
- Comfortable placement. Cats don’t want to do their business in a high traffic or loud area. They also don’t want to have to walk a mile to get to the litter box. Place the box in a comfortable and quiet place with easy access.
There’s much more to learn about this subject, but this covers some of the basics!