5 Pointers On Choosing Litter Boxes

 litter box tips
Harry White By Harry White | Author

Having a household cat comes with challenges. Having litter boxes is integral to taking care of the pet since it will be the cat's bathroom. The box will have cat litter (the stuff that will absorb the pet's urine and cover its defecation).

It can be a tray if you do not have a box. It should be clean because the cat will only use it if it finds it comfortable and feels it is clean for use. However, you need to help your pet know about the litter box and teach your cat how to use it.

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1Picking The Right Litter Box

The market has different options for litter boxes. However, they all perform the same function - handling the cat's waste. Nevertheless, they will have some slight disparities in their use that make some a better choice regarding convenience and ease of use.

Price range and how well the litter box will fit your home are two essential factors worth considering when making your purchase. Also, keep in mind that cats are different, and you need to take into account your pet's likes, needs, and bathroom schedules. With such information at hand, finding the best boxes for your feline should not be that hard. Your options are listed below.

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    Regular Litter Box

    The conventional litter boxes are simple in design and overall use. In most cases, they are indoor containers where you can train the cat to urinate and defecate. They can be made from plastic or plywood and of a few inches in depth. You will fill it with an inch or so of litter, which you will be replacing periodically, as the cats frequent the box. Remember to clean the container after three to four litter replacements, which you can do by hand, scrubbing and hosing it down, then wiping before putting in new cat litter.

    Some of the litter boxes have covers, but most of them have an open top. The upper part of the covered type is designed like little cat houses. Irrespective of the designs, the litter boxes perform one function: to hold the cat's urine and fecal matter. As such, it is common to find people improvising, converting things, such as small plastic bins, into litter boxes.

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    Sifting Litter Box

    The name is derived from the litter box's feature: the sifter pan, which is placed over the cat litter. The pan is designed to allow fecal matter and urine to pass through while preventing the litter from finding its way to the top; this is important since litter clumps up once it gets in touch with urine or fecal matter and cannot pass through. The sifter thus helps ensure that a litter box is a clean place for the cat to use.

    A refill is necessary once the entire litter gets clumped; this makes the sifting litter boxes a better option compared to the traditional ones. You have less cleaning and will not have to worry much about hygiene. You will only have to clean the sifter, allowing you to get rid of the unwanted waste in the litter tray or box.

    You can opt for the covered or non-covered type; your choice should be based on your pet's bathroom habits and preferences. Keep in mind that you may have to contend with the occasional dust if you opt for the sifting litter boxes. You need to lightly scrub and shake the sifter when cleaning it to get rid of the dirty litter. You can avoid making a mess of things when doing this by cleaning the sifter outside where there is plenty of air.

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    Self-Cleaning Litter Box

    The self-cleaning litter boxes bring in an innovative approach to taking care of our cat's hygiene needs. They operate based on a modern automated technology where a timed system monitors the cat's use of the litter box. They have built-in motion sensors that detect when the cat enters and leaves the litter box. A timer is triggered every time the pet comes and counts how long it stays before leaving.

    The cleaning cycles are then determined and programmed based on the seconds or minutes the cat spends in the litter box and before its next visit. The sequence can be around seven to 20 minutes after the pet leaves the litter box. Some models have adjustable times that allow changing the cleaning cycle as desired. Remember that cat litter will clump up once used. In some of the self-cleaning litter boxes, they have a dome that spins, moving the dirty litter into a removable collection chamber.

    In other models, they have a raking feature that runs over the surface of the litter, combing through it as it moves the clumps of dirty litter into a removable collection chamber. The rake operation is programmed based on the cat's visit schedules to the litter box. The collection chambers may vary, from removable container to disposable garbage bags.

    Given the overall features and innovative functions of the self-cleaning litter box, it is among the most convenient options. It is low maintenance since it takes away the need for manual cleaning; however, you will, at some point, have to replace the cat litter manually. Therefore, the self-cleaning litter box is ideal for people who aren't often at home or cannot find enough time to clean their cat's litter box regularly. On the flip side, the convenience of this product means that it is more expensive than the conventional ones that require manual upkeep; however, the overall efficiency and convenience will outweigh the purchase cost in the long term.

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    Hidden Litter Box

    While the name suggests that these are hidden, they are mainly designed to look inconspicuous. The hidden litter box will work the same as any of the above products - they are the cat's bathroom. But they are uniquely made to mimic items in the house. They can be designed to resemble furniture or even plant holders.

