As we noted in “Litter Box Management for Kittens and Cats”, “there are many types of litter boxes available” and you need to remember that cats are naturally clean animals so whatever you choose, make sure you keep it clean. Here are some of our favorite litter boxes:
In considering different types of litter boxes, it is best to think like a cat. We know cats like cleanliness and like to scratch and turn in the litter box. They also have highly sensitive noses and some don’t like to share a litter box with other cats. Here are some guidelines based on general feline preferences:
Cleanliness: The box should be easy to clean on a regular basis. Some boxes have mechanical parts that sweep the litter but some cats may get freaked out by the motion and noise made by the mechanism so before you get too fancy, assess your cat’s receptivity to moving parts and mechanical noise coming out of their litter box.
- Size: Make sure the box is large enough for your cat to comfortably turn around and scratch in. The box should give your cat enough room to get far enough away from the ‘deposit’ to bury it without kicking litter – and other things – all over the floor outside the box.
- How many? If your cats don’t like to share, then provide one litter box per cat in your household. The cats will decide who ‘owns’ which box.
- Smell: Avoid scented boxes and liners – it might smell nice to you but the average feline nose is 14 times more sensitive than the average human nose and there are many scented products and household cleaners which can be toxic to cats. Specifically, tea tree oil, peppermint, cinnamon bark oil, lemon oil and wintergreen oil can all be toxic to cats.
- Covered or Uncovered: Covered boxes can restrict movement and trap smells (great for us, not great for getting your cat to use the box). On the other hand, if you really want to hide the box, there are imaginative ways to do so without adversely affecting the utility of the box. Look here for our suggestion on converting an old cabinet or dresser into a kitty box camouflage.
- To shield or not to shield: If your kitty tends to kick loose kitty litter all over the place in her efforts to totally obliterate any evidence of her litter box efforts, you may want to consider adding a shield to the box sides. Shields are generally clear plastic and snap onto the top edge around the litter box to raise the height of the box sides.
- Doggie Delicacies: If you also have resident pooches and they regard their feline sibling’s output as delicacies to be consumed as soon as they are produced, then you may need to consider a self-cleaning box.
Now that you know what to consider in deciding on the right box for your feline baby, here are some choices, including a couple environmentally friendly options to satisfy us humans and, of course, ultimately benefit all creatures:
- One of our favorites is Nature’s Miracle Disposable Litter Box. Made of recycled paper and landfill safe, this box is inexpensive, large, includes baking soda for odor control and is waterproof and easy to clean. When you are done with it (generally after a couple of months) you can throw the whole thing away and put out a fresh one.
- Kitty’s Wonder Box is another great environmentally friendly option. Also made of 100% biodegradable recycled paper with baking soda, this box is leak, tear and shred proof and last about 4 weeks before you need to swap it out for a new box. The package includes 3 boxes.
- For a basic, no frills plastic cat litter box, you can’t go wrong with Pureness Giant Cat Litter Pan which comes in assorted colors.
- The Hagen CatIt Hooded Cat Litter Box gets great customer reviews for its size (accommodates the fattest of fat cats) and functionality. It has an easy to lift hood and front flap with a carbon filter in the top of the box. The only downside to the box is that cats apparently like to play with the carbon filter and use it as a scratching post.
We couldn’t find a self-cleaning kittie litter box with consistently good customer reviews so if you have any suggestions, send them to us and we’ll check it out. Good luck!
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