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Litter Box Related
The Litter Box
Cats are incredibly picky about the way their litter box is set up. Litter box dislike is one of the four main reasons cats stop using the box. They want it to mimic what is natural to them; what calls to their instincts. A lot of the newfangled, fancy, automatic boxes are off-putting to them. Size is important, as is accessibility and having escape routes. I've created a sheet that identifies the aspects cats prefer in their box. You can download it here.
Decoding Litter Box Issues
Cat not using the litter box? Learn the main reasons why and treatment plans for modifying the behavior. With Cat Behavior Specialist, Molly DeVoss
Sometimes simpler is better. You don’t need a fancy litter box – heck, you don’t need a litter box at all! It’s challenging to find a box that’s big enough to support 1.5 times the length of your cat. Pico is 18” from nose to tail, which means I need a 27” litter box – minimum! I buy large concrete mixing and utility tubs like this to use as litter boxes.
Disposable Litter Box
I may prescribe you a "Litter Box Line Up" where we test the cats like/dislike for the litter box set up. These Jumbo disposable boxes are good for most sized cats.
Jumbo Disposable Litter Box
If you are having litter box issues, I might ask you to do a Litter Box Lineup where we offer the cat different litters and monitor box usage. These disposable boxes are great for that.
XL Designer Open Top Box
I had a foster who was kicking litter all over the place, and decided I needed a high wall box. But, knowing that Pico might be using it too, it had to be big enough for him to use as well; he’s a HUGE cat. I found this very nice looking box option. Interestingly, Pico prefers this box to his low sided one.
(click here or images to purchase)
High Side Litter Box
For the cat who tends to urinate straight back, this high-sided litter box is ideal. Cats prefer uncovered litter boxes and boxes that are 1.5X their length. This one is pretty good size.
Corner Litter Box
Sometimes a corner configuration works well for your space. This one is still a good size for most cats.
Slick Litter Box
Slick surface makes cleaning easier – especially more easily to clean than the mixing tub with molded ridges in it. Measure your cat and see if this one is big enough.
Stainless Litter Box
Stainless steel won't hold the odors that plastic boxes do. Check the size of your cat to be sure this one will work - 1.5X the length of your cat measured from nose to base of tail.
Litter Box for Senior Cats
Remember size matters! The litter box needs to be 1.5 times the length of your cat - that is measured from the nose to the base of the tail. I like this low side, large litter pan for seniors and young kittens.
Reduce the Litter Odor
I absolutely LOVE the Litter Genie! If you have kids you'll relate to it being similar to a diaper pail. You scoop the poop (and clumped urine), dump it into the pail, pull the trap door and poof, it falls into the bottom of the unit, into a plastic bag. Once the bag is full, the unit opens in the center, and has a built-in bag cutter. You simply cut and tie off the bag. Then pull down a new handful of bag, tie the bottom and you're ready to scoop more!
And they have recently come out with the XL size - which is perfect for multi-cat households.
I thought the refill cartridges were expensive so I tried a retrofit that uses plastic grocery bags, but a word of caution here...it does NOT control the odor. The bags have patented odor-controlling technology and really help to keep the smell down.
Right next to my litter box and Litter Genie XL, I have this dustbuster to clean up and litter tracking. The lightweight litters track more than the heavier ones, but some cats prefer the softer litter - which is a texture more natural to them. So I buy what suits my cat best (Tidy Cats Clean/unscented Featherweight) and vacuum up all the particles after I scoop.
Sometimes older cats with kidney disease become incontinent and you have to put piddle pads down where they insist on going. Years ago I had an older cat who lost control of his bladder (common with diabetes and CKD) and I had to use piddle pads in his favorite out-of-the-box areas. Piddle pads saved my hardwood floors!
If you have a healthy cat, I do not recommend encouraging them to use piddle pads instead of the litter box. Get to the cause of the inappropriate urination and fix it.
Sometimes I recommend using piddle pads in the litter box line up system to determine substrate preference.
Cat Piddle Pads
When I recommend a Litter Box Lineup, these disposable pad work well in the boxes above.
If you email me, I will send you my cleaning instruction sheet. On it you will see the suggestion to use Zorb it-up sheets for removing urine from carpet. I have a link to those to the right.
Then you must get the odor out or the cat will continue to use that spot; either in confusion of where the litter box is, or to cover up another cat's scent. The enzyme cleaners consist of "bugs" (similar to live probiotics) which eat the urine bacteria. But the challenge is, the bugs don't last long and the odor returns. I recommend using Live Pee Free, which is a positive ion solution. You can buy it through my boutique here. Live Pee Free
You might also want to keep a small black light on hand for sleuthing out those problem areas where you can smell cat pee but can't seem to locate it. The link to the light is to the right.