Choosing and maintaining a litter box for your cat can be a daunting task, especially when you're opting for a plant-based litter. While plant-based litter is an eco-friendly and healthy option for your furry friend, choosing the right litter box to go with it and doing the right things can make all the difference. Here are 10 things to consider when selecting and maintaining a litter box for plant-based litter.
The size of the litter box is crucial. It needs to be large enough for your cat to comfortably move around and do their business. An appropriately sized litter box can prevent accidents and promote good litter box habits. Roughly, the litter box you choose should be between 1.5 to 2 times longer than your cat from snout to tail. If you are picking out your kitten’s first box, be sure to update the litter box to appropriate sizing as the kitten grows.
Cleaning the litter box is one of the most critical aspects of cat ownership. When choosing a litter box for plant-based litter, choose one that is easy to clean, preferably with smooth surfaces and few crevices.
As to your typical day to day, make sure to scoop the droppings and liquid clumps daily, and dump the litter box every three to four weeks or as needed. It is also recommended to wash the litter box regularly with soap and water to eliminate any bacteria buildup. Paying special attention especially during lengthy rainy seasons in Australia and increase frequency of cleaning.
Tofu Cat Litter Australia is made from high quality pea fibre and lasts longer than other types of plant based litter due to its natural antibacterial properties.
3. Number of Litter Boxes available
The number of litter boxes you need depends on the number of cats you have in your household. As a general rule, it's recommended to have one litter box per cat plus one extra. For example, if you have two cats, you should have three litter boxes. This helps to prevent overcrowding and ensures that your cats always have access to a clean litter box.
Even in a single cat household, one litter box may not be enough for a larger house with multiple stories. Be sure to have enough litter boxes to cover different areas and floors of the house, your cat will thank you for those shorter trips to the bathroom when they need it!
4. Litter box placed too close to food
It's not recommended to place your cat's litter box close to their food bowls because cats are naturally clean animals,
and they prefer to have their food and litter box in separate areas.
Placing the litter box near their food bowls can create a stressful environment for your cat and cause them to avoid the litter box altogether, which can lead to litter box aversion and other undesirable behaviours such as urinating or defecating outside the litter box.
In addition, keeping the litter box away from the food and water bowls can help to prevent any contamination of their food and water with litter or bacteria. So, it's best to keep the litter box in a separate area from your cat's food and water bowls to provide them with a comfortable and stress-free environment.
5. Litter box difficult to access
It's important to place your cat's litter box in an easily accessible location because cats prefer to have a private and quiet place to do their business. If the litter box is difficult to access, your cat may avoid using it altogether, which can lead to litter box aversion and other undesirable behaviours such as urinating or defecating outside the litter box.
In addition, if the litter box is located in an area that is difficult to reach or is too far away, your cat may not have enough time to get to the litter box when they need to use it, which can also lead to accidents outside of the litter box.
Pay special care to larger cats, elderly cats and/or cats with health issues so not to place their litter box in high/ hard to reach places.
6. Litter box away from excessive noise and busy areas of your home
Placing your cat's litter box in a quiet and less busy area of the house is important because cats prefer a private and quiet place to do their business. If the litter box is located in a noisy or high-traffic area of the house such as near the laundry machine or near where children play, your cat may become stressed or anxious, which can lead to litter box aversion and other undesirable behaviours such as urinating or defecating outside the litter box.
In addition, placing the litter box in a quiet and less busy area of the house can help to ensure that your cat has the time and privacy they need to use the litter box comfortably. This can also help to reduce the likelihood of accidents outside of the litter box and promote consistent litter box use by your cat.
7. Not enough cat litter placed inside litter box
It's important to maintain an appropriate level of litter in your cat's litter box to ensure that it's effective and comfortable for your cat to use.
When using plant-based cat litter, the litter should be deep enough to cover the bottom of the litter box to a depth of at least 5 cm. Moreover, you should have enough litter in the box to allow for solid clumps to form.
Also, if you notice an increase in odour or that the litter box is not absorbing the moisture effectively, it could be an indication that there is not enough litter in the box.
8. Your cat does not like the cat litter
While you may have spent much time carefully picking out the perfect litter, your cat has its own standards for picking out their favourite cat litter. For instance, many cat litter manufacturers use heavy artificial chemical fragrances to cover up odour; your cat's nose is much more sensitive than humans and may find the scent repulsive.
If your cat is consistently using the litter box and not urinating or defecating outside of it, it's a good indication that they're comfortable with the litter.
Also, If your cat is actively digging in the litter box and covering their waste, it's a good indication that they're comfortable with the texture and feel of the litter.
It's important to note that cats can be very particular about their litter, and preferences can vary from cat to cat. Therefore, if you need to know if your cat likes the litter you've provided, it may be helpful to experiment with different types of litter to find the one that your cat prefers.
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9. Hooded or Open cat litter box
When deciding whether to purchase a hooded or open cat litter box, there are a few factors to consider to ensure you make the right choice for your cat.
Privacy: Some cats prefer more privacy when using the litter box, so a hooded litter box can provide a sense of security and privacy for them.
Accessibility: Hooded litter boxes can be more difficult to access, especially for larger or older cats, while open litter boxes provide easy access for cats of all sizes and ages.
Odour control: Hooded litter boxes are better at containing odours, but can also trap odours inside. Open litter boxes may require more frequent cleaning and may allow odours to escape more easily.
Litter tracking: Some cats may track litter outside of the litter box, and a hooded litter box can help contain the litter better.
Comfort: Some cats may feel more comfortable in an open litter box, as they can see their surroundings and feel less enclosed.
It's important to observe your cat's behaviour and preferences to determine which type of litter box they prefer. You can try starting with an open litter box and observing their behaviour to see if they prefer more privacy or if they are tracking litter outside of the box. If your cat seems to prefer more privacy, you can try a hooded litter box. If they are having difficulty accessing the box or seem uncomfortable, you may want to try an open box or a larger hooded box. Ultimately, the best litter box is one that your cat is comfortable using and that you can keep clean and odour-free.
10. Frequent changes made to the litter box
Frequent changes to a cat's litter box, such as changing the type of litter or the location of the box, can cause stress and anxiety for your cat. Cats are creatures of habit and prefer consistency in their environment. Changes to their litter box can disrupt their routine and make them uncomfortable or anxious, which can lead to litter box avoidance or inappropriate elimination. It's important to make changes gradually and only when necessary, and to provide your cat with plenty of opportunities to adjust to any changes. If you do need to make changes to your cat's litter box, do so gradually and observe your cat's behaviour to ensure they are comfortable and using the litter box as they should be.
In conclusion, selecting a litter box for plant-based litter requires careful consideration of several factors, including size, depth, shape, material, ease of cleaning, hooded or open, entry, the number of cats, placement, and budget. By considering these factors, you can find the right litter box for your cat and ensure their comfort and health.