Cats are very clean animals and need adequate unsoiled locations to eliminate, especially in a multi cat household. How you manage the litter box can encourage or discourage acceptable toileting habits. It is always easier to prevent house soiling than trying to fix it when the problem occurs. Listed below are some points which are considered when encouraging good litter habits.
Number of litter boxes
It is recommended to have one for each cat and one extra. If you have a large or two story house your cats may require more than the above amount and they should always be in different rooms or areas. Cat’s that are ‘family’ share territory, groom and play with each other and rest together may be more willing to share litter boxes but this is not always the case.
Avoid placing litter trays near the cat’s food and water areas.
- Cats prefer quiet, private places. Avoid high traffic areas and locations where the cats can be cornered and cannot escape. Also, a ‘bully’ cat may prevent a ‘victim’ cat access to the litter box if the tray is kept in a small room down one end of the house.
- Keep additional litter trays in different locations.
- If a cat is toileting away from its litter box, try placing a litter tray in the area and slowly move it to your desired place.
- In a multi-level home, ensure that the litter trays are in both levels.
Bigger the better! Commercial litter boxes are too small as the litter box length should be at least twice the length your cat, for example a storage container. Some cats like a cover on their litter box to hide while use it, older cats need low entry so make sure the container is low for easy access.
Cats generally prefer unscented clumping litter and dislike aromatic, dusty litter, deodorisers and box liners. When a cat eliminates near their litter box but not inside it or doesn’t bury their poo, it indicates that they do not like the feel of their litter. Trying a range of litters in different boxes at the same time may help you figure out which one your cat prefers. Cats also prefer to hide their poo and wee so litter should be at least 6cm deep to allow them to dig and hide.
Follow these tips to keep the litter as clean as possible making a happy cat:
- Scoop out soiled litter once to twice a day.
- Completely empty the litter once a week to fortnightly
- Wash the litter box fortnightly with soap and hot water. Avoid strong chemicals or any ammonia based products