What You Need to Know About Your Cat's Litter Box to Know What You Don't Need in A Cat Litter Box
Knowing what a cat likes to poop in a box is more important than knowing what features are available in a cat litter box. Manufacturers not only manufacture products, they manufacture problems to sell those products. It's called needs generation. The whole time we're taking in the sales pitches, our cat just wants to go poop in peace. Know what your cat wants from their litter box, not what the manufacturer says your cat needs.
What does a cat look for in a litter box?
- Cats don't look for open or closed boxes specifically. A manufacturer learned humans don't like to see cat poop, and humans don't enjoy going to the bathroom in public. They created a covered cat box and pitched it as the answer to a cat's privacy issue. People with cats know cats do not have privacy issues. They just have opinions.
- Cats look for a discreet corner with a good view of what may sneak up on them. They want their litter box to protect their behind. Literally and figuratively. Tuck their box in a corner with a wide view out.
- Cats do not look for cat box liners. That's a human thing and some cats may find that slippery feeling under their paws off putting. Which puts them off their litter box. Which leads to you buying a new litter box. #winning for the manufacturer.
- Cats look for a 'no smells added litter' and litter box. Cats have sensitive noses. Fragrance, herbs, citrus, or flower scents added to liners and litter is not a cat preferred idea. You'll be out shopping for a new litter box. Your litter box manufacturer thanks you for your support!
- Cats look for a fresh start at every visit. Scoop litter at least once a day. Consistent scooping leaves a clean box. A clean litter box doesn't need added scents. (BUT if you are more sensitive than your kitty, sprinkle baking soda onto and into their litter)
- Cats look for consistency in their pooping territory. It confirms safety and familiarity. Don't go changing things that aren't broke. Also, stick with one color scheme/theme. Match the box, to the cover, to the litter mat.
- Cats look for options. How many litter boxes do you need? For every one cat, one box plus one extra. Cats call these options; nothing. Just do it. Start wide before you narrow to what you think they want. You're probably wrong, anyway.
Our rescue cat, MooMooCow, tracked litter everywhere in the house. I'd created a city block's length of litter mat sidewalk. I could not get that cat to stop tracking litter everywhere. Until the day I found Turner, Yorkshire Terrier terror, under the kitchen table eating crunchy cat poop snacks. (See point 5)
Cotton, supreme Siamese male, refused to use his litter box, preferring the area behind the boiler that fed the underfloor heating system of the house. I put his box in there. He still chose the boiler room corner. I replaced the door to keep him out. He pooped in the sunroom. I moved his box there. Cotton and I played Hide and Pee for a few months. Cotton wanted two boxes, as far apart as possible in the house. One for pee and one for poop. How annoying was I in those two months? (See point 7)
Ren, gray Maine coon mix, male. His litter boxes needed to be acoustically tuned. He wanted his boxes to echo his calls to the ladies at night. There were no ladies. Ren was a positive thinker. (See point 1)
Know your cat. Then you'll know what your cat wants in a litter box. The one truth all fourteen cats I served agreed on was the Air Force motto: Clean, dry, serviceable. You get busy adding robots, apps, and timers, you are no longer buying a litter box for your cat. You are trying to buy your way out of thinking about the litter box for your cat.
The best values for your cat's litter box requirements
Litter Box and Hood Sets
Corner Fitting Litter Box and Hood Sets
Litter Mats that Don't Annoy the Cat
Unscented, Low Dust, Low Tracking Litter
Cats want to feel safe, clean, calm, and comfortable. Which is what any human trying to go poop wants as well. Things went sideways when HGTV got involved. What you need to know about your cat's litter box to know what you don't need in a cat litter box is, cats are not complicated. They just have opinions. (See point 1)