Many cat owners have questions about how to maintain and clean the litterbox. We asked our expert collaborator, Daniel Filion, President of Cat Educator , to talk about this subject. The first thing he will tell you about litter is that too many cat owners underestimate the importance of having a litterbox that meets their needs:
“Very few animals accept that we choose the place where they will do their business, let alone do not need to be trained to do so. So, instead of seeing the litterbox as a necessary evil, and choosing the smallest possible place to hide it somewhere in an inappropriate place (for cats), should we not thank cats for taking care of their own needs (and for which dog owners envy it) and offer them something that looks as much as they would choose for themselves if they went outdoors?”
Two things to avoid
Two of the most common reasons for cats going to the washroom outside of their litterbox is that the box is too small and the box is covered. In fact, the combination of both is what the cat hates the most. “In nature, the cat chooses a large, free place. Therefore, a small covered litterbox is the opposite of what he would choose if he was given a choice. It’s like me asking you to choose between your large bathroom or a Porta-Potty… Think about it!”
The ideal size for a litterbox
In fact, the bigger the box, the better it is. The idea size of box would be a width equal to one time the length of your cat and a length equal to one-and-a-half times the length of your cat. As for height, it should be low enough for your cat to climb in (remember that most cats can climb onto a chair), but not too low, since too much liter will end out outside the box when the cat scratches.
When it comes to cleaning, feces must be removed every day, once or twice a day. As for completely emptied and cleaned, Daniel Filion explains: “A 2017 study showed that cats prefer having a full cleaning of the litterbox once a week. However, the active lifestyle of today’s owners, and I am including myself in this group, makes it often impossible.” By using high-quality litter, a complete cleaning can be done every 30 to 40 days. Do not clean your bin with vinegar or odorous products (especially citrus odors), which cats often do not like. A drop of bleach mixed with water is very good. In addition, an explanation for a behavior that you have probably seen in your cat: “Your cat identifies its litter by its smell. This is why your cat often has a tendency to rush to the litterbox to go to the washroom as soon as you have cleaned it. When doing a complete cleaning of the box, keep one cup of used litter, and mix this old litter in with the new litter. Your cat will appreciate it, because it will find its smell.”  Cat Educator is the largest company for cat behaviour educators in Canada and France.
For more information, visit www.educhateur.com
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