Litter Box Problems - What To Do?
It is difficult to obtain the friendship of a cat. It is a philosophical animal... one that does not place its affections thoughtlessly.
Some Thoughts on Kitties and Boxes
There's Nothing Worse Than Litter Box Problems
I have some general tips for cat owners, to avoid and/or solve litterbox issues. I have lived with cats for over thirty years, have worked in shelters as a volunteer, and helped may people solve these kinds of problems, and I can tell you prevention is much better than letting problems develop (like many things in life)!
The best way to cut down on odors is to clean the litterbox every day. It takes seconds. If you let odors build up, kitty might go elsewhere. Why let something so simple get in the way of having a sweet life with your pet? Litterbox problems are one of the main reasons people give their cats up to shelters, so don't let it happen to you.
Litters with scents and litters made with pine or cedar may be toxic and are probably unpleasant to your cat, which could discourage consistent use of the litter box. Get a plain unscented clumping litter. The best clumping litter I have found is made by Blue Buffalo; it is non toxic, biodegradable, and completely dust free. It can also be flushed down the toilet safely. It is made with walnut shells, and I actually put it in my compost, since I don't grow produce, only flowers.
Multiple cats absolutely require multiple cat boxes. A good rule of thumb is one box per cat, spaced throughout the home. This cuts down on odors and prevents behavioral issues and territorial problems. If you have more than four cats you probably don't need more than four boxes.
Ideally litter boxes should be in different rooms throughout the house, in quiet low traffic areas, and they must be scooped daily. This sounds like a pain but it only takes three to five minutes a day, even less if you have flushable litter.
Do a little research and buy a quality food. Buying cheap food now will cost you a lot of money later; cheap food results in poor nutrition, uncomfortable digestion, and urinary tract problems, which will translate into litterbox behavior problems that will aggravate you, and cause you to spend lots more money spent at the vet.
I have had up to nine cats, and by following these rules I have not had any problems with odors or behavior/potty accidents and issues. Guests have said to me they would never know I had nine cats in the house unless I told them, as they could detect no litter or ammonia odor at all.
Do yourself a favor and get a strong metal scoop for cleaning the litter. Plastic scoops always break.
Litter should be an absolute minimum of four inches deep.
Liners for Top Entry Litter Boxes - Get litter box liners and never scrub kitty's box again.
Even if you use clumping litter, you still need to empty the box periodically to clean it...unless you have a liner. Liners are great because clumping litter doesn't get stuck to the sides of the box, making daily cleanup faster and easier. I find using a liner is extremely cost effective (I only use one bag per month per box). I never have to haul a dirty box down to my utility sink to scrub it, which is awesome!
Clever cat liners? &8.99 Not having to scrub kitty's box? PRICELESS
The Best Litter Box Should Have A Sturdy Scoop
So...a plastic scoop is supposed to be able to handle heavy wet clumped litter cemented to the side of the litter box. Not!
I invested in a quality metal scoop and I won't have to deal with a broken scoop EVER AGAIN.
I have this one, it is incredibly sturdy with a non slip grip, and the scoop is deep and wide. The only thing I would change would be to give it a longer handle, but so far this is the best scoop I have ever found.
Top Entry Litter Boxes are the Best Type of Litter Box for Your Cat
Top entry cat litter boxes hide what's inside, prevent tracking better than any litter box or litter mat, and are easy to clean. They cost just a few dollars more than the traditional open litter box. And any cat can use a top entry litter box; the smallest kitten can use one with the help of a sturdy box for a temporary step, and my seventeen year old kitty, Maddie, learned to use the box immediately, with no problems.
No more sweeping or vacuuming every day, no more lovely view of kitty feces every time you enter the room, and your kitty will enjoy the privacy. I know from experience that a top entry box means less time spent cleaning up, and it's not nearly as unpleasant - no litter crunching under your feet!
Which Litter? - I've tried them all, and Blue Buffalo is the best.
Don't you just love those litters that say "99% dust free"? That means that litter is 1% dust. That much means lots of dust (and not very clean dust either). Dust you your kitty will be breathing and touching and tracking around. Get something truly dust free. No more clouds of dust when you manage the litter, and you'll be dusting around the house a lot less.