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Litterbox Lessons

Paying close attention to your cat's litter-box needs can save you both from messy problems.Keeping your cat's litter-box up to his standards is very important.

The following suggestions should keep your cat from "thinking outside the box."

Location Is Key

Most people tend to place the litter-box in an out-of-the-way spot to minimize odour and prevent cat litter from being tracked throughout the house. But if the litter-box ends up in the laundry room next to an appliance or outside on a cold cement floor, your cat may be less than pleased.

What can you do?

  •  Avoid placing litter-boxes next to noisy or heat-radiating appliances, like the washing machine. The noise can make a cat nervous, while the warmth of a dryer can magnify the litter-box smell, which could make him stay away from it.
  • Keep the litter-box in a spot that gives your cat some privacy yet is also conveniently located. If something falls with a loud ‘bang’ next to the litter box while they are in it, they’ll avoid it from then on.
  • Put the litter-box far away from his food and water bowls. Similar to us, cats don't like ‘that’ smell too near their food.
  • Place at least one litter-box on each level of your house. That way your cat has options if access to his primary box is blocked. If you have more than one cat, provide litter-boxes in several locations so that one cat can't ambush another cat using the litter-box.
  • If you keep the litter-box in a closet or a bathroom, be sure the door is wedged open from both sides to prevent your cat from being trapped inside or locked out. 

Pick Your Litter

Research has shown that most cats prefer fine-grained litters, presumably because they have a softer feel. But high-quality, dust-free clay litters are fairly small-grained and may be perfectly acceptable to your cat.

If your cat has previously been an outdoor one and prefers dirt, you can keep him out of your houseplants by placing lemon soaked cotton balls or medium-sized rocks or on top of the soil and/or by mixing some potting soil with your regular litter. A cat that rejects all types of commercial litters may be quite happy with sand. Once you find a litter your cat likes, stick with it. Switching litters constantly could result in your cat not using the litter-box.

Smelling Sweet

Many people use scented litter or fragrances to mask litter-box odours, but those scents can put off many cats. For the same reason, it's not a good idea to place a room deodourizer or air freshener near the litter-box.

If you find the litter-box odour offensive, your cat, with his keen sense of smell, probably finds it even more offensive and won't want to go there.

Place 2 Purifie SmellzOffTMin the box will help absorb odours without repelling your cat. If you keep the box scrupulously clean and use un-scented litters, it shouldn’t smell too bad. 

Cover or Uncovered

In general, cats have no preference. Some cats, especially those who are timid or like privacy may prefer a covered litter-box. Others will not, especially if it's not clean. You may forget to clean the litter-box as frequently as you should, because the dirty litter is "out of sight, out of mind." A covered litter-box traps odours inside, so you'll need to clean it more often than an open one.

Too much work? Alternatively, place 2 Purifie SmellzOffTMinside the litter-box and let it remove litter odours for you and your cat!

Keeping It Clean

To meet the needs of the most discriminating cat, you should scoop feces out of the litter-box daily. Twice a week is a general guideline for replacing clay litter, but depending on the circumstances, you may need to replace it every other day or only once a week.

If you clean the litter-box daily, you might only need to change clumping litter every two to three weeks. When taking out the clumps and litter out of the box, do wipe down any spots inside to keep the box continually clean.

Scrub the box every time you change the litter. Use mild dish detergent to clean it, as products with ammonia or citrus oils can turn a cat off, and some cleaning products are toxic to cats. Make sure it’s dry before refilling it.

Place 2 Purifie SmellzOffTMinto each litter-box to pro-long and maintain freshness.

"Litter training”

There's really no such thing as "litter training" a cat in the same way one would housetrain a dog. You actually don't need to teach your cat what to do with a litter-box; instinct will generally take over. If you move, however, you will need to show your cat where the box is, though his sensitive nose will probably find it first. You do need to provide an acceptable, accessible litter-box, using the suggestions above.

Breathe Easy for you and your pet!

This article is brought to you by Purifie SmellzOffTMOdour Absorber – Why Mask it? Absorb it!

Adapted from material originally developed by applied animal behaviorists at the Dumb Friends League, Denver, Colorado.

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