Litterbox Guidelines for your Cats

 Updated January 3, 2021

One more litter box than cats. Some cats like to urinate in one box and defecate in another, and cats do not have to wait to use the box.

At least one litter box per floor of house to minimize distance the cat needs to travel to the box.

Keep at least 4-6 inches open all the way around the litter box. Cats like a clear line of sight and escape
routes on all sides. (Some, but not all, cats like covered or enclosed boxes.)

The litter area should be out of the general flow of traffic in a quiet area.

Generally cats do not like plastic liners or mechanically self -cleaning boxes.

Use unscented litter. Cats find strong fragrances (especially citrus scents) unsettling.

Scoop the box daily and completely change litter weekly or every two weeks.

The depth of litter preferred is different for each cat. Try placing a couple of inches of litter in one box and about one inch in another.

Keep food and water at least 5 feet  away from litter box.

If a cat eliminates outside the litter box:

  1. Check for a medical cause through blood chemistry and urinalysis.
  2. If the cat is “marking” – urinating on vertical surfaces such as walls, furniture edges, etc. – place scratching posts in the area to provide an alternative way for the cat to mark, using its paws.
  3. Provide lower-sided and larger litter box.
  4. Provide high places for cats to feel safe, such as one or two cat trees on each floor of the house.
  5. Call for an in-home consultation if the cat is urinating on horizontal surfaces (floors, clothes, beds), this behavior is usually anxiety or fear related.

This information provided by
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