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5 litter box mistakes to avoid

Besides helping cats stay clean, litter boxes maintain a hygienic home environment. So much so that often, when a cat urinates outside its litter box, it could indicate a health condition. So, cat parents should consult a veterinarian to rule out such issues. However, this change could also mean the cat is not comfortable using the box. In such cases, here are some litter box mistakes one may want to avoid:

1. Not considering the cat’s preferences
A cat is typically uncomfortable in a litter box if it is not to its liking. While animals cannot express their tastes and preferences, a trial-and-error method can help cat parents identify what their feline friends like or detest in their litter boxes. For example, some cats may not be comfortable with specific textures, while others may steer clear of certain fragrances. These aspects should be carefully observed until one discovers exactly what their cat likes in its litter.

2. Placing the box in noisy spots
Just like humans, cats prefer quiet, peaceful surroundings. Placing the litter box in a noisy environment can make the cat leave the box often. So, one should find a quiet place for the litter. This spot should be away from the kitchen as the noise emitted by cookers, blenders, and other appliances could bother cats. Further, spots close to the washing machine may be too noisy for cats. It also helps to place the litter box in a place that dogs and children do not frequent.

3. Choosing an inaccessible location
Cats may find it rather distressing to walk or climb a lot to reach their litter boxes. This is particularly true in multi-story homes, as cats may get frustrated if there is only one litter box in the home. The best move here would be to place multiple litter boxes throughout the home, preferably at least one on every floor, so that cats can easily access a litter box wherever they wander.

4. Skipping regular cleanup
Cats love being neat and tidy and are often particular about the cleanliness of their surroundings. So, an unclean litter box is bound to repel them, making them pee outside the box or use it less often. This is why it is important to clean out the litter pan daily. Moreover, cat parents should empty the box of all its contents at least once a week, scrub it thoroughly, and refill it with fresh litter. A great method to clean a litter box is to empty its contents, pour in a solution of hot water and unscented dish soap, and let it rest for a few minutes before draining the water and washing the box.

5. Changing the type of litter suddenly
As cats have specific litter preferences, changing the type of litter all of a sudden may make them avoid it altogether. The best way to introduce new litter is to do it gradually. After buying a new litter box, one can place it close to the cat’s usual one, slowly adding new litter to the box. If the cat ventures to explore the new box over the next few days, it implies that it likes the new litter.