Creating the Perfect Commode for your Cat

cat litter

They give the best cuddles, and squeak out the cutest meows. Paws down, cats make purrrrfect companions… that is, until they resist using the litter box. If your cat has ever gone on a litter strike, you know how just how detrimental to a harmonious household it can be. Sadly, litter training issues are the leading reason why cats are given up to animal shelters. Did you know that litter box refusal may not be your cat’s fault?

If your cat is having litter box issues, a trip to the vet is in order to make sure it’s not a health problem. Cats are susceptible to urinary issues such as UTIs, cystitis, and kidney disease, so it’s important to rule those out. If the vet determines it’s a behavioral issue, there are many ways to make your cat feel more comfortable eliminating in a litter box.

  1. Start with a big, covered box
    Most cats seem to prefer the privacy of a covered box, and a bonus for you is that litter is more contained with the use of a lid. Make sure your cat has more than enough room. In various studies, larger boxes were preferred over smaller spaces.
  2. Experiment with litter types
    If your cat jumps in the box and quickly gets out, eliminates while perched on the edge of the box or will only put two paws in, there’s a good chance they don’t like something about the set up – litter type, size, lid, etc. This is particularly true if they’re also eliminating next to, but not in, the box. Unscented litters are better for your cat’s health, and as always, we prefer natural options for our furry kids. You can try different types of litter in boxes side-by-side and see which your kitty uses more often to get an idea of what they prefer.
  3. Peace, please
    Much like us, cats don’t want an audience when they need to go. Laundry rooms and bathrooms seem like good places for a litter box to us, but if there are loud noises like buzzing from dryers or if it’s too “remote,” this isn’t ideal for cats. The best location for a litter box is somewhere that is calm, secure, and frequented by your cat.
  4. Keep it clean
    Have you ever noticed that cats seem to want to dirty a litter box as soon as one is cleaned? In general, cats don’t want to poo in a box that already has “stuff” in it. Scooping the litter box at least twice a day, or opting for a robotic cleaning box, can help. Changing out all of the litter and deep cleaning the box once a week is a good schedule. Clean the box with hot water and a mild soap. Plastic litter boxes should be replaced every year or two.
  5. Have enough boxes (two is the minimum!)
    You should have one litter box per cat, plus one extra, on each floor of your home. Even in a single-story, single-cat household, two is the minimum to avoid litter box problems. If you’ve got two cats, you’ll need three boxes, and so on. The boxes should be in different areas around your home. If they are next to each other, it’s like having one big box to your cat.

We look forward to seeing you in store and helping you choose the perfect litter box set up for your kitties! Thanks for shopping local at Leo&Lucky’s!

Nicole Apostle is the marketing director at Leo&Lucky's.