Cat litter, an important element

The litter box is one of the most important accessories for the cat and that is why we support you in choosing it. Choosing the right shape and the most suitable model, the right sand, and knowing where to place it at home are key points that must be taken into account. By nature, cats are very clean animals. If not, it is often due to a health or behavior problem, but they usually use their litter box when they need to do their business. Urinating and defecating on sandy surfaces and as far as possible from areas where they eat, drink, or rest is something cats learn from their mothers in their first few weeks.Tips for choosing and placing your cat’s litter boxThe reasons why a cat stops using its litter box

You should provide your cat with a suitable litter box and place it in the right place so that he feels comfortable when using it. If these needs are not met, it can result in an elimination problem (cats urinate and defecate outside the crate).

It should be kept in mind that your cat, when he defecates, is totally vulnerable. It is for this reason that you should always choose a place where he feels safe, comfortable and allows him to quickly escape if something frightens him.

1. Model and size

The covered litter boxes are safer, but some cats will refuse to do their business because it is less easy for them to escape.

Some litter boxes with a cover have a door at the entrance and the cat has to push it to enter. This is sometimes an obstacle for a feline who does not feel safe or who is too large.  

If the cat usually uses an uncovered crate, it may be worth buying one with a cover, and vice versa. You will be able to find what suits him best.
As for size, your cat needs a litter box large enough to be able to dig freely before and after urinating or defecating. it will therefore be necessary to choose according to the size of the cat.

2. Where should the litter be placed?

Your cat’s litter box should be positioned in a quiet and easily accessible space. Cats, just like us, need their privacy and calm when they defecate:

– If the crate is located in a place where there is too much traffic, if the dog regularly comes to this place, if visitors pass by, etc., your cat will feel too vulnerable to use his litter box and he will choose a another place to defecate.
– Do not put the litter box next to the washing machine, the dryer or any noisy household appliance.
– The best solution is to choose a quiet corner where your cat only has to look in one or two directions to control his surroundings when he is “in the bathroom”.
– Finally, remember to place the litter away from the water and food bowls.

3. How often should I clean my cat’s litter box?

According to the AVEPA group of specialists in feline medicine, it is recommended to completely clean the litter box every other day and to put back clean sand daily after removing the sand in which the cat has urinated and defecated. .

To wash the crate, it is recommended to use a mild cleaner and warm water, or a disinfectant suitable for this purpose. The litter box must then be rinsed well before the cat uses it.

It is not recommended to use disinfectants that make the water cloudy as they usually contain phenols, which are toxic to cats.

If you are preparing to welcome a new cat, note this advice also given by the experts:

“Cats who learn to use a litter box need to feel that this is a suitable place to relieve themselves, and too frequent cleaning can make this learning more difficult”.

4. What type of litter to choose?

There are currently four types of cat litter on the market: absorbent litter, clumping litter, silica gel-based litter and vegetable litter. Each has its advantages, you just have to keep in mind the following points:

In general, cats prefer thin (which does not stick to the paws) and unscented
litters.Using scented litter boxes may be pleasant for you, but this type of smell bothers cats and they may refuse to use the litter box.

If you are sensitive to the protection of the environment, the natural litter are a good choice, they have a high caking power and they are composed of materials such as cellulose, wood pellets, barley or corn. They are unscented and they are biodegradable and compostable.

If you want to change the type of sand used, make this change gradually over a week, gradually replacing the sand used, and watch how your cat reacts. Always check to see if there is enough sand in your cat’s litter box for it to dig and bury its droppings.

If your cat has been using his crate regularly and stops using it, it may be for one of the following reasons:

– A lack of hygiene: try to change the litter more frequently.
– An inappropriate place: find a new place for its litter.
– The type of sand is not suitable: gradually replace the sand with another and observe the reaction of your cat.
– An insufficient amount of sand: your cat may need more sand to be able to dig.
– Difficulty reaching the litter box: if your cat is very shy and his litter box is covered, or if he has a trap door to access it, he may be in difficulty. If he is old and the crate has fairly high edges, he may not be able to climb.
– Negative association:sometimes a cat may decide to stop using the litter box if it has had a bad experience being in it. Changing the orientation of the cash register can help resolve this type of problem.
– Stress: one of the first obvious signs of stress in a cat is an elimination problem, that is to say that he urinates or defecates outside the crate. Check if there is anything in the environment that could stress him out (work, changes in his routine, the arrival of a baby in his house, etc.).  
– A disease: if you have ruled out the causes mentioned above and your cat is still not using its litter box, consult a veterinarian to check if there is no physical problem such as feline lower urinary tract disease (MVUIF ).