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LITTER BOX CARE

If you own a cat, then you are all too familiar with common pet interactions including everything from introductions to new neighbors all the way to litter box care – that rectangular box where cats do their business. Most kittens do not need to be trained to use the litter box. They naturally know how to use it but they do need to know where it is. It is up to you to show your cat where the litter box is and to keep it clean.

The Pick of the Litter Box

When choosing your litter box you have a few decisions to make. Do you want a box that comes with a cover or would you prefer an open box? A closed lid box may contain the odor better than an open box; however, many cats will refuse to go in a closed lid litter box. Other cats, on the other hand, enjoy the privacy that a closed lid litter box can offer. Do you want a small box or a large one? Kittens may be intimidated by a box that is too big but you also don’t want your cat to outgrow his toilet in a matter of weeks. Do you want to use non clump or clumped litter? Do you want a scented litter or stick to the traditional type? Keep in mind that, although you are responsible for cleaning the box, it is for your cat and thus you need to put her needs first.

Cleaning your Litter Box

Cleaning your litter box should be done as often as possible. Many people will do it every day or every second day. To clean the litter box you need to get rid of any urine and feces in the litter. Shake the box gently up and down and the urine and feces balls will make their way to the top. You can then remove the waste easily. Don’t forget about the clumps that form along the edge which can harden to the litter box.

Place the waste into a Ziploc or baby diaper bag and put it into the trash can. Do not flush the feces down the toilet or remove it in any other way. You will need to replenish the litter every time you do a scoop as most cats will refuse to use the litter box if there is less than 2 inches of litter in it.

In addition to regular maintenance and scooping, you will also need to clean the liner, replace all the litter and give the box a nice scrub to avoid any lingering urine smells. Avoid using bleach or any harsh chemical when cleaning the litter box. One good option is vinegar which is a natural way to neutralize the smell of urine. Vinegar is non toxic to your family members, including your furry friend. When the litter box is completely empty, poor a half an inch of distilled vinegar into the box swirl it around and let it sit for half an hour. Empty out the vinegar, wipe it with a towel and restore clean fresh litter to the box.

Another smart move when it comes to litter box care is to pick a place where your cat will feel comfortable going. Right in the middle of your dining area is probably not the best place for you or your cat. A laundry room or bathroom works a lot better as the litter box is easy to find but is not in the middle of your house. The more care you put into maintaining your cat’s litter box, the nicer the house will smell and the happier everyone in the family (including your cat) will be.

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