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How to Compare Cat Litter Boxes

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Urinating and defecating outside of the litter box, also known as “inappropriate elimination,” is one of the most common reasons for a cat to be relinquished to a shelter or, in some cases, abused. But you can help to avoid that problem. Choosing the right litter box can be a challenge for many cat lovers today, especially if you have a cat that is picky. Say you've bought three litter boxes and your cat still prefers your plant. If that describes your case, you can still work to buy a new litter box that your cat will like.


Considering Your Cat's Needs

  1. Figure out if your cat has a specific preference.Cats with short legs or older cats with arthritis will probably require a litter box that is lower. That way, they can get in more easily.
    • If your cat suffers from urinary disease, is older or just shorter, it will likely need a litter box where it can enter and leave more easily. Climbing of any kind can become painful, forcing the cat to go outside the box.
    • Cats that are shy may want a box that is covered with a lid to give extra privacy when defecating. Be sure to always keep in mind your cat's individual needs before anything else.
  2. Keep the size in mind.The litter box is a stand-in for where your kitty would do her business if she were in the great outdoors. Cats like to scratch, dig, turn around, and get comfortable when doing their business.
  3. Choose a litter box that your cat can easily turn around in.You should also choose one that she can easily get in and out of. Kittens should also have appropriately sized litter boxes. You also don't want your cat to have to step in her own waste - your cat may choose to not use the litter box if this happens--which is understandable.
  4. Consider whether your cat's litter box should be covered.Let's face it - none of us likes strong odors, especially unpleasant ones.
    • Imagine yourself with a smell sense 14 times stronger than the one you currently possess, and you will understand why this issue is even more important for your cat (don't make your cat regret her super-hero-like sense of smell). Covered litter boxes should not be used for this reason. They trap odors and will be unpleasant for your cat--this is also a reason why you should always use truly unscented cat litter.
    • If a covered litter box is too small, your cat may feel claustrophobic or trapped inside the box and avoid it. Finally, those who have a covered or hooded litter boxes tend to not see the waste that needs to be scooped, and thus clean it less, which is unpleasant for your cat and unpleasant for you when your cat decides not to use the box. These negatives certainly point towards using an uncovered litter box.
  5. Try an electric box that will automatically scoop.There is no problem with this if your cat doesn't mind. In some cases, it can keep the litter box cleaner than you would be able to do yourself. However, as always, it's important to keep in mind the connection to nature that the litter box provides your indoor cats. In nature there are no electric sensors that will rake the ground clean when a cat steps away;) If you are using an automatic litter box, it's important to keep a close eye on your cats reactions to the box, and to quickly change to a manual litter box if your cat seems uncomfortable, skittish or stops using the box.
  6. For best results, it's advisable that you compare the litter boxes in this order:size (and design), quality (material) and, of course, price. In addition to your cat's needs, figure out yours as well. An electric or easier maintenance box may be more convenient for you, while a designer box that still works for your cat may also appeal to you more. Once you've found a box that fit's your cat's needs and your own, you can purchase it.

