2017-08-29 / Front Page

Cats and their litter boxes

Urinating and defecating outside of the litter box is one of the most common reasons for a cat to be relinquished to a shelter or, in some cases, abuse. Sadly, in most cases it is the fault of the human in charge of the litter box duties. The fault usually involves a dirty box or one that is too small.

When someone is asked how often they flush their toilet, the answer is every time it is used, of course! We all know how repulsive portable toilets are and we are not even asked to walk around in our own waste, like humans often ask of their cats!

So why do we expect our cats to use dirty litter boxes instead of just going some place else? Humans seem to forget that a cat’s sense of smell is infinitely more sensitive than our own. Add to this the instinctive nature of the cat to be clean and it is easy to see how a dirty litter box often spells disaster.

Think about how a wild cat would handle his bathroom duties. He would not be confined to a 1x2 bathroom. He would not choose to walk around in his own waste. He would simply choose another plot of land and that plot of land could be behind your sofa or in another area of your home.

Do scoop the litter box twice daily, at a minimum, both feces and urine. It only takes about three minutes each time. Use clumping litter, except for kittens younger than 7-8 weeks of age. Use unscented litter.

Keep the litter deep enough. I never completely empty my litter boxes. I simply add to the boxes to maintain a 3.5 to 4 inch depth. Use large litter boxes. Place litter boxes in a quiet area. Use a litter mat that is comfortable for your cat to walk on. Check out these websites: CatInfo.org and mercyforanimals.org.

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