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The rule of thumb for the number of litter boxes is: one per cat in the household, plus one. Extra litter boxes are necessary because some cats like to defecate in one and urinate in another. Sometimes others will not use a box that has already been used by another cat. Different areas for the litter boxes can prevent location-avoidance problems. If space is an issue, try a Corner Litter Box™ from SmartCat™.
Clean the litter boxes DAILY. The single most common reason for a cat’s refusal to use a litterbox is because the box is dirty. The box should be scooped daily, add fresh litter to top and keep depth of litter to about 3”, and the litter changed and the box washed when soiled. The cheaper clumping litters that break-up easily and will need to be dumped more frequently as the non-clumping litters. (Bacteria left in the litter box will smell to the cat even if you can’t smell it.)
Choose a litter that appeals to the cat. Recommended litter SmartCat® Natural Clumping litter , also read on the “Proper Usage of SmartCat® litter“, most cats prefer the texture of the sand-like clumping litters. Be sure to select a brand with no dust, that clumps into a firm ball, making scooping easier and cleaner. As a health precaution for kittens that might be prone to ingest the litter, use a non-clumping litter until the kitten is under four months old.
NEVER use scented litter. Perfumed, chemical scents repel cats. When you wash the litter box, use hot water and a mild dishwashing liquid, rinse several times. Do not use harsh chemicals that will leave a lingering odor.
Do not use litter box liners–they can trap urine in-between the folds of liner and can be irritating to some cats when digging. Also covered, or hooded litter boxes can be offensive to cats as they do not satisfy the cat’s need for escape potential when eliminating. They also trap the odor inside, creating an “outhouse effect”. The litter box should be uncovered and at least 24″ x 18″ for an adult cat.
Place litter boxes in quiet, private places that are easily accessible to the cat and where they will not be disturbed by children or ambushed by other pets. Noisy areas near washing machines, furnaces, or under stairs, may frighten the cat away from the box. A house with several stories should have a litter box on each floor. NEVER place litter boxes near food and water dishes.
While kittens have an natural instinct to use a litter box easily seen, they may also choose other, more convenient locations if a litter box is not in site. You should limit their territory until they learn that the litter box is the only acceptable place to eliminate and they know where the box is located. Their tiny bladders are not under total control at this age and require frequent elimination. Praise and rewards will speed up the learning process. Like small children, when kittens are playing they get distracted and the urge to eliminate hits them quickly, they should not be expected to travel very far to find their bathroom areas, they won’t make it.
When introducing a new cat into the home, confine the cat to one room with its litter box, bed, food, water and toys until the cat has used the litter box several times and shows an interest in exploring the rest of the house. Once you have decided on the placement for the litter boxes in your house — Don’t move them! (if they must me moved, do it slowly!)
Help your cat feel comfortable in his home territory. Play games with him, give him a massage, talk to him frequently using their name. Give him positive and affectionate attention, LOVE them. A confident, secure, contented and relaxed cat does not need to relieve anxiety and stress by such extreme measures as urine or fecal marking. They will be willing to use their litter box.
Cats enjoy using their Litter boxes if they are in a safe place, clean and have an acceptable litter. Its all a natural instinct. Just give them what they need.
Secrets of Litter-Box Success
90% of all Litter box Problems are Caused by The Owner, not knowing what the cat needs are:
Litter box Do’s and Don’ts:
Do have your cat spayed or neutered
Do provide 1 litter box per cat; plus 1
Do clean litter boxes daily
Do find a litter that appeals to your cat
Do place litter boxes in a quiet, private, places
Don’t use scented litter, litter box liners, or hooded litter boxes.
Don’t wash the litter box with harsh chemicals that leave an odor
Don’t expect the cat to travel a long distance to get to their litter box
Don’t punish the cat if their not using the litter box – punishment increases the cat’s stress and worsens the problem, find out why they stopped using the box.
Don’t insist that a declawed cat use a clay-based litter; a sand – like scooping litter or an empty litter box may be more acceptable and easier on the paws