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Think like a cat to avoid litter box mishaps
Mar 12th, 2024

Think like a cat to prevent litter box mishaps

It's no secret that cats can be picky. Many times people blame the cat, but instead, they should start thinking like a cat. Pam Johnson-Bennett, an expert on cat behavior, believes that many issues involving cats come down to misunderstandings. The most common problem people have with their cats is not using the litter box properly. Instead of thinking that your cat is misbehaving, consider what your cat may be trying to tell you.  

Four Reasons Why A Cat Would Stop Using the Litter Box

Typically, litter box incidents have more to do with hygiene and location than a cat’s attitude. Here are four reasons why a cat would stop using the litter box:

  • Dirty Disgrace: Do you like to use a smelly, dirty bathroom?  Neither do cats. Johnson-Bennett says “Cats are very clean animals and if the box is too dirty they will seek other arrangements.” In other words, would you rather clean the litter box or the carpet? 

  • Not Enough Space: Match the size of the litter box to your cat. Pam suggests that a litter box should be 1 ½ times the length of your cat (excluding their tail). If you have a big cat - overweight or a large breed like a Maine Coone - you’ll need a bigger box. Also, consider the depth of the box. If it is too shallow, the cat might become an aggressive kicker to conceal their poop. 

  • Location, Location, Location: Cats prefer privacy for potty time. Avoid placing the litter box in high-traffic areas such as hallways or living rooms and kitchens. Find a quiet corner where your cat can be undisturbed.   

  • Personal Preferences: Sometimes the problem might be as simple as getting to know the peculiarities of your pet. Clumping, unclumping, scented, unscented, litter is not one size fits all. The smells and texture of litter are just as important to a cat as the quality of toilet paper is to a human. Some cats prefer a covered litter box for privacy whereas others want uncovered so they can always be on the alert. 


    Think Like a Cat to Prevent Litter Box Mishaps 

    To prevent litter box mishaps, try to make your litter box as appealing as possible for a cat.

    • Schedule Scoops: Cats can be pretty regular. Identify when they typically use the litter box and scoop it after their visit. Think of it as a cat’s version of a flush. Alternatively, scoop the litter box twice a day. Keep small waste disposal bags nearby for convenient cleanup. 

    • Have Enough Bathrooms: You know how families fight over using the bathroom - so do cats! In multicat households, you should have one litter box for each cat, plus one extra.

    • Size Matters: Check the width, length, and depth to make sure it is the right size for your cat. If your cat is an aggressive kicker, in addition to making sure the litter box has enough depth, consider one with raised walls to contain the litter. 

    • Cats love consistency: Refresh the litter to keep the litter level consistent. Once you find a litter that your cat likes, don’t change it! Ditto the location - if it works, don’t change it!  

    • Periodically Powerclean: Purge the entire contents of the litter box and give the box a thorough cleaning. To prevent sticky clumps, pick a box with smooth surfaces and curved edges.  


    Here’s the Scoop On FurryTail’s Camp Open Rimmed Large Litter Box

    If you are looking for a large litter box that is easy-to-clean, and with high walls, our Camp Open Rimmed Large Litter Box is a great option!  This litter box has a capacity of 7L, has tall 22 cm walls, and the polished, smooth walls are easy to clean. The inclined rim helps keep litter in the box and also serves as handy handles.

    While it’s easy to state the solutions for a cat’s litter box problems, if you are away from home and don’t have the time to scoop litter twice a day, FurryTail also offers a state-of-the-art Automatic Litter Box Pro that may be more appropriate for your needs. 

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