Making the Best of Your Cat’s Litter Box Time

Let’s face it: while there are many fantastic aspects to providing a good home for a feline friend, dealing with the litter box is not typically considered to be one of them. This fact can be compounded by any aspect of litter box maintenance, or patterns of use that don’t go off exactly as you hope and expect.

With that in mind, here are nine tips that can help you improve the experience of the litter box for both you and your cat.

cat litter box behavior

1 – Get the Right Litter Box

There are several options available these days for cat litter boxes. This includes everything from self-scooping boxes, to making one yourself from a cheap plastic bin as a resourceful, DIY option. But, what’s really important is getting the right sizefor your cat situation. Too many cats in one box can make for serious issues, but too much box for one cat is just a waste of time and space in your home.

2 – Get the Right Kind of Cat Litter

Just as with potential litter boxes, when it comes to cat litter, you have a staggering amount of choice. The important thing to remember is to zero in on one that you like and (more importantly), one that your cat likes. You want something that will help deal with the odor, but most cats will not use an overly perfumed box. You also want something that clumps for ease of scooping, but more on that below.

3 – Get the Right Box Liner (None)

As tempting as it may be to line your cat’s litter box with a plastic bag (for ease of cleaning and litter removal), it isn’t really what’s best for your cat. Think about it; one of the things a cat does most often while in a litter box is scratch at the litter.

If their claws are catching on the surface of a pan liner all the time, it not only provides them with a frustrating situation, but it also makes it more likely that used litter will end up outside the box. Further, you’re just increasing the chances that holes will develop in the liner, defeating its primary purpose in the process.

4 – Get the Right Litter Box Cover (Again, None)

It may be tempting to get a box with a nice cover on it – something to keep errant litter in the pan, and unsightly business out of sight. But again, most cats don’t like litter boxes with lids. They’re confining, and cats like to feel like they have escape routes if they’re putting themselves in a compromising position.

5 – Fill the Box With the Right Amount of Litter

Too much of a good thing can be, just… too much. As much as you may want to just continue to pour litter on the problem, too much litter does little for addressing odor and just ends up all over the floor anyway.

6 – Scoop Your Cat’s Box Regularly

This tip cannot be emphasized enough. If you only take one suggestion from this list, let this one (or the next one) be the one. Get into the habit of scooping your cat’s litter box on a daily basis, and you’ll both be happier for it.

7 – Replace Litter Regularly

Like number six above, this one is key: always be sure to replace your cat’s litter on a regular basis. Fresh litter smells better, and litter is really only designed to contain the smell for so long, even if you’re scooping on a daily basis.

8 – Replace the Litter Box Regularly

The box, especially if you’re not using pan liners (as we recommend above), will eventually begin to pick up smells over time. That’s why most experts recommend changing the box itself on an annual basis.

9 – Deodorize?

Fancy deodorizers generally do little to improve the smell of a cat box that isn’t well maintained. Conversely, a well maintained box generally doesn’t need a deodorizer. Also, keep in mind that your cat probably doesn’t enjoy the smell of deodorizer any more than you enjoy the smell of a dirty cat box.

Finding Your Way to Litter Box Nirvana

The nine tips above are designed to help improve you and your cat’s experience of the litter box. Litter boxes may be inherently unpleasant, but with the right equipment and the right maintenance, they don’t have to negatively influence your experience of providing your cat with a home.

Author: Giano Panzarella