How to make your cat love any litter box (Using a simple “cat psychology” trick)
The 3 most effective ways to stop your cat from spraying in 5 days or less – dirt cheap!
The 1 mistake cat owners make when trying to correct bad behavior (Plus – the SINGLE most important thing you can do to win your cat’s love forever)
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To clean your cat’s litter box, you will need a slotted scoop or shovel to sift through the litter for solid waste. It will also enable you to separate the soiled urine clumps from the dry, clean litter if you’re using clumping litter.
If you use non-clumping litter, you’ll also want to use a slotted shovel to remove solid waste. A long-handled unslotted spoon is good for removing mounds of wet litter. Saturated litter left sitting in the box is what will create an odor. Don’t stir the wet litter around or you’ll end up soiling the whole box.
Hopefully, you’ll reconsider the use of non-scoopable litter and will gradually switch your cat over to the more convenient scoopable type. You’ll find the box will have much less odor and you’ll be able to do a more efficient job when it comes to cleanup.
Keep the litter scoop in a container by the litter box for convenience. There are several companies that make scoop and holder combinations. This will make it much easier and cleaner. Scooping and sifting should be done at least twice a day. It only takes seconds and will make a significant difference in odor control. Scoopable litter will be worth nothing if your cat has to climb over old clumps from days ago in order to find one corner of unsoiled substrate.
Most scoopable litters, especially the heavy-duty formulas, aren’t flushable. Clay litter should never be flushed down the toilet because it can ultimately lead to several dangers for your health. There are also commercial litter-disposal products. These products are available through pet supply retailers, as well as online. They’re similar to the diaper disposal systems that have been on the market for years. It doesn’t matter what method you come up with as long as it’s convenient enough so no one will have an excuse for letting litter box maintenance slide.
Scooping twice, daily will not only keep the litter box clean but it will alert you to potential health problems. Routine scooping will help you become familiar with your cat’s litter box habits. While this may not sound like an amazing job, the truth is it can make the difference between a happy cat and a cat who has to endure a painful medical condition.
In addition to daily scooping, the box itself will also need routine cleaning. If you use regular clay litter or one of the non-scoopable varieties, you should do a thorough cleaning at least once a week. This involves disposing of the litter, then scrubbing the box and all related utensils. If you use scoopable litter, you can go longer than one week between cleanings.
Don’t be fooled by the ads for scoopable litter claiming that because the waste is being sifted out you’ll never have to scrub the box. This is simply not true. Urine will still come in contact with the plastic. Boxes containing scoopable littler should be completely scrubbed and replaced with fresh litter about twice a month.
When you clean the box, remember not to use harsh cleaners that can leave a smell. You can also scrub the utensils and their plastic container. Then everything gets dried before the box is refilled with fresh litter.
Most importantly, you need to make sure you never use THIS to clean your cat’s litter box. It could kill your cat.
Inappropriate elimination problems are often caused by – or were started by – a physical problem. The most common is this.
If you don’t have the health problem correctly diagnosed and treated, there’s almost no chance of fixing the unwanted behavior problem. Moreover, you’re not being fair to your cat.
In other words, if you have a sick cat, all the behavioral methods in the world will not do you much good. In order to address a behavior problem, your cat must be healthy.
So, let’s address the following question: What are the possibilities that a medical condition is causing your cat to avoid the litter box or spray?
The answer is simple. The chances are very high, and the reasons numerous.
Your vet may recommend urine and blood tests and an ultrasound or X-ray of the abdomen to rule out many medical possibilities before giving your cat a clean bill of health.
Your cat can’t speak, so his body must speak for him. Your vet has been trained to listen and look for the clues to what may be a pretty difficult puzzle. Your own observations are very important, too, so don’t forget to bring along your notes.
Here are a few things your veterinarian looks for:
• Urinary tract/bladder problems: A cat with urinary tract or bladder problems finds it painful to urinate because it burns. Because cats can’t think to themselves as humans do, they simply stop using the box. What’s worse, these kinds of problems may even encourage spraying.
• Medications: Your cat may be on a medication that may cause her to drink more and to urinate more volume, more frequently, or have looser stools. Either of these conditions may cause a cat to need to go before she has time to get to the litter box.
• Infectious disease: The feline leukemia virus, feline immunodeficiency virus, or feline infection peritonitis may make a cat sick enough so that the litter box ceases to be a priority.
• Noninfectious disease: Untreated diabetes can lead to an increase in the amount of urine a cat produces. In fact, more frequent urination is a symptom that veterinarians ask about when they suspect the disease. Hyperthyroidism, a disease of older cats cause by an overactive thyroid gland, also increases urine production.
• Old-age-related causes: Some cats may become a little senile as they age, so they’re not as particular about where they go. Other cats may have arthritis, making it difficult to climb in and out of a box or to access a box on a different floor of your house.
• Constipation: Stools that are difficult to pass or cannot be passed cause a great deal of discomfort, which she tries to relieve by straining to pass the stool. The result can be something that looks like diarrhea – a soft substance produced by frequent efforts to pass the stool.
• Diarrhea: Loose stools can be a problem, too, making it difficult for a cat to “hold it” until she gets to the litter box. Diarrhea is a symptom, however. The causes can vary, especially in long-term cases.
Correct diagnosis and proper treatment alone may take care of a problem with inappropriate eliminations, but not always. The cat who learned to associate the litter box with discomfort, for example, or the cat who learned it’s just as easy to go on the rug will need retraining – after the medical problem has been resolved.
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Location. It applies to real estate and it most definitely applies to litter boxes. Unfortunately, many owners don’t realize the importance of placing it in a suitable location. The truth is, you can have the perfect box, filled with the highest quality litter in the world, but if it’s placed in an area that the cat finds unacceptable, it may be easily rejected.
There is actually one rule that cat owners should never break under any circumstances when it comes to its location: don’t put the litter box near the cat’s food and water.
Many owners mistakenly believe that having the box right next to the cat’s food will serve him as a constant reminder to him. Unfortunately, this plan can only backfire and you lay the groundwork for litter box rejection. Don’t forget that cats eliminate away from the nest.
By placing the food and box together you’ll only send a very confusing message. Thus, your cat will be forced to make a decision about whether to choose that area as a feeding station or as an elimination spot. Since the food is only available in only one area, he’ll search for another location for his other biological needs.
If you have no choice but to keep the food bowl and litter box in the same room, at least make the effort of placing them as far apart as possible.
The most common place owners put the box is in the bathroom. This is a good spot provided you have the room. It makes cleanup easy and it’s convenient in terms of your being able to regularly scoop it.
Remember, however, that if lots of steamy hot showers are taken in the bathroom it will be humid in there and that may cause the litter to take longer to dry.
Another popular location is the laundry room. Like the bathroom, the laundry room is usually not carpeted, which makes it ideal for cleanup. The downside is that if the washer goes into the spin cycle while the cats is in the box, the sudden noise could make the room lose its appeal.
Pick a spot in your home away from heavy traffic to provide your cat with a feeling of privacy and safety. However, don’t choose an area too remote or you’ll forget to check it on a daily basis. This one is perfect.
Wherever you locate the box, make sure you’ll remember to check it twice a day. If your indoor/outdoor cat doesn’t use a litter box and prefers the comforting effect of the great outdoors, keep a litter box indoors anyway in case he chooses not to go out in bad weather or for some other reason.
In a multicat household, more than one box will be needed. This is not just because one box gets dirty too quickly, but also because some cats object to sharing and one cat may be too intimidated to pass another cat in order to get to his litter box. The rule is to have the same number of boxes as you have cats.
► Click here to discover how you can make your cat enjoy the location of her litterbox