Poorly maintaining your cat’s litter box is often the cause of litter box destruction, and it is also one of the reasons why a cat ends up in a shelter is because they refuse to use the litter box. Before you consider bringing your cat into a shelter, you should think about if you are maintaining their boxes well.
We humans don’t like taking a dump on stinky, dirty bathrooms, and this is similar to cats. Therefore, you should regularly clean their litter box for both of your convenience. Not only will it be convenient for both of you, but it would also make you both healthy.
Proper Litter Box Maintenance
Automated litter boxes are gaining popularity because they lessen your effort in maintaining your pet’s litter box. However, their selling prices are too expensive to most cat owners, so we’ll just focus on the less expensive and non-automated litter box.
Here’s how you clean your cat’s litter box for better health:
1. Place the Box In a Safe Accessible Place
Consider placing the box in an area with maximum privacy, and make sure that it is far from loud appliances and have an easy escape route, just in case you have another cat that likes to bully other cats.
Make it accessible for both you and your cat so that you can easily clean it daily.
2. Litter Box Liners
Using a litter box liner is a personal preference, if you are using a non-scoping litter, then you can consider using a liner for easy disposal when it’s time to wash the box. This is a definite advantage for those who don’t use a scooping litter, however, you need to change the litter much frequently.
3. Place a Mat Around the Litter Box’s Area
The litter tends to get stuck on your cat’s paw which will lead it to scatter around the house. Therefore, you should place a mat around the litter box to catch the excess sand on your catch paw. You can then just shake off the collected litter on the mat after a week.
4. Use a Scoop
Consider using a clumping litter so that you can scoop out the urine that has turned into a solid chunk. The poop can also be easily scooped out as it is nicely coated in the litter and won’t stick on the scooper.
If you are using a crystal litter, you should use a scoop with larger holes to easily sieve the clean litter. While for a fine-grained litter, you’ll need a scoop with a narrower sieve to prevent the small clumps of urine from filtering back into the litter box.
5. Use Deodorizing Products
Cats have more sensitive smell than humans, so if you think that the litter box doesn’t smell or seems reasonably clean to you, for your cat it doesn’t. Cats don’t like doing their business in a smelly area, or in a dirty litter box, which is why cleaning the litter box daily is very important.
As for the smell, you can get rid of it by placing a half-lemon in a dish near the litter box. Placing an open bowl of vinegar, a charcoal air filter, or a box of baking soda near the litter box would also work well. Natural solutions work best for finicky cats.
6. Clean the Litter Box Once a Week
Aside from scooping and deodorizing the area, you should also wash and disinfect the litter box at least once a week. Pre-soak it with a disinfectant and then put a baking soda in it for at least 10 minutes.
After that, hose it out in your backyard and dry it up with a paper towel. The mat and the surrounding area of the litter box should also be disinfected and cleaned with a sweep.
7. Ideal Litter Schedule
For an ideal maintenance, scoop the litter box at least twice a day to easily manage the smell. You may not be able to stick with this kind of plan, but it would really help in managing the odor.
Also, change the litter once a week for a cleaner and fresher litter box for your cat.
If you continually maintain your cat’s litter box every day, not only will it make you both happy, but it would also keep both of you healthy. Having a dirty, smelly litter box can cause your cat to gain diseases, not only are your cat’s health is at risk, but yours as well.
With filthy litter boxes, you’ll be then exposed to ammonia, bacterial infections, and even parasite transfer.