Cat Litter Boxes & Trays
Making your cat comfortable with using litter boxes depends on several factors like the type of litter and litter box you use, style and size of the litter box, location of the box, how hygienic you keep the box, and of course the traits of your cat and its behavior. Like humans, cats prefer a quiet area away from where the food and water is served to do their business. Litter boxes with curved and smooth corners are more preferred as sharp edged ones can hold moisture and become smelly gradually. There are a variety of kitty litter boxes/trays available in pet stores and supermarkets based on design, style and properties.
Five basic types of Kitty Litter Boxes.
Basic flat box
Basic flat litter boxes is the most common and economical type. It is made of plastic usually rectangular in shape. This box type comes in different color, size and depth. It doesn’t have a cover or lid and that makes it easier to clean it. Some designs consist of a rim to prevent the litter being tracked or kicked off by the kittens.
Cons: Plastics tend to pick up smell gradually and spreads odor all through the house. These don’t come with a cover, so has to be kept away from other pets and kids.
More like the conventional basic rectangular pans, covered /hooded litter box consist of a lid that covers the box partially. An opening provided at one end of the box serves as the entrance and exit way for the cat. These boxes usually are deep and cats can eliminate standing on the hood. Partial cover will prevent the litter being tracked off the box.
Hooded models are very poorly ventilated and therefore it usually smells. If you choose covered box types, make sure that the model is large enough to accumulate your cat and that it has one large vents and a hood which can be easily handled for cleaning.
Designer boxes belong to the family of covered boxes . They are designed to look more attractive by giving them the look and feel of a furniture piece. This box type varies in its shape and size. The normal ones are not very big and deep but there are more convenient types that are open and big enough to accommodate your cat. They need not be hidden anywhere as they disguise as a plant or ‘show-case’ piece. They form an idyllic and suitable litter box for cats if provided with proper vents.
Cons: Just like the hooded box types, these can be smelly as it is closed. Vents are not big enough to serve the purpose.
Sifting box is a variant model with a litter box (some has two boxes) and a sifting tray. The sifter tray rests in the litter box and the litter can be poured into the box through the top opening. When it is time to clean the box, just lift up the tray which will sieve the litter from the solid waste and clumps leaving the untouched litter back in the box. You just need to clean the tray and replace it without changing the entire litter.
Cons: The enclosed model holds smell and hides small clumps if escaped though the sieve down to the rest of the litter. The replacing process is not possible without a third container to hold the litter while fixing the tray back into the box.
A more convenient type of sifting litter, self sifting litter box reduces the manual work with the help of a remote sensor which ‘sifts’ and ‘re-sifts’ mechanically.
Self washing litter box is designed to provide high end comfort equally to the cat and the cat owners.
The main parts that comprise the self cleaning box include long lasting plastic granules that are washable, a remote sensor that initiate the self-cleaning mechanism once the cat leaves the box, an automatic water circulation to flush down the waste, cleanser and freshener which gives a fresh and clean look and a blower which helps dry the granules to make it ready for the next use.
Cons: The system fails to clean up the entire content at times and you have to manually scoop it off. Moreover, self-cleaning boxes are expensive and their guarantee normally lasts for only one year.
In choosing the perfect cat box, here are some factors that must be considered:
- Size and Depth
- Material of the Box
- Ease of Cleaning
- See-through or opaque
- Attractive to the cat
- Cost and guarantee
Guidelines for using a cat or kitten litter box
- Keep the litter box in a location which is quiet and easy for the kitten to reach.
- Choose the ideal litter box material that doesn’t tend to become smelly.
- Cats refuse to use dirty litter box, so make sure to scoop frequently and keep it hygienic.
- It is better to use mild cleansers to clean the box, as strong chemicals like ammonia may smell unpleasant to your cat and it may offend them.
- Changes are unappealing to the cat, so take care when replacing litter boxes.
- It is good to have an additional litter box always.
Finding the perfect cat litter box may be a hard task and may require much experimentation on the part of the owner. Though this is a tedious task, it can be necessary to find the perfect box for your cat. Choosing the perfect cat box can be beneficial to both your cat’s health as well as the owners. The important factor to be taken into consideration is that the cat box must be appealing to the cat and comfortable for use.