    If you have reservations about the change in decor detail that comes with a litter box, then the hidden models are a perfect choice. You will not have to make any sacrifice regarding style while also enjoying the efficiency of a product that helps you manage your cat's hygiene needs. You get a litter box that your pet will love using without having the container disrupting the vibe of your space. You can find hidden litter boxes made of wood or plastic.

    The above information will guide you. It will help you decide on the unique features to consider when getting a litter box. Below are some of the top products in the market worth considering.
     guide to litter box

    It is necessary to point out that there are many makers of cat pans. Thus, the market will have an array of these products in different styles and functions. So before spending your money on a product, it is essential to look into its brand, specifications, and overall value for money.

    Take the Luup, for instance, which is a cat litter box with three pans. It sifts with a lift system that simplifies the cleaning and maintenance. Luup has made a name for itself as a brand, growing as a trustworthy and reliable brand.

    The Luup litter boxes have antimicrobial materials and are designed to guard against spills, easy to clean, and economical. The products have antimicrobial materials that help to prevent foul smells from building up in the litter pan. The three-pan lift system, coupled with the sifting, is meant to aid in cleaning and conserving the litter, thus helping save the litter and reduce the overall costs of maintaining the litter box.

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    PetSafe is yet another top brand that ensures household animals enjoy a clean environment. The brand's litter box has a sturdy build that is both stylish and durable and with an automated self-cleaning function. It has a time-rake feature that helps in the disposal of the clumped litter, pulling it into a removable container that can be cleaned out later. The cat litter container has a garbage bag lining to address hygiene and mess-free handling when cleaning.

    The brand has a mark for making large litter trays applicable for cats of different sizes. The manufacturers also produce crystal litter that has a higher aeration rate than the standard cat litter and is not dusty compared to the clay variety. It stays fresh longer due to its excellent absorbent qualities. The crystal litter is the perfect thing for the PetSafe cat litter box.

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    PetSmart has different products in a wide selection. Most of the litter boxes from this brand are easy to use. They are also inexpensive.

    Are you looking for a litter box? Then, consider something from PetSmart. This product will help ensure that your household cat stays clean.

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    Omega Paw

    The Omega Paw is a self-cleaning cat litter box. It works by using a rolling motion. Omega Paw products come in different sizes to suit different cats.

    The litter containers have a unique build and styling. They come installed with a sifter screen for sifting and cleaning the dirty, clumped litter. This allows easy cleaning as well as the replacement of the old litter with fresh litter.

     guide to litter box

    When it comes to innovative machines in the pet care industry, the ModKat is most likely at the helm of the top makers of litter boxes. They always have creative ideas and fresh concepts for their products, which they enhance with every new release to the market. This is to ensure that they offer products that are all-in-one solution providers.

    Modkat litter boxes have a hidden design that allows them to camouflage to their surroundings; most of them are designed to mimic modern furniture. The products are also dog-proof, and some have a lock system. The brand makes sturdy cat litter boxes that cats cannot scratch and have antimicrobial materials that aid in preventing the generation of odor.

 guide to litter box

2Making Your Pet Love The Litter Box

The toughest thing about caring for your pet's hygiene is making the cat love using the litter box. You should exercise patience as you train your pet. The cat should feel comfortable about using the litter pan, so you should consider doing things with caution.

Always remember to take things slow when bringing in a new litter box; do not be too quick to throw the old one out. Keep it around to allow your pet to adjust and familiarize itself with the new box. As such, the new litter box should be next to the old one, and if you have several litter pans around, place the new box next to the one that the cat frequents the most.

The new box should be empty for the first few days. Then, you can transfer the old litter in the old box into the new one and then fill the old box with a new cat litter. Alternatively, you can opt to pick a bit of the used litter in the old box and mix it into the fresh litter in the new box, or you can get a bit of the clean litter to add to the old box.

Keep in mind that cats are very picky about their hygiene and will not want to use a dirty or dump litter box. So you should not clean out the litter in the old box to deter your pet from using that box and opting to go to the new one. Remember that choosing not to clean out the used litter in the old box means that the waste will accumulate; therefore, you should closely monitor the progress to ensure that your cat has made the switch to the new litter box. It may take some time for the pet to start using the new box, but this will happen eventually; give it time.

Breaking in the pet to the new litter box or even to start using the container may take about a week or so; you can then throw out the old litter box once your cat has fully adjusted to the change. At times, the cat may show some signs of not liking the new box, but that is understandable. You can encourage it by ensuring to have only the new litter box available for use; this helps to quicken the assimilation.

