5 Litter Box Tips Every Cat Owner Should Know

5 Litter Box Tips Every Cat Owner Should Know

When the litter box is out of sight, it's often out of mind—until, that is, your cat decides to protest on your living room rug. Suddenly, reacquainting your kitty with their litter box shoots to #1 on your to-do list, because a distressed cat and a soiled home are two things no pet pawrent wants. To help ease your litter box stress, we’ve gathered five essential tips below.

Tip 1: Choose the Right Type of Box

First on your checklist should be to ensure that the box you chose is large enough for your cat to turn around comfortably. Then, you should consider your kitty’s age. Are they a senior cat or a kitty that has difficulty jumping? If so, you might want to opt for a box with low sides to make entry and exit a breeze. The purrfect box for your specific cat will truly depend on their needs. Some may dislike covered boxes, while others could be disturbed by the noises of automatic litter boxes. Experimentation is key. Observe and adjust based on your furry friend's behavior to find their purrfect match.

Tip 2: Sudden Litter Box Aversion Can Signal Health Issues

When your cat suddenly shuns their litter box after years of consistent use, it's a red flag that shouldn't be ignored. This abrupt change in behavior could be more than just a preference issue—it might indicate underlying health problems. To ensure your feline friend's health and well-being, a visit to the veterinarian is crucial. A professional can conduct a thorough examination to identify and address any medical concerns, helping to restore your cat's litter box habits and overall comfort.

Meowtel Editor Cass: One day, out of the blue, my two-year-old male tabby cat, Little Bear, suddenly stopped using his litter box. He never had issues before with the litter box, but that day he was meowing at me while standing next to his box. I had no idea what was going on, but I knew he needed to go to the vet to be examined. It turned out he was experiencing a urinary blockage, and without medical intervention, he wouldn’t be here today. I’m so very grateful that we were paying attention to his signs and got him medical help just in time.

Tip 3: Keep Food and Litter Away

While you might think that your cat would prefer all of their essentials in one spot, that might be a misstep. Cats instinctively prefer their litter box placed away from where they dine, and some are even particular about having their water separate from their food. This might require some experimentation to find the ideal setup that makes your cat happiest. 

Meowtel Editor Cass: My other kitty Delacour is definitely one of the pickiest cats I’ve known, but as a 12-year-old senior, she gets to make her demands. She will go on a hunger strike if we dare to leave her food and water next to each other. Now, she happily eats at her food station, and drinks from her water fountain in another area. 

Tip 4: Use Pawsitive Reinforcement

Embrace pawsitive (positive) reinforcement to guide your cat's litter box habits. Treats, praise, and affection speak volumes more than negative words could, especially during those crucial training moments. Remember, scolding can create negative associations, possibly deterring your cat from using the litter box altogether. Instead, focus on rewarding desired behaviors with treats, pets, or cuddles, reinforcing a positive connection. This method not only strengthens your bond but also encourages your cat to repeat those good behaviors, creating a stress-free experience for both you and your furry friend.

Tip 5: Provide Alternatives

Every kitty is unique. Some cats may not fuss over the litter you choose, but others might strictly require unscented clay litter in a deep open box. Experimenting with both covered and uncovered litter boxes in different areas of your home might help you find the best setup for you and your furball. An uncovered box in a quieter area, for instance, might just be the solution to easing your cat's litter box worries.

Ensure your kitty is happy and stress-free while you're away by booking a local Meowtel sitter. Our trusted and insured sitters have served over 50,000 happy cats and counting. Find your purrfect cat sitter today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why is my cat pooping outside the litter box?

A: Your cat may be avoiding the litter box due to discomfort or underlying health issues, signaling the need for a vet check-up or a reconsideration of the litter box's size, type, or location.

Q: Why does my cat sweep around the litter box?

A: Sweeping around the litter box could be a sign of your cat's natural instinct to clean and cover after using the bathroom, or it may indicate dissatisfaction with the cleanliness of the area.

Q: Why does my cat hate the Litter Robot?

A: Dislike for the Litter Robot or other automated litter boxes might stem from their noises or sudden automatic movements, which could distress or unsettle some cats who prefer a quieter, more static litter environment.

Categories: Cat Behavior