Litter Boxes are one of the most important parts of a household with a cat. They are where your cat will use the bathroom. A litter box is a tray or a box where you put litter. Litter absorbs urination ad defecation. Cats only use the bathroom where they feel clean and comfortable, so helping your cat learn how to love their litter box is important.
There are a variety of litter boxes available on the current market. They all perform one similar function—soaking up your cat's waste. However, they all have other functions that differ from one another, making some more convenient or easy to use than others.
When picking a litter box, it is important to pick one that not only fits into your price range but also fits with your home. Every home, cat, and cat owner has different needs, schedules, likes, and dislikes. With the multiple choices of litter boxes available, it will not be hard to find the one that suits you best. Here are the main types:
The regular litter boxes are the most traditional and simple type of litter boxes there are. A regular litter box is simply an indoor collection box for fecal matter and urine.
A basic litter box is usually just a regular plastic box that is a few inches deep. The box is filled with about an inch of cat litter. The cat goes a few times, and then you replace the litter and eventually clean the box. You have to do all of the cleaning manually and by hand.
There are open top litter boxes that and ones that are covered. The covered litter boxes usually have a top surface that looks like a little kitty home.
This type of classic litter box performs no other functions than simply holding the litter and fecal matter. It's as simple as it gets. It is also as cheap as it gets. These litter boxes are typically very inexpensive. Some people even use regular plastic bins for litter boxes because they're so similar.
A sifting litter box is different from a regular litter box because it has a sifter pan that sits over the litter. The sifter pan has tiny holes in it. These tiny holes let clean litter pass through but prevent dirty litter from doing so. That's because dirty litter clumps up and can't pass through the holes. This separates clean litter from the dirty litter.
When the clumped litter remains on top, you dispose of the debris.
Sifting litter boxes are slightly easier to use than regular ones. That's because you don't need to clean out the entire box, just the sifter. The sifter makes it easy to get rid of the material and waste that you don't want in the box.
There are also covered and non-covered sifting litter boxes based on you or your cat's comfort and preference.
The only slight con of a sifting litter box is occasional dust. Because you have to give the sifter a slight shake to separate the clean and dirty litter, it may generate some dust in the air. This can be a little messy or inconvenient for the person cleaning, especially if clean air is a priority for you.
These types of litter boxes are the newest and most innovative kind. Self-cleaning litter boxes use modern technology to operate automatic systems that work on a timed schedule.
Automatic litter boxes typically have motion sensors built into them. They can sense when the cat is entering the litter box, inside the litter box, and exiting the litter box. When the sensor picks up the cat's exit, it usually prompts a timer to begin counting.
This timer counts down a set of minutes until the cleaning cycle is to begin. The cleaning cycle usually begins anywhere from 7-20 minutes after the cat leaves the box, although some timers are adjustable and allow you to choose the cycle.
Before the cleaning begins, the litter with debris is clumped up. Then there are two main ways dirty litter is disposed of. If the box has an inner dome, the dome spins around and moves the dirty litter into a secret removable compartment, keeping clean litter in the base.
Then it turns back around. In another model, the litter box may be flat and square and use a rake operation instead. When the timer completes, a rake combs through the litter and moves the dirty litter into a disposable tray. The tray, for either one of the models, will use a garbage bag that needs to be changed out every few weeks.
This type of litter box is one of the most convenient types because it requires little maintenance. It doesn't have to be manually cleaned or changed—the only thing the owner must do is change the disposable trays every few weeks.
This is perfect for people who travel or aren't home very often and don't have time to clean their cat's litter box regularly. However, the initial cost of this kind is more expensive, even though this model may be more cost-efficient and save you money in the long run.
Hidden litter boxes are like all of the above except they are exactly as they seem—hidden. These litter boxes are often disguised as pieces of furniture. Some also look like plant holders. These litter boxes are very stylish and modern, which makes them popular amongst cat owners.
These litter boxes are great if you want your litter box to camouflage with the other furnishings in your home. With a hidden litter box, you don't have to sacrifice style for efficiency. You can still have a high-quality litter box that your cat loves without it disrupting your home's vibe.
These litter boxes are typically made from wood. They're pleased with a regular base to hide the base and make it look like a stylistic piece in the home.
