Has Your Cat Hit a Litter Box Low?

All cats instinctively know how and when to use a litter box, right? Wrong! Unfortunately, some kittens may need some training, and some adult cats may need help adapting to various changes. By following these easy steps, you can help your cat learn to love the litter box. 
Choosing the Litter Box for You
There are many types of litter boxes available – covered, uncovered, automatic, etc. Plastic litter boxes are by far the easiest to clean, and can be used with or without a plastic liner. The entrance to the box should be low enough for your cat to enter the litter box comfortably, but many litter boxes also have high sides to prevent litter from getting kicked out of the box.  Some cats prefer the privacy of a covered litter box, while others can become claustrophobic in an enclosed environment. Ultimately, you and your cat will have to find the box that is just right for you!
Types of Litter
From flushable to clumping clay, there is a vast variety of litters on the market. Some cats are sensitive to scented litters, while others are particular about how the litter feels on their paws. Eventually, you will find the litter that works best for you and your cat. Trust us, if your cat isn’t happy with the litter you’ve chosen, he’ll let you know.  
If you plan on changing the brand or type of kitty litter that you normally use in your home, it is important to make a gradual change to avoid upsetting your cat. With each litter change, add a small amount of the new litter to the brand your cat is used to. Increase the amount with every change until your cat has adjusted to the smell and feel of his new litter.
Location Location Location!
Place your litter box in a quiet, low-traffic area. Once your cat is used to the location of her litter box, keep it there. Cats are creatures of habit and a sudden location change may lead to some unwanted messes where the litter box used to be. If you must change the location of your litter box, add a second box to the new location while leaving the first box in its original place. When your cat is accustomed to the second box, it’s safe to remove the first box completely.  
Keep it Clean!
Scoop your litter box at least once a day! Cats have over 20 million olfactory receptors in their nose, compared to the 5 million found in a human nose. Incidentally, you may not notice an excessively foul-smelling litter box, but you can be certain your cat will! You don’t want to use a dirty bathroom, and neither does your cat. A clean litter box is essential in making certain your cat uses it consistently. 
Litter Boxes by the Numbers
If you have multiple cats, it is important to have one litter box per cat…and then one or two more! Space the litter boxes throughout your house, especially if your home has multiple floors. This will ensure that each cat has a place to go…to go. 
Keep Your Eyes (and Nose) Open
If you notice your cat going to the bathroom outside the litter box, one or more of these factors could be the culprit:
·         Change in litter box location
·         Change in brand of litter
·         Cat does not like type of litter box
·         Scented litter or liners
·         Dirty litter box
·         Cat is stressed and acting out
If your cat continues to avoid the litter box, or you notice that your cat’s urine has a foul smell, it is time to visit your vet. Constipation, urinary tract infections, thyroid disease, and bladder infections are among the possible causes. Your vet will be able to determine what is causing your cat’s discomfort, and help your cat to feel better and get back to the box! 
If you have any questions or concerns, please give us a call. We are happy to answer your questions and help in any way we can. 
Rau Animal Hospital, Glenside (215) 884-0453
Rau Too, Willow Grove (215) 706-5760