Cats do a great job of making a mess of their litter boxes, but they aren't that great at cleanup. After your kitty covers up its business, the cat's part is done. This leaves you with the dirty and often smelly job of making the litter box fresh and clean. While your cat's litter box will never be sparkling, there a few tips and routines you can use to keep things tidy and odor-free.
1. Scoop out litter daily.
If you want to prevent a smelly situation, it is crucial that you scoop out your cat's litter box every day. Doing this also prevents your cat from scattering litter while it searches for a clean spot. Additionally, cats are less likely to relieve themselves elsewhere if they know there is a scooped box waiting for them. (eHow)
2. Contain the litter to prevent scatter.
Cats can be aggressive with their digging, which may leave unsightly granules around the house. To contain things, try to surround the box with a barrier that will keep litter in. You may also want to consider placing the litter box in some other, larger container like a kiddie pool or storage tub. (Catster)
3. Get a high-sided litter box.
Another way to prevent tracking is to purchase a litter box that is open but has high sides. This gives your cat the privacy that will make it feel comfortable using the box, but also prevent any kicked-aside litter from escaping. Be sure to put the box in a somewhat open space, because you don't want your pet to feel trapped from all sides. (Catster)
4. Wash out your litter box regularly.
Scooping daily is a good start, but if you want the litter box to truly shine, or at least not stink, you need to wash it. Ideally, you should empty out the litter box every week, wash it with warm water and also rinse it with vinegar. The vinegar neutralizes odor, and having a clean box protects your cat from bladder issues. (Wikihow)
5. Sweep and vacuum weekly.
There's no way around it: Regular sweeping and vacuuming are the best ways to battle the mess that can build up around the litter box. Keeping on top of floor cleaning will eliminate the litter left outside the box, and prevent you and your cat from tracking the debris further into your home. (Catster)
6. Sprinkle baking soda at the bottom of the box.
Cat owners have been using this trick for years. Adding a thin layer of baking soda to the bottom of the litter box before you add the litter will keep odors under control between cleanings. This is a great trick for cats because the smell of baking soda does not repel them like many air fresheners do. (HSUS)
7. Use multiple boxes.
Ideally, you should have two litter boxes for every cat. With two boxes you prevent an overload in one and offer your cat options. This can be a possible solution for cats who are going outside the box. If these messes are an issue, having an extra box gives your cat another clean bathroom option before it chooses to go somewhere else. (PetMD)
8. Pick a location that works for your cat.
If you find that a significant number of your cat's messes are found in places other than the litter box, the location of the box could be the problem. If your cat's box is in a loud or tight area, your cat could feel threatened or scared by the situation, leading it to eliminate somewhere else. Try moving the box to a private location, but one that allows your cat a view out. (HSUS)
9. Use mats and rugs.
There are an array of mats, trays and rugs on the market that are made for catching litter. If you are constantly finding litter around the house, one of these products could help. Purchase a mat that is big enough to surround the litter box on all sides, so no matter which way your cat kicks or crawls, the litter will get stuck on the mat and not on your furniture. (Catster)
10. Use cat-friendly scents.
The urge to cover up litter box odors may have you running for an array of flowery air fresheners, but this can make the problem worse. Cats are usually put off by sweeter smells, so using these products could cause your kitty to find a different place to relieve itself. If you are interested in a deodorizer, use a scent that attracts cats, like cedar or bleach. (VetStreet)
11. Avoid covered litter boxes.
While these litter-box covers hide the mess from others, they can be a real pain for your cat. These boxes usually provide little room in which to move around, and can make cats feel uncomfortable. Both of these factors can cause your cat to go outside the box. Closed boxes also trap in odors, which can make the litter box smell stronger. (VetStreet)
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12. Understand your cat's likes and dislikes.
Every cat is different, and that includes bathroom behaviors. Pay attention to your cat to learn its preferences. While it may be tempting to change something about your cat's litter box to make life more convenient for you, know that you risk upsetting your cat, potentially causing bathroom accidents. Once you find the litter and location your cat enjoys, try to stick with that routine as much as possible. (PetMD)
12 Tips For Keeping Kitty Litter Tidycountdown
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