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Give Your Cat a Litter box Buffet  

 

What is it?

Just as some people squeeze the Charmin and prefer double to one ply when it comes to toilet paper, and Kohler to American Standard when it come to toilets, some cats are fussy when it comes to toileting preferences. In nature, cats would be able to select just the right spot and surface material. Giving your cat a litter box buffet means putting out boxes with different types of litter and allowing your cat to show you litter preferences.

 

Why bother?

 

Selecting an area in the home outside of the litter box for elimination is the most common complaint about indoor cats.[1]  Don't risk your cat using an undesignated area as the new fresh-scent toilet. If you want your cat to use the litter box, don't just pour what's on sale into her toilet. Show some courtesy and ask your cat's  opinion first. After all, most litter is a step down from nature's earth and sandy beaches.

Make sure you have one more litter box than number of cats and you clean all litter boxes twice daily. Cats prefer a flushed toilet.

 

What to do?

  • Litter boxes: Buy three different types of boxes. Include one covered, one extra large and one of your choice.

  • Litter: Buy three types of litter. Choose one that is the clumping kind - the number one choice for most cats. Include scented and unscented.

  • Trial One:  Set up your cat's cafeteria by placing boxes in a row about 6 - 12 inches apart. Put a different litter type in each box. Fill each box with at least 2 inches deep.

  • Trial Two:  After one week, rotate the type of litter used in each box. Never use chemical cleaners on litter boxes. Cats are sensitive to scents. Use soap and water.

  • Trial Three:  Put your cats favorite litter type in the two boxes and place in two different areas. When you let your cat's feet do the talking, you will discover your cat toileting preferences.

Cats like their privacy! Do not place the litter box in a high traffic area or near the cat's food.

Don't toss your used litter pans, go green by planting marigolds or placing garden tools in them. Donate the remaining litter (and unwanted boxes) to a local shelter or veterinary practice.

Keep your cat's litter box smelling fresh and clean by washing it monthly and replacing it annually. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

[1] American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) Feline Behavior Guidelines 2004

 

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