Cat litter can vary significantly in look, feel, and texture. It can also be a little overwhelming, picking the right brand for your kitty. Some furry friends can be very particular about where they perform their duties. Other cats, may not care so much. But, it’s crucial to find the right cat litter that is going to make you both you and your little pal happy.
Cats become familiar with the feel, scent, and texture of the litter that they are initially introduced to, so getting it right the first time is ideal. But, if you do need to make a change in their bathroom environment, there are some tricks that you can use to ease that transition for them.
Some things to consider when choosing a litter are the scent, texture, and making sure that it will be as dust-free as possible (it can cause respiratory problems for kitty). Absorbency is also a key characteristic that you might want to keep in mind.
How Often Should You Change Your Cat’s Litter?
In terms of maintenance, your kitty’s box should be scooped out daily. It is essential to use the proper tools when performing this maintenance, so make sure you have a solid poop scoop, a disposal bag, rubber gloves, and a face mask. A mask, in some cases, can help avoid contracting toxoplasmosis, a virus that can be transmitted through cat feces. This is especially important if you’re living with multiple cats.
Some people opt for lining their litter box; however, this is usually only for the convenience of the human that’s going to be doing the cleaning. Generally, by the time you go to remove the liner, most cats will have torn up the material with their claws, and you’ll have to do a full cleanup anyway. You can try this technique, but if your cat likes to cover their business aggressively, you’re probably best off just letting them do their thing.
In addition to the daily tidying of the box, you should also do a full-clean sanitization and change out for fresh litter every week. Try to dispose of old litter, then using soap and water to scrub the inside of the box before refilling it.
Once it’s been dried off, add a new layer of litter, aiming for around 2-3 inches. Try not to over-fill the litter box, but give your cats just enough to dig a little. And boom! Your kitty has fresh new digs to stay on track with their regular toilet duties.
How to Train Your Cat to Use a New Litter
Not all cats are created equal when it comes to adaptability. For many cats, changing out their regular litter for a new brand is a non-issue. You won’t have to re-train them or make any formal introductions to the change in their bathroom habitat. They’ll go on with their business as usual.
However, if your little guy (or girl) is particular about certain things, this change may be a bit more jarring for them.
If this is the case, there are some tricks you can use to get them acclimated to the new litter. Try to mix in, old familiar litter with the new stuff, or add some of the cat’s feces from the old litter into the new litter to ease them in.
This transition can be all about a modification in familiarity for your oh-so-particular furry pal, so it’s essential to keep things as comfortable as possible for them.
By layering the new litter under the original one that the kitty is used to, you can trick them into thinking that nothing has changed. To get into the habit, try cleaning out the litter box as you would during your regular weekly scrub down. And then placing the new litter at the base of the box, with a thinner layer of the old stuff on top.
A good rule of thumb is ¾ new litter at the base; then ¼ old product spread evenly on top. Your kitty will step onto a layer of the usual stuff, do their thing, then quickly start to recognize the new texture of the material below as they use it. After a week, you can usually move fully into replacing this set-up with the new litter altogether.
Another trick is using the scent of the cat’s droppings. You can do this by removing a few pieces of feces from the old litter, cleaning out the box, then entirely replacing the box with the new product. Then, add the little nuggets of poop to the new box, just long enough for your cat to go in, inspect and use it for the first few times. Remove the old feces once your cat has given their stamp of approval by using their box as usual.
Finally, it would help if you consider rewarding your kitty when they make use of any new product. Pets get familiar with new things – just like humans. So, when we change things out, it is deviating from their regular routines. It’s important to show them affection for their new habits. Treats are almost always a sure thing to make the kitty feel loved and appreciated for their cooperation.
How Many Litter Boxes Do You Need?
The general assumption is that you only need one litter box. This isn’t necessarily the case for all cat owners. Being a cat owner, you know that cats’ personalities can vary significantly from feline to feline. However, the rule of thumb is that if you have multiple cats, you should have at least one box for each. And, whether it’s just one cat or a little furry gang that lives in your home, having an additional box set up is very useful and practical overall. This way, each kitty will always have a vacant, clean space to do their thing.
When setting up the litter boxes, keep in mind the kitty’s privacy. Experiment with covered and open placements around the house until your kitty finds the spot it loves most. Additionally, to maximize their comfort, keep the box away from heat and noises.
If you’re adding a new furry friend to your home, or are looking to replace your cat’s existing litter, finding and picking out the best option might feel an overwhelming quest. After all, there are so many options and features to go through.
We hope that our guide helped you make sense of the key things you’ll need to keep in mind while picking out a new litter for your cat. And if you want to skip hours of research and failed experiments, we recommend taking a look at our review on the best flushable cat litter or this review if you have multiple cats in your household.