This is Part 2 in a two part series by Jackson. In the first post, Jackson shared the first five of 10 Litter Box Tips. Here are tips 6 thru 10... and even an eleven!
6. The volume of the litter
It’s true - different cats prefer different amounts of litter in their box. Take, for instance, an arthritic, older cat. When there is a full box of litter, you’ve created a scenario where, especially when pooping, the cat must “grip on” to the substrate to gain stability. That in itself, can cause discomfort.
7. The Box Itself
Does your cat gladly enter the box or sniff around it, very carefully and gingerly going in as if she was exploring a very dark cave for the first time? Is your cat elderly or in any other way physically compromised and you are asking them to climb over a high-walled of the box? Overweight and expecting them to use a box big enough for a kitten? Remember, the box must be attractive and convenient; in other words, a friendly place.
8. To lid or not to lid?
Keeping a lid on boxes is definitely something I tend to point away from. For one, the whole notion of a cat needing privacy in order to eliminate I believe is just a matter of projection; it’s what I want so of course it’s what he or she wants. Wrong. Sure some cats like to have lids on their box, but it can also cause inter-cat tension, especially when one cat gets bullied by another while in the box, and because of the lid, they never saw it coming The same goes for Litter Liners - they are present just to make our lives a bit more convenient. Tell that to the cat who gets a claw stuck while trying to cover their waste! Just say no.
10. Angle of the box
Now this might sound over-specific, but believe me it works - in our attempt to not have to even look at cat litter, we often place the box and face the box away from our eyes. That means having a box with a lid where the opening faces the wall or faces another corner. We want to do the opposite, especially in a multi-cat home. Anytime a sneak attack can happen, or even have a cat in the box get startled by anything, we know we’ve tilted the scale firmly in the human comfort direction. If the box is in a corner, face the opening on a diagonal so that from their vantage point they can see pretty much the whole room.
11. Scoop. The. Litter.
We complain about the smell, about having to look at the mess inside the box...and yet we avoid scooping like it was a trip to the DMV. Your cats don’t like navigating the minefield of nasty clumps anymore than you like to see or smell it. So scoop that litter every day. Not twice a week!
Hopefully this list provides you with some insight about the rectangular, plastic 800-lb. gorilla in the room. Find peace with the concepts and the realities, and pay attention to the red flags that your cats are raising, and you will stay decidedly ahead of the game. As an aside, people often invite me to tell them what litter to use. As you can see, I basically throw that question back at them: observe what your cat likes/doesn't like; there is no one-size-fits-all. Each cat is an individual. That said, I will state here that on a personal level, I really like and appreciate what World's Best Cat Litter brings to the market; they are one of my favorites.
Now, repeat after me: “The litter box is my friend!”