It is important to understand that the litter box is an integral part of every cat's life. A well-planned litter box placement can ensure your feline has access to their box in all parts of the house and having the right type will enhance both your lives.
Cats are naturally clean animals by nature. They groom themselves constantly to keep their coats clean and their bodies sanitary. However, unlike humans, the feline sense of self-care extends beyond appearance into their living habitats. That is why they are naturally drawn to litter boxes. They dispose and bury their waste. While this is great when outdoors, indoors, if not for a litter box, it could become quite the problem. Modern litter boxes are designed to minimize any issues with scent.
Styles of Cat Litter Boxes
Open or uncovered litter boxes have a large, uncovered box with a plastic or metal grill on the bottom. They are inexpensive, easy to clean, and come in a great variety of sizes and colors. This litter box is best for larger cats or if your feline has a delicate digestive system.
A closed or sealed litter box has an enclosed space with a door that allows their feline to enter. They have a hood that contains any litter that your cat kicks out of the box, and they are equipped with a filter in case any waste is sprayed outside of the box. Most models have a grate in front, so you can easily scoop out clumped waste without opening the door. Closed litter boxes can be pricey, but they are aesthetically pleasing and long-lasting. They are appropriate for smaller cats, as open boxes without the grill may be too large and intimidating to fit inside.
A hooded box is just like the closed/sealed but with an added hood that covers the entire top of the enclosed space. Some models even have a flap in front of the door that protects your cat when they are exiting and entering. This type is best for cats with delicate digestive systems, as it contains all litter within the top space, reducing any mess or smell that might put your feline off using their box in the future.
Automatic Cat Litter Boxes
While this type of litter box is relatively new, it has become immensely popular among cat owners. Instead of scoping out waste by hand or cleaning an open space, automatic litter boxes are equipped with a device that scoops the waste into a sealed compartment where you can easily dispose of it by pushing a button. These litter boxes have sensors that will activate the system when your cat enters and exits the box. There are two main types of automatic litter boxes. The first uses a special type of litter (clumping litters work best) in which clumps form whenever waste is in the box. These can be pricey, but they are very efficient and often have a sensor that will close the entrance to keep in odors. Automatic litter boxes with rakes are great for cats who over-spray when they're done using their box, as it keeps all waste in a closed space until you clean it out.
The other one uses a sifting system which you can switch on whenever you want to clean it. This type of litter box is great for cats who frequently kick out their litter, as the sifting system keeps all clumps in one space until they are ready for disposal.
Types of Cat Litter
As there are many different types of cat litter, it is important to know which type is most suitable for your cat. Cat litters can be broken down into three categories: clay-based, pellet-type, and sand-like. Each has its perks for your cat’s lifestyle, so you should consider all three before purchasing.
- Clay-Based Litter: The most common type of cat litter is a clumping clay material. It is inexpensive, easy to use, and 99% dust-free. However, it can be extremely messy - especially for cats that kick or spray waste everywhere! Not only that, but this type of litter does not have much odor control.
- Pellet-Type Litter: Made of recycled paper, pellet-type litters are eco-friendly, highly absorbent, and allow for easy cleanup. However, they do not mask odors as well as clay types. If your cat frequently sprays or over-sprays, this kind of litter could end up all over your floor.
- Sand-like Litter: This type is much like sand and is often made from silica gel crystals or baking soda. It has good odor control and clumps well but can be expensive and messy if your cat frequently kicks their litter out of the box. If you want to try this type, make sure to clean your cat's litter box thoroughly - otherwise, your feline may avoid it entirely.