More cats become homeless and end up in shelters over litterbox behavioral issues than any other feline situation in the home. Choosing the correct litter box, placing it in a prime location in your home, and selecting the right litter are key components to fostering a happy cat and pet parent relationship and to avoiding problems.
Litterbox Size Matters
Whether you are adopting a fully-grown cat or a tiny kitten, your litterbox can never be too big! The way to gauge the correct size is to ensure that your cat and turn round comfortably inside it. Often closed litter boxes can be deceiving; they look large from the outside but the actual size of the pan inside is too small and the cat is further hindered by the fact that she has to turn around in a confined space. While there are lots of large boxes on the market, you may also consider using a large plastic storage box instead.
Location! Location! Location!
Where your litterbox is situated in the home is equally important because your cat must feel comfortable using it. Stay away from high traffic zones in the household such as passageways and family rooms. The garage is never a good choice because the opening garage door can spook your cat and even cause her to run away.
The rule is one box per cat. In multi-cat households, never line the boxes up in a row because if there are feline territorial issues or arguments, cats will often ambush one another at the litterbox.
Cats like their privacy and they also like to be able to see who else is coming or going from the box. For that reason, also stay away from enclosed cupboards and under staircase recesses (and possibly enclosed boxes, as well).
Choose the Right Litter for Your Cat
There are lots of different litter choices from clumping clay to products made from wheat, wood and even recycled newspapers.
When selecting a new litter, its important to find one that not only will your cat approve of and use, but one that will effectively deal with odor issues, preventing them from pervading the home.
A very absorbent clay-based litter such as Fresh Step Triple Action Litter blocks odors caused by urine and feces and inhibits odor-causing bacteria. It contains natural plant extracts such as chlorophyll and carbon, which is activated when stepped on by the cat using the box.
When you first get your cat, it’s a really good idea to ask what type of litter your cat or kitten has been using when adopting a feline or purchasing from a bona fide breeder.
Transitioning to a new home is often stressful for cats as they grow accustomed to a strange environment, so providing a familiar litter in the box is one less thing for them to have to deal with in a new home. However, that doesn’t mean you have to stick with that choice once your cat gets settled.