Choosing the Right Bedding

  1. Keep in mind that the litter box itself might not be the problem.Experiment and see what your cat likes best, considering what suits you best as well. Here are some examples:
  2. Choose shredded paper.Shredded paper is something thrifty that your cat will most likely enjoy. Reusing paper is also eco-friendly. However, this doesn't take away any smells and it will need to be changed very frequently. Cleaning the box will also not be as easy as you will need gloves to remove the dirty (soggy) paper.
  3. Try clay litter.This is composed of small stones of clay, and it is very absorbent yet dusty. Odor control varies, but there usually is some control. It lasts awhile and cleaning is easier. It also dries out all feces and urine, which can be easily removed with a litter scoop. Overall it's believed to be the most common type of cat litter.
  4. Experiment with non-clumping clay.This type of litter is made from clays other than bentonite. It absorbs urine, but it doesn't form clumps, so it's easy to leave bits of moist litter behind when you scoop the box. This means it will start to get smelly sooner rather than later, and may require more frequent changing than clumping clay. However, non-clumping litter is often cheaper than clumping and some cats prefer that.
  5. Use silica gel crystals.The crystals are made of tiny silica gel beads similar to the desiccant found in the tiny pouches packaged as a preservative with foods, medications, and other products that can be damaged by excess moisture. Crystal litter is highly absorbent, controls odor well, and is almost dust-free. Some people even say it tracks less than other types of litter.
    • Crystal litters are usually more expensive, but they tend to last longer. The downsides are that some cats don't like getting the crystals on their paws. Crystal litters can also be dangerous if ingested in large amounts or over a long period of time, which happens when cats clean their feet.
  6. Think about recycled paper litter.This is litter made from recycled paper that is turned into pellets or granules. Paper is dust-free, highly absorbent, and biodegradable. In pellet form, the paper doesn't form urine clumps, but the granule form does.
  7. Try pine litter.It is also recycled and is typically made from lumber scraps that are heat-treated to remove toxins, oils, and allergens from the wood. This type of litter comes in pellets, granules, or roughly crushed pine. It has a pine scent, which helps control odor. The granules and cobble (roughly crushed pine) are somewhat clumping, but in pellet form, the pine turns to sawdust that must be regularly replaced.
  8. Use corn-based litter.It is biodegradable, absorbent, and provides odor control. However, since most kitties ingest a bit of litter each day during grooming, and since corn is a problem ingredient for pets, you should avoid this type of litter.
  9. Consider wheat litter.It is made from ground wheat; it also clumps and provides odor control, is biodegradable, and is low on dust and tracking. These are all environmental benefits of wheat litter. If you think wheat will be a problem for your cat, you should avoid wheat litter.
  10. Use walnut shell litter.This litter is made from crushed walnut shells and is dark brown in color. Walnut shell litters have clumping ability, offer excellent odor control, are highly absorbent, and biodegradable. Thus, walnut shell litter is great for the environment.
  11. Use grass litter, which is is new on the scene.One brand, Smart Cat, is a fine-grained litter made from USA-sourced grass fibers that is biodegradable, controls odor, and has a good clumping ability. Another brand, The Touch of Outdoors by Dr. Elsey, uses USA-grown prairie grass.

Making Sure the Litter Box is Usable

You can lead a cat to the perfect litter box, but can you make the cat use it? Here is what you should also keep in mind.

  1. Choose the right style.You may need to experiment with litter box styles. Before giving up on any litter box, however, understand that it might not be the box that is the problem. Make sure you have first tried a number of litter types at a number of depths, and whichever one you use, always keep it clean.
  2. Choose at least two litter boxes.Seldom will one litter box suffice, so it's always a good idea to have at least two in service. It is far less likely your cat will find a reason to reject both. A good rule of thumb is to maintain at least one litter box for each cat, and at least one additional litter box than the total number of cats in your household.
  3. Decide on the right location; this is critical.The litter box needs to be in a quiet area and always a good distance from her food and water.

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  • Make sure your cat can get safely in and out of any box, electronic or not. Lids that don't close or electronics that malfunction may hurt or scare your cat. This will entice him to go potty elsewhere.
  • Consider the top reasons for a cat to stop using the litter box, found below. Do your absolute best to avoid these problems
    • Dirty litter box(es)
    • Poor choice of litter form (using pellets/crystals/non-clumping litter which are uncomfortable to walk on and do not allow for complete urine removal)
    • Poor location of litter box(es)
    • Being blocked from the box by a dominant feline housemate
    • Unable to relax and get to the box, or use it, due to fear of a strange human, dog, active child, loud noise, etc., in the house environment
    • Box size is too small
    • Too few boxes
    • Medical problem(s) – This should always be a serious consideration.

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Date: 06.01.2019, 16:48 / Views: 95175