When a cat’s litter box is left to fester, our feline friends can become distressed, anxious, and even downright angry. Cats are incredibly clean animals with a keen sense of smell, and yet many pet owners misjudge how frequently their litter box should be cleaned. Add to that an abundance of litter options to choose from, and a number of pet parents can become overwhelmed with the entire process.
But proper litter box maintenance does not have to be an ordeal. Follow these few simple steps to keep your cat healthy and happy.
- Choose a good location: Rooms that are quiet and relatively isolated are best, and you should have at least two or more litter boxes per cat. Each floor should have its own litter box. Standard, uncovered boxes work just fine. Make certain not to place food and water dishes nearby. If separate rooms for eating and litter aren’t possible, try to keep your cat’s food and their litter box at least five feet apart. Once you and your cat are comfortable with the placement, try not to move it.
- Scoop regularly: Cleanliness and good health are two sides of the same coin. Proper litter box maintenance allows owners to keep an eye out for any changes in their pet’s health. Clumping litter is a good indication of how frequently your cat is urinating, which is an integral health marker.
Because of this, you should scoop your cat’s litter box every day. Your cat will set the pace, obviously, but a.m. and p.m. cleanings are a good starting point.
Always maintain a 2- to 3-inch level of litter in your cat’s box, and refill as you clean. If the litter level drops too low, a nasty sludge can develop which is disturbing to cats, to say the least.
- Conduct deep cleans weekly. Remove all litter and clean using a mild, non-abrasive, and unscented detergent. Rinse and dry well. Then add new litter.
- Choose a good litter: Unscented, low-dust litters are ideal. There are many options to choose from, including clumping liters, highly absorbent silica gel litters that minimize scooping, and litters that change color if urinary issues are present. For that reason, trying multiple varieties might be needed until you find a brand that you and your cat are pleased with. Natural, biodegradable litters that are flushable and low dust are also popular. If your cat has surgery, pelleted, paper litters won’t stick to their incision.
Proper litter box maintenance is a necessity for a healthy, happy cat – but don’t let it overwhelm you. If your cat ever stops using its box, consult your veterinarian for advice. They can help you rule out health issues and help to get your cat back on track.
As a veterinarian owned-and operated cat boarding facility, Green Acres Pet Resorts understand the importance of proper litter box maintenance and strives to deliver the best comfort and care to all of our four-legged friends. Questions? Call 608-465-4156 or request additional information online.