Choosing the Right Litter Box for Your CatBasic or blinged out?
Get your pick of the litter box.
After choosing the perfect pet, your next step is to grab the accessories and supplies your furry friend will need to be happy in your home. You’ll need to grab the healthiest food, cutest toys, Fresh Step® kitty litter, and the first litter box you can find. But, is having the litter box last on your list a big mistake?
Sure, litter boxes may all appear to be the same, but just like human toilets, they are not all created equal. And some will naturally appeal to your kitty more than others. If the litter box isn’t to their liking, Kittycat may even skip the litter box altogether and simply decide your bed or your white sofa is now her bathroom. Obviously way less than ideal. In fact, litter box avoidance is the #1 reason cats are returned to shelters. We don’t want that to happen to ANY cat. To avoid this from happening, consider these tips when picking your next litter box.
Rethinking the “One Cat, One Litter Box” rule.
Cats like to have options, so instead of considering one litter box per cat, think of having at least one more litter box than you do cats.1 For example, if you have 4 cats, you should have 5 litter boxes, 5 cats means 6 litter boxes, and so on. This way, each cat feels like he has his own litter box, and there are extra communal litter boxes, too.
You’re gonna need a bigger box.
This may seem like a no brainer, but the bigger your cat is, the bigger her litter box needs to be. After all, she has to fit into the box, and is going to spend some time attending to important business in there. You want to make sure that your cat is going to feel comfortable in there and will want to visit it again and again without using another place that she shouldn’t. Your cat should have ample space to climb in, dig around in the litter, daydream and climb out of the box. Measure your cat from the tip of her nose to the tip of her tail and make sure the box is about the length and a half of that.2 Do the same with the width of her body also to make sure the height of the box is correct too. Make sure to leave her the latest issue of Cat Fancy, too. Just kidding — or are we?
Covered or uncovered?
Whether to get an open litter box or a litter box with a lid is often a big debate. However, your cat probably wants you to get an uncovered box. Why? Having no cover helps your cat feel safe while they go to the bathroom since it allows him to see all around, including possible threats and an easy escape route if need be. Hey, it’s in their nature.
To clean or to self-clean?
Another debate in the kitty community is the self-cleaning litter box. While it can be tempting to automate another chore, it will be less than convenient when your cat becomes frightened that his poop place has suddenly come to life and scared him out of ever returning again. Similar to the automatic flush toilet that whirls when you’re mid-stream, these self-cleaning kitty litters scare cats, are expensive, high maintenance, and make it difficult to spot any health concerns that are found in your cat’s poop and pee. Stick with the old school scooping litter boxes for a happier, healthier cat.
Let’s get back to basics.
Now that you’ve chosen the right box, it’s time to get into Litter 101. You’ll learn everything you need to know to make sure your kitty has a fresh, clean box she’ll love.
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1. Cat Not Using Litter Box: Causes and Solutions (n.d.) https://resources.bestfriends.org/article/cat-not-using-litter-box-causes-and-solutions
2. Litter Box 101 (2015) https://www.nehumanesociety.org/for-pet-owners/behavior-help/litter-box-101.html