As there are many different styles of litter boxes, there are also a variety of manufacturers who make them. Each manufacturer is different with a variety of products that work differently for different people and their cats. Before splurging on a permanent litter box its important to look into litter box brands, their specs, and their price points. Here are some of our favorite and most trustworthy brands:
Luup is a cool and affordable litter box brand that has a distinct cat pan. Their kitty litter boxes usually have a 3 pan lift and sift system that makes cleaning more convenient.
They are a trusted and popular brand that is efficient. Their products are antimicrobial, economical, easy to clean, and guard spills. The antimicrobial feature ensures that no nasty odors are experienced throughout the home. The sifting system only removes what needs to go so that it preserves clean litter. This means that you save clean litter and save litter in the long run.
PetSafe is an awesome brand because it sells a variety of self-cleaning automatic litter boxes. These litter boxes are very durable, sturdy, and high quality. With their devices, a timed rake comes in and disposes of the waste. The dirty kitty litter gets moved into a disposable tray which is then removed a few weeks later. The tray is lined with a garbage bag, making the process mess-free and hygienic.
Their litter boxes are quite spacious and large, which makes them usable for different sizes of cats.
PetSafe products also use crystal litter. Crystal litter is better for the air because it doesn't kick up dust. Clay litter tends to shed dust into the air. Crystal litter is also absorbant and stays fresh for longer.
PetSmart litter boxes come in a wide selection of all different kinds. They are affordable and easy to use. We suggest using some of PetSmart’s boxes to ensure that your pet stays completely clean.
Omega Paw litter boxes are self-cleaning litter boxes. These litter boxes clean out through a rolling motion. They come in a variety of sizes that are suitable for different and multiple cats.
Omega Paw litter boxes are unique and patented. They have sifter screens inside of the litter box that sifts out the clumped and dirty litter to replace it with clean and fresh litter.
Modkat is the most modern litter box brand on the current market. Their brand utilizes fresh concepts and ideas to modify litter boxes for the home. They are an award-winning brand that is an all in one solution to all of your litter problems.
Their litter boxes are hidden and appear as modern pieces of furniture. This brand is great if you don't want to sacrifice style for your kitty's litter needs. These litter boxes are also dog proof and have a locking system. Modkat litter boxes are scratch resistant and come with mats.
This brand claims to eliminate odor and all litter tracking.
Getting a cat to use a new litter box can be hard. It surely does require a little bit of training and patience. There are some really helpful ways to introduce your cat to a new litter box while making sure that it's comfortable.
When you bring a new litter box into the home, don't get rid of the old one yet. You will need it for a while to help your cat adjust. When you bring the new litter box home, place it directly next to the cat's old litter box. Let your cat sense out the new box. Putting it in a familiar environment next to a familiar litter box certainly, helps.
After keeping the new litter box next to the old one for a few days, you want to move to the next step. You may want to take some of the litter out of the old litter box and place it into the new litter box, mixing both litter types together. You can also do this the opposite way—by placing some of the new litter box's litter into the old litter box. Make sure to only sample clean portions of litter.
After doing this, you will want to stop cleaning out the old litter box. This is because cats only feel comfortable urinating and defecating in a clean litter.
If you stop cleaning the old litter box and allow waste litter to accumulate, the cat will be more motivated to try out the new litter box. Once your cat goes for the first try, they will continue to try it out. They may not like the new litter box at first because it seems unusual and foreign to them, but soon they will get used to it.
This training process usually takes a week, but it can take more. Once your cat seems adjusted, feel free to dispose of or remove the old litter box and its accessories. At that point, the new litter box is the only device that needs to be out.
Even when your cat begins to use the new litter box, they may not completely like it or be used to it yet. That's okay. Within a few months, they will be just as comfortable with the new litter box as they were with the old one.
A lot of people tend to remove the old litter boxes before their cats get properly adjusted to the new one and this can create problems. Your cat can get scared of using the new litter box, so it may even urinate or defecate on the floor.
Trust me when I say that this is not a problem that you want. This make's the adjustment process even more important. Make sure to give your cat some leeway and some time. Cats are survivalists; they will adapt quickly, so don't worry. For most cats, the process is quick if not, it'll still happen at a reasonable time. Take this advice and everything will flow smoothly!
