The litter box is one of the biggest complaints cat owners typically have
regarding feline adoption. There’s pretty much no way to get around it as every animal needs to do their
business, but cats specifically tend to go in one specific place over and over again, which can be both
very sanitary and also aggravate the problem. Dealing with the litter box is never fun, but there are a
few things you can do to help sidestep a lot of the frustration.
Most owners will opt to stick with a simple clay-based litter. It’s simple, effective, and overall very
affordable. All cats tend to enjoy scratching in some fresh clay litter, but it’s also unavoidable that
eventually you’ll encounter a lot of litter being tracked around the house, as well as the overall smell of an
unchecked litter box. The thing is, clay-based litter is meant to clump when moisture is introduced, so a cat
with a large bladder will end up needing their litter changed far more frequently before the box is
There are a handful of solutions for the constant need for changing with the first being an automatic litter
box cleaner. These are expensive though, but they do work wonders for taking care of the daily cleaning and
eliminating all of the smell since there’ll be nothing ever left in the box, plus your cat will be happy to
always have fresh litter. Another more cost effective method is to switch to litter crystals. These typically
cost slightly more than a standard bag of clay litter, but they’re meant to last a lot longer. They absorb
moisture rather than clump with it, so urine is soaked up and the smell is generally neutralized. With regular
cleaning, litter crystals can last for two months before needing a completely fresh bag.
Another alternative is switching to wood pellets. These are typically great as they are cheap, absorb both
moisture and smell, and act as a more natural alternative to the usual litter types. However, the most natural
method is to just let your cat go outside, though that’s not really an option in most places. It is
unquestionably the cheapest and cleanest solution for your home as you won’t have to buy much litter or clean
it often at all.
The other aspect, the ability of litter to be tracked just about any and everywhere, is a bit more tricky to
figure out. It’s helpful a lot of times to get a covering for the litter box so that things can’t easily be
flung when your cat starts scratching, though that doesn’t stop it completely. Placing down a mat or some
fabric or something right in front of the tray as it gives your cat a chance to get any access litter off of
their paws before wandering the house again. This will, unfortunately, not work all the time, so you may just
need to learn to live with some litter in your home.
Cats need a litter box, but you don’t have to adhere to one specific style. None of the options are necessarily
“best” for all cats, so experiment and see what’s best for you and your cat!
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