If our cats could talk they would tell us that we are doing it all wrong with the litter box. Most litter boxes are designed to appeal to the owner, not the cat. There’s a popular one I see a lot where the cat needs to jump into a hole in the top and into the litter box. For a confident cat or an only cat this might be fine. For a timid cat or one that is in a multiple cat household, the kitty has no idea what is going on outside of the box and that can be quite terrifying for them. Lids are something else your cat would probably tell you to do away with. The cat is always worrying about an exit strategy. This can be a real problem in multi-cat households. A cat that is constantly worried about how to safely exit the litter box might start going to the bathroom outside the box altogether.
Round boxes and fancy domed boxes with stairs are too small for a cat to move around in. It is much better to have a low sided large pan, especially for older and overweight cats. For the younger cats, a Rubbermaid tote without a lid can make a great litter pan. When looking for a place to put the box, again remember a cat’s exit strategy. Place the litter box where kitty can see from all angles. This will make your cat feel safe to use the box.
When choosing litter, most cats prefer clumping litter. Don’t go too crazy with scented litters and powders to reduce odor. Simply scooping every day will get the job done. Some cats are sensitive to strong scents and might stop using the box if they find the scent unpleasant. My favorite litter is Target brand Unscented Scoopable. It clumps great and doesn’t have a strong smell.
If you are having problems with your cat not using the litter box, it’s always best to check with your vet first to make sure your cat is not having health issues. If she gets a clean bill of health, try some of these tips and see if it helps.
Need someone to scoop the litter box and feed the kitty while you are away? Give us a call at 267-981-4929.