Cat owners know that litter box odors get more intense with warm summer temperatures. This can lead to a vicious cycle of pets not wanted to use their litter box, which means they’re using some other area of your home instead. The right cat litter can help keep your cat happy and healthy and keep your home odor-free.
Peter Borchelt, Ph.D., a noted animal behaviorist who is the director of the Animal Behaviour Clinic at The Animal Medical Center in New York, says, “Most cats do use the litter we give them most of the time, but cats are individuals, too, and have their own likes and dislikes regarding the type of material they like to dig, cover and eliminate in.”
All cats normally exhibit certain behaviours when eliminating, beginning with a search for a suitable material to use. Once a cat selects its most suited material, it will dig, or attempt to dig, a shallow depression. After eliminating, the cat will often dig once again to cover up the waste.
According to Borchelt, for one reason or another, cats often feel the litter they are given is not suitable. Cats express this displeasure in various ways, including leaving their waste in various places around the house; shaking their paws after exiting the litter box; refusing to cover their feces; standing on the edge of the litter box; jumping out of the litter box and running from it; and crying on their way in or out of the box.
If you are having litter box issues with your cat, here are a few tips:
– To minimize litter box odor, the litter should be scooped or changed regularly. Offensive litter box odor may cause sensitive cats to eliminate elsewhere.
– For a multi-cat household, you may need more than one box in more than one location.
– Don’t use litter boxes that have sharp corners or ridges that can make wet litter difficult or impossible to remove. When using scooping litter, a metal slotted scoop with rounded edges that fit the smooth curved corners of the box allows urine clumps to be removed without breaking up.
– Find a cat litter that your pet is happy using. Heavy, sticky or coarse litter that may contain sharp or rough edges can irritate and cling to the cat’s paws and fur, or be difficult to dig in. Litter should also be absorbent. Cats are clean animals that don’t like to walk in wet, dirty litter.