All you cat lovers out there will know that our feline companions love to look after themselves. They are independent in every sense of the word, and taking care of their own grooming and hygiene is just another part of this. However, cats who live indoors, in apartment blocks, or in busy areas, often rely on their owners in one very crucial way - their litter box.
Without a litter box, many indoor cats would have nowhere to do their business, and they would start to feel very uncomfortable and they will start to pee and poop all over your home!
And since our cats take such good care of themselves, it seems only right that we should do our best to keep them feeling clean and hygienic too.
Changing your cat's litter box regularly will prevent bad odors and bacteria from building up, and will keep your cat feeling fresh and happy.
In this article, we cover all things kitty litter, including cleaning, changing, and the best types of litter for your cat.
What Is Cat Litter?
Cat litter is a substance used by cats as a means of marking their territory and eliminating waste products. It’s usually made from clay or sand, although some brands use peat moss.
The most common type of litter available today is clumping litter, which consists of granules that fuse together into chunks when wetted.
These can be scooped out easily and left outside to dry naturally, but if you want to save time, you can also put them in a sealed plastic bag and leave them somewhere warm overnight.
Where To Position A Litter Box?
Cats are natural hunters and need to mark their territory with urine or feces. This is why they like to use litter boxes.
If you don't provide them with one, they may resort to using other places, such as under furniture or behind doors.
If your cat has access to an outdoor area, then he or she will probably choose to urinate or defecate there.
However, if your cat lives inside, then you will need to provide him or her with a litter box.
If possible, try to find a litter box that is easy to get to, so that your cat doesn't have to walk long distances to go to the toilet.
You should also ensure that the litter box is placed in a quiet spot, free from noise.
A litter box should not be near windows, radiators, air vents, washing machines, dryers, or heating systems, as these can scare your fluffy child or cause unpleasant smells.
How Often Should I Change My Cat’s Litter?
Once your cat has settled into its new home, you should check the litter box daily to see whether it needs emptying.
Cats tend to prefer to use a litter box once per day, but it is important to empty it at least twice a week. This helps to reduce the risk of ammonia fumes building up, which can lead to health problems.
How Much Litter Should I Put In A Box?
You should always remove the old litter from a dirty little box first before adding new material.
For this reason, you should never add more than half of the original amount of fresh litter at a time.
When you're ready to replace the old litter, simply pour it into the bottom of the box, making sure that no part of the old litter remains on top.
You should also avoid putting too much litter in the box at once, as this can encourage your cat to scratch around in the litter.
Instead, you should gradually introduce small amounts of litter over several days.
Once your cat has become accustomed to the new litter, you can increase the amount of litter in the box.
How Do I Clean My Cat’s Litter Box?
To remove dirty litter, you will need a litter scoop which allows you to scoop up clumps of wet and dirty litter and dispose of them.
You should do this at least twice per week. Once the dirty top layer has been disposed of, you should top up the box with fresh litter.
You should fully clean out your cat's litter box at least once a month. To do this, you should fully empty the box of all litter granules.
Then, you should wash the box thoroughly with warm water and a suitable cleaning product.
Make sure that you rinse all parts of the box, including the sides and base. Finally, wipe the entire surface dry with a paper towel.
Line your litter box with litter box liners before refilling it with fresh litter, as this will make it easier to clean out the next time you perform your litter box maintenance.
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- Litter scoop
- Garbage bag
- Paper towels
- All purpose cleaner
- Fresh litter
Step By Step Instructions For Cleaning
- Scoop out the big chunks of litter
- Empty the litter tray into the trash
- Wash the litter box with warm soapy water and an all purpose house cleaner
- Dry the box completely with paper towels
- Fill the litter tray up with fresh litter
What Kind Of Litter Should I Buy?
When choosing a brand of cat litter, look for one that contains dried grass and leaves. These types of materials help absorb moisture and prevent odors from escaping through the litter.
The type of litter that you choose should also depend on where you live. Some areas have strict regulations regarding what kinds of products can be used in your house.
In some cases, you may even be required to dispose of certain items uniquely after use. So, when selecting a product, make sure that you know how it is regulated in your region.
What Kind Of Litter Box Should I Buy?
A self-cleaning litter box is an alternative to traditional litter boxes. Self-cleaning litters are designed to automatically clean themselves after each use.
The most common form of self-cleaning litter uses a chemical reaction between two chemicals to break down the waste.
These automatic litter boxes are highly recommended to cat owners who have busy lives and can't always find time to keep up with manual litter box maintenance.
If you decide to purchase a self-cleaning litter box, make sure that you read the instructions carefully.
Many manufacturers recommend cleaning the litter box every few days. However, if you notice any signs of damage to the box, such as tears or holes, then you should contact the manufacturer immediately.
How Long Will My Cat Need To Adjust To Using A Litter Box?
It is normal for your cat to take a while to get used to using a litter box. While some cats enjoy using their own litter box right away, others require a bit of training.
If you're having trouble teaching your cat to use his own litter box, try these tips:
Make sure that you place the litter box in a quiet area where your cat spends most of her time. Cats tend to dislike noise and bright lights, so keep the room dimly lit and free of distractions.
Place the box near your cat's food and water dishes. Your cat will associate the litter box with meals and drinks, helping them to remember its location.
Keep the litter box clean and fresh. A dirty litter box encourages your cat to urinate outside of the box, which could lead to accidents in other rooms.
Use scented litter. Cats find scent very appealing, so adding a little fragrance to the litter box can encourage them to use it more frequently.
Add a small amount of wet food to the litter box at first. Your cat will learn to associate the smell of food with the litter box. As he gets older, you can gradually reduce the amount of food added to the box.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning Litter Boxes
Ideally you should have a separate box for each cat and scoop at least a couple of times per week. Do a major litter change and clean every 2-3 weeks.
Scoop the box at least every day or every other day to get out the big chunks. If the box is too soiled, the cats may not want to use it.
Add fresh litter to replace the litter that has been scooped out.
Your cat will likely start doing their business in undesirable places around the house.
There is also an increased risk of infections like ringworm and other illnesses your cat may be more susceptible to if they are using a dirty litter box.
Place the box in a place that is out of the common areas of your home but still accessible like the laundry room. Scoop daily and clean the box regularly to keep the cat smells at bay.
In order to be the best possible cat parents to our feline friends, it is important to clean dirty litter boxes at least twice a week and fully refresh them at least once a month.