With a Litter Box, Location Counts

So many cats lose their homes and land up in shelters because they are not using their litter box. Often the problem lies with the cat owner and not the cat! Where the box is placed and the type of litter all plays a part in successful litter box usage.

Firstly, the standard rule is one litter box per cat in the household, even if they tend to give preference to a certain box. Often two cats will share a giant litter box but then its up to the cat owner to scoop at least twice a day.

Where the boxes are place is extremely important. Cats are very private creatures and many don’t like doing their business in front of an audience. So stay away from passages and high traffic zones in the home. Look for quieter places such as under a staircase, an accessible laundry room or even a spare bathroom that doesn’t get used by the family all the time. If you are struggling, to find suitable places, consider purchasing a special litter box screen, which will give the cat privacy and the feeling that she is not being watched.

The garage is strictly off-limits as a cat may be spooked when the door suddenly opens from the outside and could even run out and get lost!

Wherever you land up placing your boxes, it’s very easy to co-ordinate them with the interior design of your home and manufacturers have gone to great lengths to produce a variety of colors and shapes and there are even special designs to fit snuggly into corners.

If your cat is budding archeologist who digs and sends litter flying everywhere, consider a box with higher sides to contain the litter. There are also boxes with three higher sides and a standard entrance. This is a good design for elderly cats that would otherwise have trouble negotiate new heights.

If you are swopping an open box with another open design, the transition should go smoothly. However, if you are considering a changing from an open to a closed box, you may want to leave your open box close by to see that the cat is happy with her new closed quarters. If your new closed box has a detachable lid, it may be a good idea to let your cat use it without the lid for a couple of days too.

There are some stylish closed boxes like the new patent-pending Kitty a GoGo, which is available in a variety of fun designs to match any décor. The litter box slides out like a drawer for easy cleaning and has a built-in rake to help bring hard clumps to the front to easier removal.  (See image).

The most important thing about closed litter boxes is to check the actual size of the enclosed pan to make sure it’s not too small for large cats. Check it against the size of the pan your cat is used to. And if in doubt, don’t swop out!

Never change to both a new box and a new litter simultaneously. If you are considering trying a new litter, it’s important to mix a bit of the new with the old and gradually increase the amount of the new litter so that the cat adapts without actually realizing there’s been a change.

And remember, there’s no such thing as scooping too often! Another reason why cats won’t use a box is because it’s filthy.

Photo Credit: from flickr  by greeblie.


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