How To Make Your Cat's Litterbox Her Favorite Place In The House

There's an art to getting it justtt right 🐱🚽

Cat with Litterboxes

Are you scouring the internet looking for the right litter box for your cat?

Since there’s so much conflicting information out there, it can be hard to figure out which litter box is right for your cat — and that’s because part of the decision has to do with your individual cat. Litter boxes aren’t one-size-fits-all.

While some people might get desperate enough to toy with the idea of training a cat to use the toilet, it’s not the best way to go.

“It is best to provide your cat access to a litter box,” Dr. Andrea Tu, medical director at Behavior Vets NYC, told The Dodo.  “There is also an art to litter box selection and set up!”

The perfect litter box should:

1. Be located in a quiet, easily accessed location. “Not near any loud/scary machines,” Dr. Tu said. “Not on unstable ground/anywhere the box could fall or tip over.”

2. Have at least one more box than the number of cats in your home. As an example, that means three cats need four litterboxes. “These should be spread out through the house, and not gathered in one location,” Dr. Tu said. If living in a multiple-floor home, you should have at least one box per floor.

3. Have multiple entry points. According to Dr Tu, litter boxes shouldn’t be stuck in tight corners where your cat may feel trapped

4. Not be covered. Unless you have a cat who’s happy with a covered box — just note they’re not ideal for all cats!

5. Have low sides to allow for easy entry. “If there is a doorway, make sure it is wide enough that it does not touch the sides of your cat's hips as he/she enters,” Dr. Tu said.

6. Use unscented litter. According to Dr. Tu, “avoid strong perfumes or pine scents, which smell good to the human members of the household but can be irritating to a cat's much more sensitive sense of smell.”

7. Litter should be 2 to 4 inches deep.

8. Box size should be 1.5 times the length of your cat. “This is key!” Dr. Tu said. “You may notice that most commercial litter boxes are too small for most cats; we recommend you create your own using large plastic storage bins with the sides cut down.”

Here’s an example of one from Petco for $7.49

Cleaning your litter box(es):

According to Dr. Tu, there are three basic steps you should follow to keep your cat’s litter box clean and tidy:

1. Scoop it at least 1 to 2 times a day

2. Dump it weekly if using non-clumping litter, monthly if using clumping litter

3. Wash it with water and mild soap monthly

Of course, there are many boxes that meet that criteria so you may have to try a few different boxes (and litter brands) to find a combo your cat loves — the perfect litter box should be as individual as your cat. But if you follow the above steps your cat — and your nose — will eventually be happy!

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