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Choosing The Right Cat Litter Box - Part 2

Aug 17, 2007
When adding a new litter box, consider that a cat may not use the new box for a few days. Do not force him into it. Do not put him inside it. Always sound positive when he gets near and let him accept it on his own terms.

Covered litter boxes: Covered boxes help keep the litter and smell contained and hidden. Some cats, however, do not like the cover. Covered boxes are generally too small. If you are going to get one, get as large a box as you can. A covered box might leak unless the top has a locking lid and an inside lip. Scooping out solids is more inconvenient, because you have to deal with these extra parts. If you get a litter box with a swinging door, be prepared to remove it. You may have to, because some cats like to stick their head out while relieving themselves.

Uncovered litter boxes: Uncovered boxes are easier to maintain. They come in different sizes and shapes and are mostly rectangular. A few models have a "lip" which is claimed to keep down mess. You can also use plastic utility bins, which are widely available at hardware and discount stores, as litter boxes. If you get them, though, do not use anything taller than a 12" tub, which is too high for cats. There is also a triangular box made especially for corners which works quite well for smaller areas. These are very easy for cat owners to clean and handle.

High-tech boxes:These are electronic, self-cleaning litter boxes available that automatically remove the solids. One model even senses the cat entering the litter box. A few minutes after he leaves, a mechanical part rakes across the scoopable litter recommended for these models, and places the clump in a disposal tray.

While it is convenient, the manufacturers warn that the motor starts automatically and that hands and clothing should be kept away. As with anything automated, be careful. In addition, some cats are frightened of automated devices. Just one scare may be enough to stop a cat from using the box.

This is a very expensive box that will not be any good if your cat stops using it. But if you do decide to try a box like this, which recommends a clumping litter, try one that does not contain sodium bentonite and forms a real solid clump for a machine such as this to handle. There is also a box that comes with a reusable gravel-type litter with disposable pads, though the smooth, little rocks may be a challenge for finicky cats.

With clawed cats, you should be able to get by with scooping solids once a day. But for declawed cats, inside-only cats, or cats with litter box problems, scoop solids and wet spots more often. Be careful about sudden changes in litter brands, boxes and locations. Take the poop outside the house as soon as you lift it out because it will stink up your garbage and house. If the litter is biodegradable and flushable, flush it down the toilet right away.

Clay litter or non clumping litter usually starts to smell in about a week. Dump, wash and thoroughly rinse the box because cats can be very sensitive to certain household cleaners. Leave an odor eliminator bag or an open box of baking soda near the litter box area to absorb odors. Wash your hands throughly after handling litter boxes or litter. And remember, never handle a used cat litter if you are pregnant!
About the Author
Tristan Andrews writes useful articles about cats and kittens. Discover and explore the feline world. Find out how to better care for, train and live with your cat at http://www.i-love-cats.com
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