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Pam’s Litter Box Reminders

 

THE RIGHT LITTER

  • Cats generally prefer a soft, sandy texture
  • Use unscented litter
  • Maintain a 2-3″ level
  • Don’t use plastic liners or litter additives
  • Don’t make abrupt changes in litter brands or types

most cats prefer a soft textured litter

NUMBER AND LOCATION OF LITTER BOXES

  • You should have the same number of boxes as cats plus an extra box for good measure
  • In a multicat household, locate a box in each cat’s preferred area
  • Don’t line litter boxes up in one room
  • Boxes should be out in the open and not wedged in corners or closets
  • Place box in an area opposite room entrance to give cat maximum visual vantage
  • Multi-level homes need boxes on each floor
  • Don’t place litter boxes near food or water bowls

multicat households need multicat litter boxes

LITTER BOX MAINTENANCE

  • Scoop litter at least twice a day
  • With scoopable litter, thoroughly wash box at least once a month
  • With non-clumping litter, thoroughly wash box at least every 4-5 days
  • Replace worn or scratched boxes as often as needed
  • As you scoop, top off litter to maintain consistent levels
  • Do not use plug-in air fresheners or fragrance sprays near the litter box

scoop at least twice daily

MONITORING OF LITTER BOX

  • Twice-daily scooping allows you to monitor what is or isn’t happening in the box
  • Watch for changes in appearance, odor and amount of cat’s urine clumps and fecal deposits
  • Changes in litter box habits or elimination deposits need to be brought to the attention of your veterinarian
  • Don’t use electronic or self-cleaning boxes because you lose the ability to monitor
  • Never punish for elimination outside of the box

scooping is a valuable health monitoring tool

ADJUSTMENTS TO LITTER BOX SET-UP

  • Make needed adjustments to box set-up as your cat ages or mobility decreases
  • In a multicat home, make sure each cat feels safe when in the litter box
  • Customize the litter box set-up to fit the needs and preferences of each cat
  • Pay attention to what your cat may be communicating about the litter box set-up

make adjustments to the litter box as your cat needs

DON’T TAKE SHORTCUTS WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR CAT’S LITTER BOX

  • Don’t neglect litter box maintenance because a dirty box is stressful to a cat
  • Don’t resort to electronic or self-cleaning boxes as a way out of daily scooping
  • Don’t hide litter boxes in areas so remote that you’ll forget to maintain them
  • Even if using scoopable litter, you still have to completely empty and wash the box regularly
  • Cats who are allowed outdoors still need indoor litter boxes
  • Don’t toilet-train your cat

don't take shortcuts with the litter box

NEED MORE INFORMATION?

For more specific information on dealing with litter box set-up or litter box issues, refer to the books by best-selling author, Pam Johnson-Bennett. Pam’s books are available at book stores everywhere or through your favorite online book retail site. You can also purchase books through our website. Note: This article is not intended as a medical diagnosis and is not a replacement for your cat’s regular veterinary care. If you are concerned about your cat’s health, contact your veterinarian.

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