Understanding how your cat sees the litter box may shed some light on how to best set up a litterbox. A litter box should be a safe, quiet place for a cat to feel comfortable to eliminate without the fear of ambush or interruption. After just a few uses, the litter box becomes an area your cat will frequent because they know it is a safe environment where they always find their scent - EVEN after you have cleaned it.
Choosing the right type of litter box is one of the most important parts of creating an ideal environment for your cat. Each litter box type is created with a different purpose, and it is important to see the litter box from your cat's point of view. When selecting your litter box make sure to think carefully about shape and size, and ensure it is large enough for your cat to move around in. Also, be sure to think about it's entry points and if they are suitable for your cat's age and physical ability.
In the last 10 years, more types of litter have been created for almost any cat, and any household. From scents to textures, the selection of litter can be quite difficult but know that the type of litter you choose is one of the most important aspects of your set up. From a cats perspective unscented, soft substrate like clay clumping litter is a great option as it resembles that of what they might use in the wild ( dirt, sand, soil ). Litters that are too hard or too scented may cause your cat to find a more suitable option for eliminations, and can open the door to litterbox aversion. Aside from litter box type and substrate, also consider the location this will be for your cat. Litter boxes should be places in private space that is quiet and safe, but not so tucked away that your cat's litter box habits are not able to be seen. Careful placement of your cat's box must be considered to keep your cat going in the right place.
If your cat is eliminating else where, consider these possible causes:
Location - is the litter box in a suitable area?
Type of box - is this box the right one for my cat?
Type of litter - is this litter right for my cat?
Illness/ Injury - could my cat be sick or in pain?
Fear - could my cat be fearing something?
Stress - could this be marking behaviors? Any time your cat is displaying a chance in litter box habits, it is time to call your veterinarian for an exam to eliminate medical concerns. Do not wait for evidence to escalate as certain medical conditions can be life threating. Need help with your cat's litter box or eliminations behaviors? Contact us today!