If you’ve been stocking up on room fresheners, covered boxes, litter additives or have located the box in the most remote part of the house in order to avoid the odor, then you’re missing the most important tool in odor control: the litter shovel. The best way to control odor is to get rid of soiled litter as often as you can. Some cat parents wait until the odor in the box wafts its way throughout the room and at that point they toss the entire contents into the trash. The result is a very clean box that remains appealing to the cat for about one day — if he even wants to venture in there again based on any negative association he may now have, due to its usual stench.
Scooping = Health Monitoring
Scooping serves another extremely important but often overlooked function. It’s a valuable diagnostic tool. When you scoop you are alerted to any potential problem in its earliest stages. Even though scooping the box isn’t the high point of your day, it will afford you the opportunity to see signs of diarrhea, constipation, blood in the urine, or an unusually large or small urine clump. Scoop regularly and you’ll become more familiar with the normal size and amount that your cat eliminates. Should the size of urine clumps change, it could indicate a urinary problem or other medical condition. Catching this early can make a big difference in terms of treatment success. If you don’t scoop regularly you don’t have that advantage of early detection.
It’s a Small Task that can Make a Huge Difference
Litter box scooping may not be something you look forward to but it’s a valuable way to control odor, monitor your cat’s health, and keep kitty happy with the conditions of the litter box. If you don’t think it makes a difference, try not flushing your toilet for a day or two.
If you have a question about your cat’s behavior, you can find information in the articles on our website as well as in Pam’s books. If you have a question regarding your cat’s health, please contact your veterinarian. This article is not intended as a replacement for your cat’s veterinary care.