While it’s always fun to play with your cat or have him snuggle you on a chilly winter day, there are other, less pleasant responsibilities you have as a cat owner, and one of them is the litter box. Choosing just the right cat litter box can be confusing, so take everything into consideration before making your decision.
1. The Right Size
Depending on how large or small your feline friend is, you want a litter box that’s suitable. Your cat should have plenty of room to step in the box, sift around and pick a place to do his business, without feeling like he’s literally boxed in. Afford him a few inches on either side when standing in the center, so he’ll be able to use the litter box without any issues.
2. A Cover or Open
Covers can be very cool on litter boxes; however, they aren’t for all cats or their humans. If you’re interested in a hooded box, try it out, but keep a close eye on your cat. If he really isn’t into it, you could have a mess on your hands, as he may refuse to go in the new contraption. As you can see, a useful cat litter catcher is also needed.
Make sure the opening for your cat to enter is big enough, to begin with, and that the box is placed somewhere he can enter and exit easily. If he likes the cover, it should reduce the amount of clean-up you have, because his litter won’t be scattered around so much anymore.
3. The Weight of the Litter Box When Filled
It’s very important that your litter box weigh enough, when filled with litter, to support the cat’s weight. Most cats like to do their business while perched on the side of the box or leaning on the side, meaning it can easily tip over if it’s not heavy enough. Fill the litter at least half-way, then observe your cat on his first trip in there. Especially if he’s a larger cat, his weight may be enough to topple the box over, with all the smelly content spilling out.
Although most boxes aren’t too expensive, you don’t want to be going out and buying replacements all the time. Look for a strong plastic that will hold up the animal’s constant clawing at the sides.
If you don’t purchase a high enough quality plastic, when your cat does scratch at it, those scratches will leave groove marks where liquids and sticky solids can settle into. That means your box is probably going to smell, no matter how often or how vigorously you clean it.
6. Convenience of Cleaning
While the cat is obviously the more important participant in the use of the litter box, your convenience of cleaning should also be a consideration. How easily does the hood separate from the bottom part? Do you need absorbent pads under the litter, to make cleaning easier on your back? How about a long or short-handled scoop? If you have major issues cleaning the box, you may want to look into a self-emptying or self-cleaning model, although there will still be some work left for you to do.
Hopefully, you find just the right type of latrine for your kitty on the first try. If not, keep these considerations in mind as you continue to shop for the perfect setup.