Avoiding the Litter Box Blues

If your cat has a case of the litter box blues the tips below may be just what is needed to rectify the situation. If you have any questions or would like to speak to someone about your cat’s litter box blues please give us a call at 973 377 2253!

BASIC SETUP

  • One litter box per cat plus one therefore 1 cat = 2 boxes, 2 cats = 3 boxes, etc.
  • Using soft and unscented scoopable litter inside a large open litter box is ideal for cats as it allows them to comfortably maneuver and easily bury waste. The litter boxes should be scooped twice a day.
  • The ideal location for your cats litter boxes include areas that are relatively low traffic yet easily accessible for him/her and provide multiple escape routes while allowing him/her to survey the room.
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Basic Setup

Litter box is large and open.

Litter is soft, unscented, and scoopable.

Litter box is easily accessible.

Litter is scooped twice a day.

COMMON CAUSES OF THE LITTER BOX BLUES

  • Common reasons litter box issues develop include a problem with the litter box setup, tension between pets in the home, an environmental stressor and a medical issue.
  • Declawed and older cats have sensitivity issues with their paws and many litters can be uncomfortable to them so opt for the softest you can find.
  • A sudden change can cause stress to your cat, which can lead to him/her not using the litter box.
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LOCATION

  • Out of sight out of mind for you, out of luck for kitty- it may be convenient for you to put the litter box somewhere tucked away but that can lead to a cat feeling trapped and unsafe.
  • If the litter box is moved around too much it could surprise your cat at an inconvenient time.
  • Have multiple floors? Have a box on every floor to ensure kitty has a place to go.

 

 

ONE BOX FOR MULTIPLE CATS?

  • Multiple cats sharing a litter box results in a dirty box much more quickly than cats not sharing, which can lead to one or more of your cats looking elsewhere to eliminate.
  • In a multi-pet home, the chance of play attacks or serious bullying can be present which can lead to one cat developing a fear of using the box or one cat not allowing the other cat to use the box.
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One Size Does Not Fit All

What once met the needs of your kitten will be too small for your adult cat.

ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL

  •  The litter box should be one and a half times the length of your cat- if you are unsure, pick the largest available.
  • A box that is made for a kitten will not be adequate for an adult cat, the litter box should grow with the cat.
  • Young kittens and older cats are not always able to get into high sided or tall litter boxes, look for a low sided litter box or cut out an opening suitable to your cat’s size.

SCENTS AND MORE

  • While scented litter may smell pleasant to humans, a cat’s sense of small is much more sensitive than ours and scented litter can be overwhelming and off-putting for many cats.
  • Cat claws can get snagged in plastic litter liners and can frighten cats or cause a negative association with the litter box itself. Tears in the liner due to snagged claws can also result in dirty litter getting underneath the liner, leaving an unpleasant odor and feeling of uncleanliness for the cat.

 

To download a PDF of our tip sheet please click here.

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