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How to Choose a Cat Litter Box

Updated on January 7, 2018

Finding a cat litter box seems like such a mundane choir that most cat owners give scarcely a thought to it.

Yet the design you choose can have important consequences for both you and your cat.

Moreover, some people who have cats that live primarily outdoors will need a litter box even for the brief stints of time the cat spends indoors.

The Right Cat Litter Box for your Cat

1) Most cats will urinate in a squatting position. However, some cats will go while standing up. For a cat with this particular idiosyncrasy the best cat litter box design is one that resembles a small house with a drawer -- this will help prevent the urine from being sprayed outside the box.

2) For the majority of cats, however, all you need is a cat litter box that is comprised of a plastic tray with a detachable rim -- this design will do a good job of containing the litter when your cat scratches and kicks in it.

3) If your cat is advanced in years, a shallow tray or pan cat litter box will probably be best since many of the other designs require the animal to climb or hop into and get out of. When we noticed our 17 year old Persian, Crystal, having trouble jumping her box one day, we made the switch to a simple plastic tray that she can easily step into.

The simple shallow pan design also comes in handy for those who take their cats out on trips -- it is the least cumbersome to bring along.

Cat not using litter box?

1) Check your cat litter brand to ensure it is free of asbestos (which is a cancer causing agent). The best cat litter, in fact, will be environmentally friendly -- biodegradable -- and be free of chemicals, dyes, and other constituents that can adversely impact the health of your cat.

2) Is your cat not using litter box? Be sure you don't put the cat litter box near where your cat eats; cats can't stand, and will often refuse to eat in the vicinity of where their box is located.

3) The best place to put the cat litter box is in a quiet space set apart from the hustle and bustle of incoming and outgoing humans -- cats like privacy when nature calls, and feel vulnerable when being observed. If they feel too uncomfortable, they may not use the litter box and end up relieving themselves somewhere else in the house.

4) Pour the litter at least 1 inch deep into the tray of the litter box -- preferably 2 oe 3 inches deep. Cats like to stratch around first, and want to cover their waste afterwards.

5) Make sure you clean the litter daily. Cat not using litter box? Unclean litter may be the reason.

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