Catherine Lapierre, an animal health technician and creator of the Mon Journal – Santé animale blog and Facebook page shares her knowledge on this common issue.
Isn’t it nice to have a cat at home? They often make us laugh with their quirky behaviors and their improbable positions. If we are lucky, they allow us to pet them. They also calm us with their purring. Sometimes they even give us massages with their paws! They are always trying to find the best hiding spots. They are sometimes very quiet and other times very active, you know, at 3 AM… Still, they are so cute! But what about the infamous litter box... this pan that so many owners dread! As part of my series of articles on this essential accessory, I will discuss some features to make your cat litter adequate in every way, such as the choice of the box and the litter grain, the location, the maintenance of the box, the number of pans suggested, and I will give you some tips and tricks that make my life easier. It is very important to choose, to place and maintain correctly your cat’s litter box. Calls to veterinary clinics for off-litter waste are very common and although it is always suggested that a medical cause be eliminated first, maximizing your cat's sense of safety and comfort about his litter box could solve many problems. Cats are extremely clean animals and they can sometimes be very capricious. A cat that does not feel safe in its litter box could hold itself a long time before going and hurry once there. Same thing when the animal does not want to walk in his waste, it could also be a long time before finally going to relieve himself or simply decide to urinate outside of his litter box. It is when the cat hold it in that it can become problematic, either by the appearance of urinary problems (infections, crystals, bladder stone) or constipation.
Number of litter boxes at home
The number of litter boxes suggested should be one more than the number of cats in the house. For example, if you have 2 cats, it is advisable to have 3 litter pans. The reason is that some cats will not want to defecate n the same litter they are urinating. Or, some cats will not want to share their litter with another cat. It is also advisable to place the boxes in different places and even on different floors, if possible. Do not put them all next to each other. When there are several cats in the same house, they tend to negotiate between them contracts invisible to humans, which delimit the territory of each. It would be sad if the litter boxes were all located in the territory of one of the cat and the others must be intimidated to relieve themselves. In addition, if you have a slightly older cat, it will probably be easier for him to place this accessory on each floor, allowing him to walk a shorter distance if needed.
See you next month to learn more about choosing the litter type and box!