Catherine Lapierre, an animal health technician and creator of the Mon Journal – Santé animale blog and Facebook page, shares tips on how to choose a litter box.
As mentioned in my previous article, it is important to consider several factors regarding cat litter. This can be a headache for many people, but it is essential for the cat to feel safe and comfortable when he is in the litter box.
What is the perfect litter box?
The pan must be large enough so that the cat can easily turn around while inside. I like to recommend edges high enough to prevent litter grains from being thrown out when the cat is digging, without, however, making it difficult for an older animal who starts having osteoarthritis, for example, to access it. It is not recommended to use a covered box. If it has a lid, I recommend you remove it. Cats always need to know that they have a chance to flee. They like to be able to see the danger coming. If there is a lid on their box, they cannot see what's going on outside and this can be stressful for them. In addition, when there is a lid, odors remain trapped in a very small space. This could result in the cat not wanting to use it or not staying long enough to relieve himself. The best analogy to understand a cat that has to use a covered litter box is to think of how we feel when using a portable restroom.
What is the best type of litter?
Cats will often prefer the type of litter they were used to when they were young. The kind is not important, as long as it is non-odorous. Most cats will refuse to go in a scented litter, since they will not be able to smell their own odor. Once a type of litter is chosen, it is best not to change it. Cats like routine and sometimes during a change, they might decide not to go anymore. The goal is to have your cat use his box and relieve himself. In case of reluctance, you are in the best position to notice it. Personally, I like to use dust-free clumping litter, which does not become too sticky, as it facilitates daily maintenance. Now that you made a choice on the type of box and litter, the recommended maintenance must now be discussed. This will be addressed in my next article in this series. Stay tuned, this topic is one of the most important points!