Litter Box - Do’s & Don’ts

Places for the litter box

Locations not to put the litter box

Cleaning the litter box

A big metal serving spoon with no holes or slits is the best scooper for completely removing those wet clumps of litter. When you see a covered pile or a wet circle in the litter, tilt the box gently and slowly shake it so that all the dry litter falls away and you have just the wet clump waiting to be scooped with the spoon. Scrape up the wet lump, dispose of it (preferably not into the toilet!) and shake the dry litter back so it forms an even layer in your box. If you need a little more litter, now is the time.

This varies to some degree with the type of material you’ve chosen, but the litter box should be cleaned at least once a day (twice a day keeps trouble away). A good idea is to scoop the box first thing in the morning and then again when you get home in the evening. If you have multiple cats, you might want to scoop a third time at night. Take the scooping of the litter tray to check on the shape and smell of the stool. Diarrhoea may be a sign of several different disorders – but if it happens only once or twice, it doesn’t have to be a cause for concern.

Depending on the litter you choose, you will need to wash out the whole box once or twice a month. You need to periodically clean off the residue of urine and faeces that accumulates on the plastic. A quick swish with a cat friendly cleanser and hot water to banish any lingering odours and the box stays appealing to the cat. If you have more than one litter box, you might put the one that you cleaned out to dry in the sunshine. The heat kills off all bacteria too.

Notes about the Litter Box

Having a cat in the household may require a bit of extra housework to keep things tidy. The issue about cleaning products is that cats may be in jeopardy around many of the chemical-laden products in your home because they will lick off anything that touches them or that they step in. Therefore use cleaners that are as “green” as possible.  

This is of course especially relevant for the litter box. Cat-friendly products are:

A cup of white Vinegar added to your laundry wash cycle will keep cat hair from sticking to your clothes. The vinegar also acts as fabric softener.                 

A word about plastic liners. Cat experts agree the plastic sheets sold as litter box liners are a disaster. The cat invariably tears a hole in that liner when scratching and digging, and then urine flows underneath the liner and stays there in a smelly puddle where the litter does not reach to absorb it. Or else the liner wrinkles up just enough to trap wet litter and prevent you from scooping it; it breeds germs and a foul smell.

Putting sheets of newspaper at the bottom of litter pan, underneath the litter, is also a bad idea because the newspaper gets soggy and the contents of the box becomes a smelly, unscoopable mess.