Litter Boxes! It's ok, they stink!
Litter Boxes! It's ok, they stink!
Ok, so you've got your new little fur ball and now have to setup a litter box for her. Well the dilemma sets in. Do I buy small, medium or large? Do I go with the manual plastic box, or do I spend hundreds (if not thousands) of hard earned money on one of those robotic kinds?!
It can be frustrating knowing which kind to get. In the end it depends on your choice, style and ultimately budget. The standard manual plastic litter boxes are the cheapest. But you have to scoop them every day. Then of course there are the more expensive self cleaning, or robotic, litter boxes. These can save you time, but you may want to adjust the clean time between visits to its highest level, otherwise, you run the risk of scaring your cat which could result in exterior eliminations of the litter box.
Then there are disposable litter boxes, or single use boxes that go for less than ten or fifteen dollars. Covered and none covered boxes can range wildly in price, depending on what kind you. Also, with covered boxes it is best to purchase these when your cat is still young as they will get use to them.
Self cleaning boxes come in a wide variety of flavors and prices as well. Also, like there manual counter parts they can also come in covered and non covered. Some of the self cleaning boxes can use either normal litter, litter disks that contain a crystalline type of litter that you throw out once it has been used or a combination. And again, these can be as cheap as $50 to $600.
Their nose knows
A cats nose is 9 to 16 times more powerful than a human's nose according to Wikipedia. So it makes sense that when they eliminate, they are more likely to smell their own waste before we do.
So for that reason alone you should scoop at least once a day. According to Purina.com, for ever cat in your home you should have one box per cat, plus one extra. Now I know what your thinking "Come on Jamie, I live in a small apartment with two cats, I don't have the room for three boxes".
If that is the case then scooping twice a day is something you should consider, or the purchasing of a self cleaning litter box. The other thing you should do is add a deodorizer to your litter after the box has been emptied. This isn't so much for your cats benefit, as it is for you and your guests.
Cleaning the Litter Box
Ok, so now you have your litter box. Lets say for arguments sake that you purchased a cheap plastic box. Depending on your litter, you are going to want to change out the litter in your box every two weeks. Now there are some litter that only last a week when it comes to deodorizing power. But they tend to be a little better quality, not always of course, but for the most part it is true. You can extend the time of your litter by using some kind of deodorizer.
So how do you clean your plastic litter box? Once you have thrown out the old litter, you are going to want to have a cleaner that either has no scent, or a low scent added to the cleaner. The other thing you will need are...Lemons! That's right, lemons. I'll explain shortly.
So, the first thing you want to do is find a place where you are going to actually clean your box, I typically use my laundry rooms sink. After that, simply a little water to the box, add some cleaner and then either use a cloth that you don't care about, or use paper towel.
Once you have it thoroughly cleaned, you will rinse it thoroughly. Next you take the lemons, make sure they are quartered, and run the lemons all over the interior of the box. Rinse again, then do another wash with the lemons, then rinse again. Take a smell of the box, if you can still smell cat urine than use the remaining lemon. One thing you should only do if you really can't get your hands on lemons, bleach will work in a pinch. But since bleach smells a lot like cat urine, you are going to want to make sure you rinse extremely well, and maybe wash again with your cleaner.
The same goes for the automatic litter boxes, however, there are some that use litter disks. These disks use a crystalline type of litter that you simply throw out once the litter has been fully used and replace with a new disk. There may be some minor cleanup as some cats tend to void their bladders outside of the box.
The Toilet as the Litter Box
Now I'm sure some of you are probably going...Wha?! Lastly what if I were to tell you that you can train your cat to eliminate into your toilet. There is a litter box that you can purchase that uses litter and goes over your toilet bowl. This toilet bowl litter box can make your life a little easier because you will never have to purchase litter again, no need to worry about a box. The only things you will need to do is make sure the bowl is emptied and clean.
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