You should come up with a good spot for your litter box before purchasing. Cats like to go privately, so you should give them an area that is discreet enough but also convenient for you to access.
Try not to place your litter box near a heater. High temperatures hitting the surface of the litter box will intensify any odors. This will not be pleasant for you or your cat—we want our homes to smell good, but cats also want their bathrooms to stay clean!
Also, try to keep the litter box away from devices that make noise, like washing machines, dryers, or other loud appliances. These noises can scare your cat and prevent them from using the litter box, especially if it's new.
If you are using a litter box with disposable filters, try not to place your litter box near high sources of humidity. That's because humidity can shorten the life span of these filters, causing them to need to be replaced more often. Keeping a self-cleaning litter box with disposable filters in a dry area will increase the longevity of the filters.
Keep litter boxes away from your cat's water source and food source. This will help prevent contamination of both sources and confusion.
If you live in a smaller apartment, the best places to place your litter box are in the bathroom or a closet. That's because these areas are both private and small. A litter box won't stick out in these rooms or cause any problems.
However, if you decide to place a litter box in a closet make sure you always leave the door a little bit open so that your cat doesn't get locked in. If you are concerned about space, you can also get a hidden litter box that doubles as another piece of furniture, so that you maximize the functionality of the appliance.
If you live in a larger house with many floors, it is advisable to have a litter box on each floor. This is so that the cat has a place to go when it needs to, without having to travel a long distance to make it to the bathroom on time.
If you are using a regular and more traditional litter box, you want to scoop out the cat's waste every day. Cats have a hard time using their litter box if there are any remaining feces in it, so you should try to do this as often as possible. Also, you don't want any nasty odors to build.
However, even though it is recommended to scoop out the feces daily, you don't need to replace all of the litter every day. For the more basic litter like clay litter, twice a week is a good schedule for replacing the litter entirely.
Some people decide to use a litter box liner to make cleaning easier. You can just pull the liner like a bag to dispose of it.
Every time you replace the litter, make sure to clean out the box. Just because you're adding new litter doesn't mean that you're getting rid of all the odors and bacteria. To do that, you need to give the litter box a little scrub down. You're going to want to use dish detergent and some paper towel or a rag to clean the inside and outside of the litter box.
Don't use any harsh cleaners—these can be hazardous for your cat. After washing, make sure to let your litter box dry before adding a new batch of litter in. You don't want the litter to get wet and clump up.
Cleaning for an automatic or self-cleaning litter box is quite different. Since self-cleaning litter boxes have their cleaning systems, you don't do any of the scooping. The machine cleans the waste out and provides new litter for you. What you do need to do though is replace the litter filter every few weeks.
Some devices have a flashing light that lets you know when the filter is full. When you change it, put in a new filter and you're ready to go. Add litter in as needed. You can also wash this type of litter box down with some gentle soap water from time to time too.
Tip: Adding extra litter will not save you any cleaning time. Cats won't go to the bathroom in litter deeper than about 2 inches, so you may cause more of a mess trying to pull that trick.
Pregnancy + Litter Box Cleaning: Technically, a pregnant woman can change and clean the litter box on her own. However, many pregnant moms are concerned about toxoplasmosis.
Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic infection that can be transmitted through raw meat, fruits, veggies, and feces. Toxoplasmosis can spread to the baby. Changing cat litter can potentially put you at risk for contracting this infection, however, it's not very common. Most indoor cats would not carry this disease.
There are some preventative measures that you can take anyway. When changing or cleaning cat litter, wear gloves. Wash your hands very well after handling cat litter, especially before touching your face or mouth.
If you've been around cats before and caught toxoplasmosis, you'd be immune to it. If you're concerned, you can take a blood test to find out if you've ever had it before, that way you know if there's any chance of contracting it while pregnant.
Perhaps the safest way to clean a litter box as a pregnant woman is to have someone else do it for you. If this is a concern for you, ask someone that lives with you, or a close friend, to handle the kitty litter during your pregnancy.
There are so many different kinds of litter boxes! Make sure to choose one that suits both you and your cat best. If you have any questions, please leave a comment in the section below.