Cat Toilet Training-Importance Of Cleaning The Litter Box
It isn’t always an urination or spraying issue that cat owners face when it comes to the litter box. Sometimes, deposits consist of solid waste.
As with any other unwanted behavior, you must first rule out any underlying medical cause for the behavior. There are many medical conditions that can create a bowel movement-related litter box problem, ranging from parasites to serious diseases. Just because the cat’s stool looks normal doesn’t mean there isn’t something going on internally.
If your cat is a long-haired one, she may be having a problem with feces that stick to the fur on her anus, only to drop off outside the box. If this “smelly matter” doesn’t fall off on its own outside the box, the cat may groom to remove them, and they may be left behind on the carpet or floor near you.
Long-haired cats need daily grooming, and the hair on their hindquarters and back legs may need to be trimmed on a regular basis to reduce the risk of having fecal matter tangled or stuck there.
Another problem is that of constipation. Constipation is not unusual in cats because of the accumulation of hair ingested during grooming. That discomfort can generate a negative association with the box. Diarrhea can also develop into a litter box problem due to pain or the sense of urgency.
When you take your cat to the vet, bring along a fresh stool sample for analysis. Defecation outside the litter box may be due to internal parasites. By evaluating the stool sample, your vet will be able to determine whether your cat has worms. Yes, you read that right. The truth is, not only kittens get worms. If your cat goes outdoors to hunt, she is still at risk of worms. But even if you see worm segments on your cat or in your cat’s stool, don’t use an over-the-counter dewormer. Your veterinarian will prescribe a safe and effective deworming product.
Once the medical possibilities are ruled out, you can start looking at this from a behavioral standpoint. As with the previous sections, cleanliness plays a big part in whether the box is acceptable. This becomes an even bigger issue for many cats when it comes to bowel movements because of the longer amount of time spent in the box.
Covered boxes can be very uncomfortable and unpleasant for cats attempting to defecate. Look at the posture for defecation versus urination and you’ll see your cat position herself more upright for BM elimination. This means that any feeling of confinement from the covered box is magnified.
What you need to do is to create an open, safe, clean litter box environment and address location issues as discussed in previous sections.
There are some cats who, no matter how clean you keep the box, won’t defecate in the same box used for urination. If your cat does this, add a second box near but not too close to the original one.
In multicat households, there are situations in which a cat will mark with feces. This behavior is called middening and is usually seen in an outdoor setting. Fecal markings provides the advantage of being seen at a distance. If one of your cats seems to do this, it may be a case of middening, especially if there’s tension among the companion cats.
In this case, you’ll have to work on the relationships between your cats, because more litter boxes will be needed and more environmental security has to be created.
Cat Toilet Training-Importance Of Cleaning The Litter Box
The Importance Of Cleaning The Litter Box
To clean your cat’s litter box, you will need a slotted scoop or shovel to sift through the litter for solid waste. It will also enable you to separate the soiled urine clumps from the dry, clean litter if you’re using clumping litter.
If you use non-clumping litter, you’ll also want to use a slotted shovel to remove solid waste. A long-handled unslotted spoon is good for removing mounds of wet litter. Saturated litter left sitting in the box is what will create an odor. Don’t stir the wet litter around or you’ll end up soiling the whole box.
Hopefully, you’ll reconsider the use of non-scoopable litter and will gradually switch your cat over to the more convenient scoopable type. You’ll find the box will have much less odor and you’ll be able to do a more efficient job when it comes to cleanup.
Keep the litter scoop in a container by the litter box for convenience. There are several companies that make scoop and holder combinations. This will make it much easier and cleaner. Scooping and sifting should be done at least twice a day. It only takes seconds and will make a significant difference in odor control. Scoopable litter will be worth nothing if your cat has to climb over old clumps from days ago in order to find one corner of unsoiled substrate.
Most scoopable litters, especially the heavy-duty formulas, aren’t flushable. Clay litter should never be flushed down the toilet because it can ultimately lead to several dangers for your health. There are also commercial litter-disposal products. These products are available through pet supply retailers, as well as online. They’re similar to the diaper disposal systems that have been on the market for years. It doesn’t matter what method you come up with as long as it’s convenient enough so no one will have an excuse for letting litter box maintenance slide.
Scooping twice, daily will not only keep the litter box clean but it will alert you to potential health problems. Routine scooping will help you become familiar with your cat’s litter box habits. While this may not sound like an amazing job, the truth is it can make the difference between a happy cat and a cat who has to endure a painful medical condition.
In addition to daily scooping, the box itself will also need routine cleaning. If you use regular clay litter or one of the non-scoopable varieties, you should do a thorough cleaning at least once a week. This involves disposing of the litter, then scrubbing the box and all related utensils. If you use scoopable litter, you can go longer than one week between cleanings.
Don’t be fooled by the ads for scoopable litter claiming that because the waste is being sifted out you’ll never have to scrub the box. This is simply not true. Urine will still come in contact with the plastic. Boxes containing scoopable littler should be completely scrubbed and replaced with fresh litter about twice a month.
When you clean the box, remember not to use harsh cleaners that can leave a smell. You can also scrub the utensils and their plastic container. Then everything gets dried before the box is refilled with fresh litter.
Most importantly, you need to make sure you never use THIS to clean your cat’s litter box. It could kill your cat.