Chapter contents

.. What type of litter & Tray to use

Different types of cat litter

Commercial cat litters vary greatly in their make up.

From cheap, heavy gravel sold in back breaking packs, to light, organic, biodegradable, recycled or compostable clumping litter - there is a spectrum of choice available to pet owners. Just like us, cats have their own preferences & requirements. An old - once stray - Tom, may be used to digging around in gravel or in gardens, he may recognise what to do when a little compost or soil is mixed into his litter. Some cats may thoroughly appreciate the finer things & turn their noses up at anything that isn't clumping & organic. A good quality clumping litter although apparently more expensive at first, is often more cost effective than cheap gravel. This is because far less of the litter (the deposits & clumped litter) needs discarding & the pack will last much longer & be easier to handle. Cats have individual personalities & often it is a case of trial & error but once you have found a litter that works for them - don't change it!

Odourless litter is recommended (& usual). Instead of locating air fresheners near litter trays which may deter a cat (these can be noxious to a sensitive feline nose) Keeping it clean for them, is the most important thing.

The depth of the litter in the tray should be very roughly 3 cm, some cats prefer less depth - you can put more material at one end - as an experiment to see where your cat prefers to go.

A litter tray should be large enough for its cat to manouvre itself around to dig.

Different types of Litter trays

There are a variety of litterbox styles available to pet owners.

From simple A3 page sized plastic trays, to odour extracting covoured litter boxes - complete with catflaps.

A litter tray should be large enough for your cat to comfortable stand and turn around in, without having to step a paw from the tray. Having an appropriate size tray with high enough walls will help to avoid accidents occurring outside of its boundary.

The contents of a covered litter tray may be forgotten about, the contents of an open tray can be unavoidable & therefore it can help to remind you when it needs to be cleaned. Some cats may prefer the privacy of having their own room, but others can feel cramped & unpleasantly confined in a covered box with their own excrement. They also need to feel that they can bolt for safety at any given moment. Covered trays will also need to be cleaned more often, if it is soiled a cat may refuse to enter it.

Trays should be cleaned with hot soapy water, nothing too strong or chemical based.

High sided litter trays or even plastic storage containers from hardware shops, can be very effective for cats who dig their litter, a little too enthusiastically & out onto the floor. These are also ideal for those cats who stand in their litter trays & eject their waste onto the floor instead. For easy access, sections can be cut from one wall to give them a doorway.

When trying different litter materials or trays, don't just replace the old on. Leave it where it is & place the new option next to it, so your cat has the choice. If there is a preferance, it will be obvious pretty quickly & then you can take away the unpopular choice. Cats don't like dramatic - forced changes, they like to decide things for themselves.

Cleaning trays when they have been used, is the most effective way of eliminating problems & odours, before they are given a chance to emerge.

Recommended litter - catsan Ultra fine clumping litter at a depth of approx 3-4cm

Clumps of urine & solids should be removed if necessary - twice a day. The litter trays should be emptied completely once a week & cleaned with a gentle un-scented detergent & hot water.

 

If any soiling should occur the area should be cleaned with an enzymatic cleaner such as Urine-Off Urine Stain & Odour Remover according to the manfacturer's instructions.

Chapter contents