The Litter Box

What do I want in a cat litter?

  1. Good value
  2. Convenient availability (I’m able to find it locally)
  3. Odor control without being heavily perfumed
  4. Low dust
  5. Low tracking
  6. Clumping if possible

Here is a list of some tested litters and how they performed, from least expensive to most expensive:

Tidy Cat Clay LitterPlain clay litter is the best thing to start out on with your new kitten. Clumping litters are not recommended for kittens under 6 months old. Tidy Cat clay litter is readily available, very inexpensive, and provides odor control providing you perform proper litter box maintenance. Clay litter needs to be scooped daily and completely dumped and changed at least twice a week with only one kitten.

Tidy Cat for Multiple CatsThis is a clumping litter that can be found just about anywhere. It is low dust, fairly low tracking, and is an exceptionally good value for the performance and excellent odor control. For your every day house cat, this is the best litter you’ll ever need.

Tidy Cat Small Spaces– This is a clumping litter with some crystal litter mixed in to help control odor. It is not hard to find and is mid-priced. It didn’t have a lot of dust, and it was very low tracking. It was designed to keep odors down in high traffic areas where you have a litter box, like the main bathroom of your house.

Nature’s Miracle CrystalsA problem with crystal litters is that they do not clump. However, they provide the best odor control available. Tidy Cat Crystals performed similarly to many more expensive brands of crystal litter as well. Even with an unaltered male, odor problems have been eliminated. However, it is still recommend to completely empty and clean the litter box once a week, just like with regular litters. That makes this a costly option, but well worth it.

World’s Best Cat LitterI only tried litter once because it is an expensive product. I do know that many people use this litter and swear it is indeed the World’s Best Cat Litter. I was not happy with it at all. I found it to be dusty, extremely messy, and high tracking. I also found the odor of the lavender dry litter to be overwhelming and the wet litter to be highly offensive, worse than the smell of kitty poo, actually – why pay a high price if a better value product is serving my needs well?

Steps to a Clean and Keep an Odor-free Litter Box

  • You should have one litter box per cat in your household, plus one
  • Use a good quality scoop-able cat litter (after your cat reaches 6 months old)
  • Scoop out the clumps every day, even if you just have one cat
  • Wipe box down with a little bleach and water after each scooping to kill germs and bacteria.
  • Keep your litter level at about 2-3” deep, even if you have to add a little bit every two or three days after scooping.
  • Each week, completely empty your litter box and replace with fresh litter. Do this even if your cat litter says it doesn’t ever need to be replaced! You have to keep germs and bacteria out, not just odors.
  • Each week, wash the litter box and lid with hot soapy water and a little bleach and dry thoroughly before refilling with litter. When you do this, also clean the litter scoop!
  • Clean the area around your litter box with hot soapy water and a little bleach.This seems very simple, but if you’re new at keeping a litter box in your house or are having odor problems, these steps will help keep your litter box clean, sanitary, and odor free! There are so many different brands of litter out there. One of the most reliable for keeping odors at bay, as well as being economical, is Tidy Cats for Multiple Cats. If you have a kitten (up to 6 months old), you can use the clay version, and if you have an adult cat, use the scoopable. Once you choose a litter, if it is working well, stay with it. Kitties can get quite finicky if their litter is changed.

Choosing a Litter Box

Hooded litter boxes not only give your cat privacy, but also keep odors down, as they usually have a little filter in the top. One of the greatest things made today is the sticky ramp coming out of the litter box because it keeps your cat from tracking litter all over the house. If you’re considering one of the self-scooping litter boxes, they tend to get really bad reviews, as they have a problem with jamming up and need to be taken apart and cleaned frequently! However, we have had great success with The Omega Paw Self-Cleaning Litter Box (Omega Paw Self-Cleaning Litter Box, Pewter )

Litter Box Problems

If your cat is having litter box issues, you want to make sure that you retrain her in a patient and calm way. Stress is one of the leading causes of litter box problems, so you never want to cause additional stress or anxiety while working on litter box problems. Love, praise, and a few kitty treats will go a long way towards solving your problems!

Litter Box Basics

Start at the beginning and make sure you are covering the basic steps to help your cat with proper litter box habits:

  • Have one litter box per cat in your household, plus one
  • Get a brand new litter box
  • Use a high quality cat litter
  • Place the litter box in an area near where your cat “hangs out,” but with as much privacy as possible
  • Scoop litter daily
  • Change litter out completely once a week
  • Wash and bleach litter boxes when you change the litter out

Rule Out Health Issues

When you first notice that your cat is having litter box problems, you should take her to the vet and rule out all health issues. Litter box problems can be the result of parasites, kidney or bladder infections, or even stress and anxiety.

If your cat is maturing, spraying or territorial marking could be mistaken as signs of litter box problems. To make sure this isn’t the issue, you should have your cat spayed or neutered before they start reaching sexual maturity. Sometime around 5 or 6 months old is a good time.

Steps to Retrain Your Cat
If your cat might be stressed or having anxiety problems, work to find out what the causes are and alleviate them. Many pet owners benefit from using products like Feliway helps keep their cats calm and relaxed.

The Litter Box from your Cat’s Point-of-View