Removing the old litter boxes any earlier than the cat anticipates will hinder it from adjusting and accepting to the new one. The pet can develop a strong dislike for the new change or be scared of using the new box. Therefore, grant your pet a bit of leeway to take in new developments; give it time, and it will adapt and at a time quicker than you may think.

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3Where To Place The Litter Box

Before buying a litter box, you should pick out the right spot to place it - a place where the cat will enjoy its privacy. Cats are peculiar creatures when it comes to cleanliness, as evidenced by their habit of being very discreet; they like to go privately. Therefore, pick a hidden spot and ensure that it is not near a heater because the high temperatures will only intensify any foul smell present. You would not love the smell and, neither will your pet cat. It will want to go to a bathroom that is clean, the same way you enjoy using a clean bathroom.

Do not place the litter tray next to noisy machines, such as the dryers and washing machines. The sounds may rattle and scare and prevent it from using the litter box; things will be worse if you try to make it accept a new litter box. Also, avoid places with high humidity, especially if you are to use a product with disposable filters. The moisture will shorten the filters' effectiveness and lifespan, increasing the replacement rate, and this raises the costs. Pick a dry area for the litter box, and the self-cleaning system will work efficiently and longer.

Also, remember to have the pet's health in mind as you position the litter box; it should not be next or close to its food and water bowls to avoid contamination. Choose a secluded place for the litter box because cats like to go privately but will not mind eating in an open area. A location such as next to the closet is ideal.

Take note not to use a covered litter box if you decide to place it next to the closet to keep the pet from locking itself in or out. Ideally, you should use a non-covered cat litter box. If the area in question is a bit out in the open, then consider using a hidden litter box that camouflages with the furniture. If the room is large with plenty of space or if the house has many floors, then install several boxes in strategic places for the cat to go to when the need arises. It will eliminate the need for it to cover a long distance to use its bathroom.

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4Litter Box Cleaning And Maintenance

For the conventional litter box, you will have to get hands-on with the traditional box of litter. You have to remove the dirty litter every other day and eventually replace the old litter with fresh ones after a few days. The cat will not want to use it if it finds exposed feces or a pungent smell of urine in the litter box. Remember that you do not have to replace the entire cat litter every day, just take out the waste, and establish a schedule for when to put in fresh litter.

A litter box liner can help ease cleaning and maintenance. It can be pulled out like a bag, thus aids in removing and disposing of the used cat litter. Avoid pouring harsh substances or chemicals in the litter or using strong cleaning products when washing the litter tray. Allow the box to dry before putting in fresh cat litter to prevent it from getting damp and clumping up.

Always wash the litter box every time you take out or replace the old litter with a new batch. It helps not only to ensure that the box looks presentable but also helps get rid of bacteria and the waste odor. Give it a good scrubbing, but do not use scented cleaners. Wipe the container or tray dry using a clean cloth or paper towel.

The cleaning and maintenance of the automated self-cleaning litter boxes are different. Such products have internal cleaning systems that take away the need for you to do any scooping. They will clean out the waste and even make things easy for you when putting in new cat litter as well as the filter, which are the only things you will do every few weeks.

Some of these techy cat litter boxes have a flashing light to alert you when to clean and replace the filter. It is possible to do a bit of cleaning using water and soap if you feel that you need to get rid of some unpleasant smell in the litter box. And since cats will often go around two inches deep in the litter, you do not have to stress a lot about replacing the used litter with a new batch.

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5Handling Cat Litter When Pregnant

Pregnant women can clean a litter box without any difficulties; however, toxoplasmosis is an issue that deters many women from even considering doing such work. Toxoplasmosis is a health problem linked to a parasitic infection transmitted through feces, raw meat, and foods. A pregnant woman with the disease can transfer it to her unborn baby. Research does show some evidence that cat litter is a potential carrier of the toxoplasmosis-causing parasite. However, this is not a significant concern for hygienically-kept household cats that often spend their time indoors.

Since it is better safe than sorry, it is wise to exercise some preventive measures when changing and cleaning a litter box. For instance, always wear gloves when cleaning the box, and avoid touching any part of it with your naked skin, especially your face and mouth. Ensure that your cat goes for a check to ensure that it doesn't have parasites and is strong and healthy. Get tested if you have any concerns about toxoplasmosis, especially if you are pregnant.

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Alternatively, you can opt not to handle the cleaning yourself if you are pregnant. Get someone to do it for you and just be there to give directions on what needs to be done. Ask the same person to change and clean the litter box every time you are away.

Hopefully, you have found this guide helpful in your quest to find the best litter box for your pet. Keep these things in mind. What you choose should not only suit your needs but also conform to your cat's hygiene habits and needs.

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