When it comes to owning cats the part we all dislike is that they poop and you scoop. I am blessed now as both my cats go toilet outside now, but I do still leave a litter tray out just in case. I never had a problem with Bella but I did have some issue Egor right from the start. We adopted Egor when he was 10 weeks old and as soon as we got him home I placed him in his litter tray and straight away he had a little wee. Two minutes later he had another then another, straight away I knew there was something wrong and when he pooped and missed half of the litter tray and let out a small cry I knew we had to get him to the vet asap. He was giving medication to treat a UTI & Cystitis and after medication, he was back to normal within the week. My advice is if you’re having problems or suspect they may have an infection no matter how small, bring your cat to the vet first before trying anything else they could be very sick and need medical attention.
Size: Choosing the right size of litter box for your cat is so important. There are so many different types, shapes and sizes available on the market today. I have always used a plain cat litter tray around one and half times the length of my cat, but if you prefer to go with something a bit fancier then by all means do, just make sure it’s big enough for your cat both in length and height. Also, make allowances for elderly and disabled cats.
Litter: The first mistake a lot of people make is overfilling their cats litter box. You should only place 2 or 3 inches of litter in the tray. Choosing the right litter to suit your cat requires a bit of trial and error. I must have bought ten different brands before both my cats settled on one..which ended up being one of the most expensive litters (trust them). It cost me €29.99 every two weeks, was a fine sandy litter with a Vanilla scent. Most experts would recommend not using a scented litter if you are having problems, maybe try getting the same brand your cat likes but unscented and see how that works out for ya.
Placement: All the experts say place your cat toilet somewhere they have easy access to 24hrs a day and that is quite for them to do their business. I placed mine in my spare room and wedged open the door to give them unlimited access. My spare room has wooden floors so it is very easy to clean, I just sweep up the litter they have walked out and give it a mop daily. Is your area nice and quite for your cat?
Lots of people place litter trays in their own toilets. You might have to change this as your cat doesn’t have 24hr access to this (because you’re in it) and also we use a lot of chemicals in our bathrooms to keep them clean, cats can get fussy with these smells and choose not to use their tray because of this.
Finding a quiet place in a busy home for your cat to go toilet can be a bit of a struggle for some people. Cats like their privacy and may not use their toilet if there is a lot of people walking by. Underneath your stairs is a common place people place their trays, if your cat is not using their tray under here then maybe try placing a kitty door over it like the one in the picture below…saves you finding a new place 🙂
Hygiene: You wouldn’t use a dirty toilet so why let your cat use one? Cats are super clean and need a clean litter tray. I bought a litter bin that I placed beside my tray and I also bought some nappy bags to place the waste into. Every time I would walk by the room I would pop my head into check to see if they had used their tray and if so I would scoop it up into the nappy bag and place it in the bin. I found this to be the best way of keeping on top of things. Also, every Sunday morning I would empty the litter tray/bin competly and give them a good clean with some washing up liquid.
Number of Trays: Do you have enough trays around your home? You may need to introduce another tray in another area especially if you have more than one cat, rule of thumb is to have one more box than the number of cats. Some cats can take ownership over a litter tray and won’t let any other cat use it, maybe this is the cause???
Some medical problems to look out for?
UTI: A Urinary Tract Infection is an infection in the urethra and bladder. You will spot symptoms straight away if you know what you are looking for. In my case, Egor was drinking a lot of water and would urinate often. He also let out whelp every now and then when he was going his toilet. Other symptoms include blood in urine, licking their genital area a bit more than normal. If you’re concerned your cat may have a UTI please bring them to a vet asap.
Kidney Stones or Blockage: Signs and symptoms are the same as above. This is an extremely painful condition.
Feline Interstitial Cystitis: Is an infection in the bladder. This is a very dangerous and painful condition for your cat. You may notice your cat running to their tray but may not be able to urinate, symptoms are similar to the a UTI.
NB: I would just like to point out I am not a vet or medically trained in any way. All information here is based on research and my own experiences.
(pic source: Pinterest)