That one thing which cat people don’t generally appreciate is their cat’s poop and problems related to it. I too have once been there. And there is no simple way out there to solve all the cat litter problems unless you know what is causing them. More importantly, setting up litter boxes inappropriately is the root cause of it. Setting up litter boxes the correct way is the foremost step in solving cat litter problems. Here’s how to do it.
No. of Litter Box
Most new cat parents overlook this factor while setting up a litter box. To believe that the idea of putting multiple cat litter boxes at different places is unnecessary is delusive. Cats are highly territorial and one thing we infer is their poop & pee place is quite important. And when you have more than one cat, you would want to be more careful about the number of litter boxes.
As a general rule, no. of litter boxes should be equal to the no. of litter boxes plus one. That said, if you have four cats, you should place five litter boxes at different socially important places in your house. We will discuss more on ‘socially important places’ for cats in the next section. In a nutshell, let your cat have enough spots to do their business as well as feel secure.
Place Litter Boxes At Socially Important Places
The placement of the litter box plays a big role in cat litter problems. You would like to put the litter boxes where you don’t have to see them too often. Cats do not need privacy and they don’t need their poop boxes in the garage under the car or beside washing machine in the kitchen. It’s us who can’t stand the sight of poop, isn’t it? If cats had their way, they wouldn’t hesitate to poop and pee right in front of your door.
As we know, cats are territorial. And when you bring her home, she believes that the whole house is her property and she is letting you live with her. Cats would love to mark their territory by pooping and peeing in those places. So place litter boxes there and let them feel secure. But if your cat will feel stressed out, she would spray at that place anyway.
In addition, if you’re not sure where to place the litter box, put it where she sprayed the last time. Litter boxes are associated with their poop and pee and their excretion is associated with their territorial behavior. That said, you should consider placing litter boxes in socially important places.
Don’t Use Scents of Any Type
Scents to mask cat odor is one of those cat litter related myths. Cats like their litter boxes clean to do their business. They won’t use them if they’re dirty. That can further cause stress-related issues. Ethan from Catlovesbest.com says, “If you’re thinking scented litter or sprinkling type or vaporizing scent to mask the cat litter odor, then you’re just masking them, the litter box still is dirty and this won’t make any difference.”
The way out of this problem is to keep the litter box clean by emptying the litter box and clean it with clean water and detergent (unscented) if needed. A cat’s smelling sense is quite more than humans. And when you use any scents to mask litter odor, it will increase litter problems instead of solving them. Just clean it thoroughly every day and you will be fine.
Ensure There Are Multiple Exits From The Litter Box
Some litter boxes come with privacy hood on it with two big holes for entry and exit. In the case where this kind of box is placed against the wall that it blocks one exit, the cat really doesn’t have a way to get out of the box if the entry is blocked by another pet or a cat. The cat will feel that she’s pinned down in it and now she can’t get out of it. This can freak out the cat.
Moreover, cats and dogs feel the most vulnerable when they’re doing their business. That said, this situation is worse than just a cat getting trapped. This kind of event may lead your cat to anxiety and stress disorders. To avoid it, use conventional open litter boxes with no hood. To be honest, cats do not need privacy, the hood’s meant for you; the hood will hide all the nasty stuff happening inside and you won’t have to look at it.
Keep Trying Until Your Cat Is Happy To Use The Litter Box
Cats associate stress with their bad experience using the particular litter box, color, shape, size, the depth of the litter etc. You never know what’s bothering your cat to use the litter box. This kind of issue is more found in adopted cats when you don’t know about their past tragedies.
Try different shapes, sizes, colors, and depths of litter to figure out what’s working best for them. It will take time but in the end, your cat will start using it. If you’re worried about cost, you can try using conventional litter boxes. In fact, conventional ones are the best option while you’re tackling cat litter problems.
Don’t Place Litter Box Near Noisy Equipment
There are new automatic cat litter boxes available in the market with a ‘quiet operation’ feature. But when you place a litter box near a washing machine or a dishwasher or any noise-producing equipment, your cat might get freaked out on sudden turning on of the machine.
Some of the poor quality automatic litter boxes start cleaning even when the cat’s inside due to sensor misfunctioning. This will make cat abhor that particular litter box once and for all. In a nutshell, the litter box should be in a quiet place and automatic litter boxes should be quiet while operating and should not freak out your cat by any means.
Keep all of the above points in mind to set up the litter box the correct way. Conventional litter boxes are going to remain the best option, especially when you’re solving litter problems. However, if you don’t want to self-clean, you can always go for some tech. But make sure that you get a quality automatic and self-cleaning one. Long may felines live!