From basic plastic trays to high-tech automated models, there’s lots to choose from when it comes to a litter box.
A cat’s refusal to use the litter box can be a big headache. Sometimes the problem is medical, which means a trip to the vet is in order to rule out physical illness. Other times, it can be an issue with the litter box itself (or the litter). Cats are finicky, and you might have to experiment to find a tray your kitty will want to use – and that’s also convenient for you. Fortunately, there are all kinds of litter box designs on the market, including some interesting new offerings, and that makes it easier to pick something that suits both you and Fluffy.
“They really come in all shapes and sizes now,” says Jean Martin Verrault of Canada Litter Inc. “More recently, they’ve become integrated into furniture or home decor, and they can also be scoop-free or self-cleaning. Some have batteries, others you can plug into the wall.”
Here are just a few examples of what’s out there.
The standard litter box — variations on a theme
Many cats are perfectly happy with a basic litter box. But make sure to buy a good product. “You want to consider quality, style and size,” says Shannon Supanich of Pioneer Pet Products. “You also need to make sure the litter box has high sides to avoid kick-out,” she adds. At the same time, it should be easy for the cat to access, especially if he’s older. Pioneer Pet Products’ litter boxes feature a lowered easy-access entrance so cats don’t have to jump over the sides to get in.
The company also offers a variation on the standard rectangular box with its corner model. It’s a good option if space is at a premium. “It fits well in unused halls or small spaces,” says Shannon.
Air convection technology — dry and odor-free
Eliminating odor is a key factor when it comes to litter boxes. The smell of cat urine especially has a way of permeating the house, and can discourage the cat from using the tray. Choosing the right litter goes a long way to minimizing odor, but so does the design of the litter box.
Canada Litter is introducing an innovative new litter box that is specially engineered to stay dry and odor-free. “The Cateco uses a patented, passive air convection technology that eliminates up to 86% of odors by providing a much dryer environment,” says Jean. “More precisely, by eliminating humidity, this technology deactivates the biochemical process that creates ammonia, limiting the propagation of the bacteria and fungus responsible for those pungent odors that can turn cats and their people away.”
This self-drying design means more convenience and less work for you, Jean adds. “It requires fewer litter changes and cleanings: you can easily get away with washing it out every three to four months.”
Going automatic – convenient and stylish
It’s been around for awhile now, but the Litter-Robot remains a popular high-tech option for those looking for a convenient, self-cleaning litter box. It automatically separates clumps of waste from clean litter after each use, which means there’s no scooping involved. A rotating sifter gently removes the waste and drops it into the large “drawer” below. Just fit the drawer with a plastic kitchen bag, and dispose of the bag every few days. Odor is avoided with the help of a carbon filter system and by the fact that the waste drawer is sealed off from the clean litter. This is just a sampling of the popular and unique litter box choices available today. By shopping carefully and helping your cat accept his new bathroom, you’ll reduce the risk of inappropriate elimination.
Litter box tips
Whatever type of litter box you opt for, these four suggestions from World’s Best Cat Litter will help ensure your kitty is willing to use it.
1. Ensure the litter box is kept clean. Cats don’t like dirty bathrooms any more than we do.
2. If you have a multi-cat household, consider a litter box for each animal.
3. Make sure the litter box is situated in an easy-to-access location. If it’s tucked away in a dark and distant corner of the basement, your cat may ignore it, especially if he’s older or arthritic.
4. Some cats are uncomfortable with covered litter boxes. This can be an issue in multi-cat households where one cat might be bullying another. A litter box with a lid gives the perpetrator a chance to sneak up unexpectedly on the other cat, prompting the latter to stop using the tray. If this is an issue, choose a product without a lid, or remove the existing lid.
Again, remember that a smelly litter box isn’t pleasant for either you or your cat/s. You can choose a model that uses special technologies to minimize odor, or you can ensure you scoop daily, change the litter on a regular basis, and use a product such as Arm & Hammer’s Cat Litter Deodorizer Powder, which uses baking soda to destroy bad smells.
To learn more…
Arm & Hammer, armandhammer.com
Canada Litter, canadalitter.com
Pioneer Pet, pioneerpet.com
World’s Best Cat Litter, worldsbestcatlitter.com