Cleaning the litter box daily is one of the simplest things you can do that makes the most difference for your cat! The litter box is the command zone of the home and if it’s not up to standard, Houston you may have a problem!
Cleaning the Litter Box Daily
One of the simplest things you can do is clean the litter box daily. A quick scoop, some new litter to freshen it up and boom! Five minutes out of your day makes all the difference for your cat. If you think about it in terms of the cat’s perspective, using a porta-potty versus a nice clean bathroom makes a big difference! Cats are the same and don’t want to use a dirty litter box. This could lead to litter box behavior problems such as soiling outside the box.
Daily scooping is essential especially in a multi-cat household. Do you like finding a surprise waiting for you when you use the bathroom? Cats are intrinsically very clean creatures. If you have a multi-multi-cat household, then scooping is basically a full-time job!
The Golden Litter Box Rule
As we know, there is a golden rule cat parents should follow: one litter box per cat in the house plus one additional litter box. If we go further, ideally a litter box on each floor of the home to make sure enough options are available. In most houses this would work, but if you live in a smaller space or have a multiple cat household as mentioned, this can be tricky to navigate.
Having experience with this, utilizing closet space and cleaning the litter box multiple times a day is a good solution. Sometimes us cat parents need to get creative! There are also some great litter box enclosures that double as working furniture for tighter spaces, especially if you need to keep a litter box in the bedroom or a high traffic area. Just remember, these furniture-based litter boxes are designed more for humans and not exactly what’s best for the cat.
Cleaning the Litter Box as Health Check
Cleaning the litter box daily gives cat parents a wealth of information regarding the health of your cat. Paying attention to eliminations can help identify health issues early on, get early treatment, and prevent more serious outcomes. Cats are masters of hiding their ailments and sometimes only through the litter box can you tell if something is wrong.
How To Clean the Litter Box Quickly
To clean a cat litter box, scoop out the clumps and add some fresh litter daily to spruce it up. To make it even faster, attach your waste bag using Scoop Buddy to eliminate litter spills. Ideally once a week, empty the entire litter box and wash it with hot water and unscented dish soap. You can also use baking soda or vinegar to help deodorize the box. Avoid using chemicals like ammonia or bleach that may harm your cat. Dry the box with paper towels or sunlight and put it back with a clean litter mat and a fresh bed of litter.
Litter Box Tools Matter
Plastic litter boxes are not the best option as they easily scratch and can harbor bacteria. This bacteria contributes to the odor that us cat parents try so hard to avoid. A stainless-steel litter box is the most sanitary option to keep the litter box clean and they are more durable, which will not harbor bacteria like plastic ones. A stainless-steel litter box is more cost efficient in the long run since it’s a one-time purchase. But if you’re on a budget, plastic litter boxes do the job!
Cleaning the litter box just got easier with Scoop Buddy. Scoop Buddy is the latest invention for cat parents to make cleaning the litter box quick and more efficient. These innovative waste bag holders clip on to nearly any style litter box and attaches the waste bag, eliminating messy litter spills while scooping. The ultimate cat care convenience of less cleaning and spending more time with your furry feline.
Invest in a durable litter scoop (You’ll be thankful that you did!). Nothing is worse than a flimsy scooper when trying to thoroughly clean the litter box. Sometimes litter boxes may come with a free plastic scoop, but trust me from experience, they never really work out in the long run. A metal scooper is a more durable option, especially for the scraping!
Other Litter Box Necessities
I also highly recommend using a cat litter box mat to help reduce tracking, catch spills, and help to define your cat’s bathroom space. These litter mats really help decrease the amount of litter tracked around the house. Look for one that has two layers that opens so the litter easily slides back into the litter box.
There are many types of cat litter to choose from. Select one that fits best for you and your kitty. Traditional clay-based litter clumps well and is easy to scoop. However, there are some other more sustainable options of cat litter made from cedar or other woods, walnut shells, recycled paper, wheat or corn. These can even reduce the amount of dust and debris your cat tracks around the house and of course better for the planet!
Cleaning the Litter Box and Elimination Problems
It’s important to know that cats generally don’t urinate and defecate all over their house out of spite. Rather, it’s because something may be lacking with your kitty’s emotional, physical, or medical needs being met.
Elimination problems can develop as a result of conflict between multiple cats in a home, as a result of a dislike for the litter box type or the litter itself, as a result of a past medical condition, or as a result of the cat deciding she doesn’t like the location or placement of the litter box.
Uncommon Litter Box Problems
The fact is only 10% of all cats develop elimination problems or stop using the box altogether. Some cats only use their litter boxes for urination or defecation but not for both. Still others may eliminate both in and out of their litter box.
One of the main reasons cats may develop elimination problems is because the litter box is not being kept clean enough. This is easily avoidable by daily scooping and making cleaning the litter box a priority. Need more help? Check out 5 Easy Steps to Train Your Cat to Use the Litter Box
An Alternative Solution for Cleaning the Litter Box
As a seasoned cat mom, my only experience of having a cat defecate outside the box is when it was not clean enough. We know keeping a clean litter box significantly reduces litter box problems.
To make things easier on us humans, we invented Scoop Buddy to make cleaning the litter box more efficient. This way no dirty litter escapes through the scoop and onto your floor. Scoop Buddy is universal to work with any style litter box and attaches any waste bag directly to the litter box. No need to change your existing set up!
Litter Box Takeaways
Cleaning the litter box often makes everyone happier! Cleaning the litter box only every few days makes it harder to scoop everything out and it’s more likely your cat will decide to do their business elsewhere.
Cats desire a clean place to eliminate. If it’s not to their liking, they may hold their waste which can lead to kidney or bladder damage. Daily cleanings also keep odors at bay and decreases the risk of cat to human disease transmission. This is especially true if someone in the household is expecting.
Cleaning the Litter Box is a Love Letter to Your Cat
Cleaning the litter box may not be your favorite part of cat parenting, but it is essential to maintain a healthy home and cat. Research indicates that cats do care about cleanliness and odor control, so a fresh litter box could make them feel appreciated.
A study conducted in 2019 revealed cats “were often observed eliminating immediately post-scooping of the litter boxes,” which concludes that “litter cleanliness plays a critical role in elimination behavior.” I for one can attest to this research. I have one cat that follows us to the litter box, supervises scooping, and then hops right in to do his business.
It’s also important to provide your cats with different bathroom options as well. The same study confirmed that “covered litter boxes, boxes that are too small for the cat, providing insufficient litter or infrequent cleaning, and overpowering odors (i.e., too dirty or strong perfumes) can all make cats avoid the litter box.” This teaches us cleaning the litter box is the ultimate love letter to your cat. It’s a chance to show how much you value and respect their needs.