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Monday, December 28, 2009

litter boxes - more is always good

Cat writers usually advise that for every cat in the household, there should be one plus one litter boxes in the home. This is because cats are very finicky about cleanliness and refuse to use dirty litter boxes, so more than one per cat is always better.

In reality, space may be an issue and you may not have enough to have more than one litter box per cat. But if you do, placing an additional litter box is definitely a good idea.

In our home we have two litter boxes, even though we have three cats. One was definitely not enough, and our cats are fine with just two. In Aswat has one litter box shared by two cats, and his common bathroom is preferred by his other four cats.

Yes, some cats actually enjoy doing it in the bathroom, something which Slinky also enjoys. There are also plenty of cats who can do it over the toilet itself, hence the invention of products like the Litter Kwitter.

For kittens, because they eliminate more and play a lot, having more litter boxes is also good as they can have a nearby toilet to use to prevent indiscriminate peeing and pooing. Using the bathroom floor might become a hassle for the owner as with the multiple eliminations per day, it can become quite messy for cats and owners to clean up after.

Even with Slinky's own toilet, she still sometimes uses the other one when she finds it clean enough. Which is a good thing because she has the tendency to withhold her pee and poo if she cannot access the toilet because the bathroom door is shut too tight for her to pry open. Also, with our water fountain, we find that our cats pee more, which is a good thing as it means that they are drinking enough water.

And if you have a new cat joining the household, having a spare litter box to set up for the new cat will give it a better sense of security in the household, thus they will integrate better with your resident cat.

There are a lot great ideas for litter boxes, some may not even be pet-store products. Hardware store varieties, like Slinky's toilet are economical and easy to set up and obtain. A simple plastic tray will suffice, just make sure it is big enough, and stable enough for the cat. Cat litter boxes are often fortified with additional 'beams' (like pillars of a house) to make sure the plastic withstands the cat's weight. Another option is using the plastic storage boxes we use for our human stuff - Toyogo brand or others - as these are very stable. You can cut a hole for the cat to go in and out of the box, just make sure the edges are not sharp so your cat won't get cut. The Toyogo box idea has been used by cat owners we meet and is also recommended by the Pet Place website.

We love cats because they are so clean in their toilet habits. Even though I love both dogs and cats, having cats in my life now really got me hooked to cats for life because of their cleanliness, among other things. I grew up with dogs, and as an adult now I am a proud cat owner. Isn't it unsurprising that cats are outnumbering dogs as the world's favourite household pet now? Enjoy your litter boxes, kitties.

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