Litter Box Etiquette — Your Manners Impact Your Cat’s

Published on: 05/19/16 1:02 PM | Category: cats, Stress, wellness

litterbox-etiquette-vhcnovaby Janet Foley, DVM

Too often litter box problems go unsolved for a long period of time before a client consults with a veterinarian.  For these cases, a quick resolution is often difficult to come by. See your vet sooner, rather than later.

Know the basics of litter box rules and cats:

  • Most cats prefer a box to pee in and a box to poop in. That means the rule is one box per cat plus one. One cat needs two boxes, two cats need three boxes, and so on.
  • Cats like to live where we live. If you never go in your dark dank basement and that is where you put a litter box, your cat probably won’t like it down there either.
  • Have a box on every floor of your house. Not ideal for you, but do you want the cat in the box or not?
  • Boxes need to be scooped at least every day.
  • If you are using gravel litter, you need to rinse out that box every time you change it, with soap and water. If you are using scoopable litter, you need to COMPLETELY change that litter, every month.
  • Covered litter boxes might be nice for us, but most cats are not fans. If you must use one, give them a second uncovered option elsewhere. It is really hard for some cats to get in those covered boxes and not hit their heads while using the box.
  • Do not put in more than two inches of litter. Cats do not want to sink into four inches of litter, especially long-haired cats.  These cats hate getting litter on the feathers of their long hair on their legs, especially clumping litter.
  • Be courteous to older cats. Where do they like to hang out? Do they prefer to be upstairs, but the litter box is two levels below?  That makes it harder for them.  Put a box where they like to live.  They will thank you for it by using it regularly.