LITTER BOX LOCATIONS: HIDE OR TAKE PRIDE?
You may want to keep your cat’s litter box out of sight and out of mind—but your cat may have different preferences. Here’s a few litter box basics to help restore some territorial balance and keep you and your cat happy.
Are You Using Too Much Cat Litter?
When it comes to cat litter, it’s easy to think that more is better. But it turns out that many cat parents actually use too much cat litter in the box! Typically 2-3 inches will suffice, but not everyone has a ruler on hand when filling the box.
So, how can you tell if you’re using too much cat litter? And how much cat litter is just right? Here’s the scoop:
How to Tell if You’re Using Too Much Cat Litter
Cats want a litter box that’s filled with just enough litter—not too much, and not too little. You need enough litter for your cat to cover his or her waste, but it’s easy to go overboard. If you’re using too much litter, your cat will find a way to let you know—usually by displaying undesirable litter box behavior, like going outside the box. Here’s how to tell if too much litter might be causing problems:
1. Your cat slips and slides in the litter box.
Take a good look the next time your cat uses the box. (Don’t worry—cats aren’t shy.) Your cat should look confident and steady. If he or she is shaky or off-balance, you could be using too much litter, causing the “ground” to shift under your cat’s feet! Imagine walking through deep, loose sand—that’s how too much litter feels to your cat. This can be especially problematic for older cats or cats with physical challenges.
2. Your cat only goes halfway in.
If your cat doesn’t feel stable in the litter box, he or she may deal by only going halfway in the box. You might witness your cat digging in the box with only his or her front half inside. If you’re lucky, your cat might turn around to finish the job—but it’s just as likely that he or she will leave a deposit outside the box instead. This kind of behavior could be because your litter box is too small, so be sure your cat has plenty of room to turn around.
3. Your cat flings litter outside the box.
All cats like to dig, but if yours gets a little too enthusiastic, you might have too much litter in the box. This behavior can happen when there’s too much “caving in” when your cat digs, making it hard for your cat to feel like the hole is deep enough. Frenzied digging is the result, often leaving litter scattered around the room.
4. You find yourself hiding from the problem.
A clean layer of litter can make the box look clean—but if you find yourself adding more litter to buy yourself time between cleanings, you may end up making the problem worse. This is especially true if you use clay litter, which can form hard, heavy clumps on the bottom or sides of the box, making cleanup extra difficult. Instead of trying to bury the mess, look for an alternative that gives you a cleaner litter box with less litter.
When it comes to cat litter, less is more!
Just 2-3 inches of litter in the box is the ideal amount for you and your cat. But don’t worry, your best bud will most certainly let you know if you’re using too much litter. Keep an eye on your feline if you feel they’re having a hard time and be sure to to talk to your vet if you have concerns.