Litterbox 101

By: Haley Bickelhaupt – Agricultural Communications Student at University of Illinois and Member of National Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow

Please note, I received compensation in exchange for this blog post – Haley Bickelhaupt – Agricultural Communications Student at University of Illinois and Member of National Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow

Although it may be tucked away in a corner and not at the forefront of a cat owner’s mind, a clean litterbox environment is important to keep cats and their owners happy. There are numerous options for providing the best experience for your pet; different litters and boxes, cat personalities, and environments can make an impact on the health of your feline. Here are some tips to learn more about these differences and their impact on your pet’s life.

  • Different kinds of litters

In addition to the many brands of available cat litter, there are also numerous types and materials to choose from. Clay litter is one of the most popular products and can be easily bought at various locations. However, this product may create dust in your house and is not a safe choice for kittens who may ingest it accidentally. Litter can also be made from pine, wheat, paper, and silica. These alternatives, such as pine, offer a dust-free option that is also environmentally friendly. Depending on your needs and conditions, these can serve as an alternative to clay litter to keep your feline pampered and happy.

  • Best kind of litter box

To create an environment for your pet to have a comfortable experience, it is important to pair the perfect litter with the perfect box. Although these boxes can range from hundreds of dollars to fifteen, there are great litterbox options for every budget. This can include purchasing a box with high sides, so the litter is easier to dump and handle. Another feature that may appeal to cats with private personalities are boxes with hoods. Additionally, these boxes can keep your house fresh by keeping smells in! Testing out multiple boxes can be the best way to ensure your cat is the most comfortable with its environment. 

  • Where does the litter box go?

Now that you have the perfect box and litter for your pet, it is now time to pick the spot for it to go. Similar to a human bathroom, cats prefer their litter box in a close, convenient area. Although it may be nice to tuck away your litterbox in a corner, make sure this is in a place your cat typically wanders so they feel comfortable and can easily locate the box. Cats also like private, quiet locations for their litterbox.

  • What to do when your cat stops using the litterbox

Although it may be inconvenient if your cat suddenly stops using the litterbox, do not panic as there are numerous reasons for this is dilemma and solutions to fix this problem. One reason your cat may have stopped using its litterbox is it stinks! Like humans, cats are sensitive to smells and enjoy completing their business in a clean area, so don’t forget to scoop the box daily! Another issue that may cause your cat to have a change in heart concerning its litterbox could be the size of the box. Try providing a larger space for your animal, which may provide them with a stress-free environment to complete their business. If these issues persist,  make an appointment with your veterinarian. Although not necessarily common, cats can develop urinary tract infections or other issues that may cause these behavior changes.