I doubt there has ever been a person who has enjoyed scooping the litter box. Its a chore we do because we must, but many of us do it begrudgingly. Litter boxes have such a bad rap that they often get neglected or hidden away in closets or basements. Unfortunately, our negative feelings about litter boxes can manifest into behavioral problems in cats who don’t want to use a messy box or can’t see well enough to feel safe in a dark basement.
The good news is that the most offensive parts of the litter box– the smells and the messes– can be solved by employing 8 easy tips. Your cat and her super strong sense of smell will thank you!
#1 – Choose a good location When it comes to litter box upkeep, the phrase “out of sight, out of mind” couldn’t be more true. Keeping the litter box in the basement is a great way to forget it exists so it won’t get the care it needs. Instead, choose a location that’s visible and easily accessible to you every day. Related: 9 Litter Box Mistakes You May Be Making
#2 – Choose the right litter
Some cats are very picky about the kind of litter they require, but you should be taking advantage of your options if your cat is more flexible. Don’t simply buy what’s cheap. Instead, think about your home and lifestyle and choose a litter that meets your needs. Clumping litters will need to be scooped every day, but you’ll only have to do a complete litter box change once a month. Non-clumping litter will need the solids to be scooped once a day, and the litter should be replaced once a week. Which works better for your schedule and lifestyle?
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#3 – Keep supplies handy Everything you need should be close by and easily accessible. The basics may include a scoop, a small brush and dustpan, a spray cleaner, and paper towels. Having everything handy will make the task quick and easy. Related: 5 Tips For Controlling Litter Box Odors
#4 – Make disposal easy
Investing in a Litter Genie a few years ago completely transformed the way I cleaned the litter box. For me, the most daunting part of scooping the litter box had always been dealing with whatever I scooped out. Bagging it and taking it to the outside trashcan (so it wouldn’t stink up my indoor trash) was just a little too much to keep me on track. Now the Litter Genie sits beside the box. I scoop directly into it and don’t have to bother bringing anything outside until the bag is full (roughly every two weeks). The Litter Genie may or may not work for you, but I encourage you to think about how you can make disposal quick, easy, and clean.
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#5 – Make cleanup easy Every now and then there will be a mess and you should be prepared. You’ll want something to deal with simple messes like litter scatter– a small broom and dustpan or a small handheld vacuum– plus paper towels and a spray cleaner in case your kitty misses the litter box altogether. Related: Is Your Cat Avoiding The Litter Box? Here’s Why!
#6 – Buy a good litter mat
It’s amazing how quickly litter can track through your home, especially once the box is located in a more accessible part of your home. Having a high-quality litter mat will go a long way in helping keep litter scatter under control. I personally use and love the Black Hole Litter Mat.
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#7 – Consider a box liner If, for you, the worst part about litter boxes is fully cleaning it once a week or once a month, you may want to consider using litter box liners which will make the switch very easy. Many cats don’t like the way the liner feels when they dig and bury though and using them may cause your cat to avoid the litter box. Feel free to text them out. Just keep an eye on your cat’s behavior and discontinue using them if they seem to make her uncomfortable. Related: 5 Tips To Reduce Litter Tracking And Scatter
#8 – Create a routine
The best way to develop good litter box cleaning habits is to make it a part of your daily routine. While you’re developing consistent habits, try tacking it onto something you do every day anyway. I personally like to scoop the box soon after I’ve brushed my teeth. That means I dependably scoop twice a day, roughly every 12 hours. After a month or so I barely had to think about it anymore.
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How do YOU keep your litter box area fresh and clean? Let us know in the comments!