The style of litter box you choose makes a difference. So it's important to make a smart selection right away. Factors in choosing the right litter solution include simplicity, number, and size. Let's take a look at each in turn:
Is this cat litter box easy to clean?
Cats are famous for their fastidious behavior. According to Dr. Pamela Perry, animal behavior resident of the Animal Behavior Clinic at Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine, cats spend between 30% and 50% of their day grooming themselves. After all that work, no kitty wants to put his pristine paws in a mucky litter box. So cat lovers have to roll up their sleeves and do a little dirty work.
But as a cat's human parent, you don't want to spend 30-50% of your day cleaning a litter box, either. So pick a box that's simple to keep spotless. Some cat owners go for a robotic, self-cleaning litter box. That's often a bad choice. These loud boxes can terrify cats. And who can blame them? Would you like to have a scraper appear out of the toilet as you were getting up? Besides, a robotic box just hides fecal matter for the moment. You still have to clean it out sometime.
Other cat lovers pick a flowery scented litter to overpower the smell of a traditional box. Another bad choice. With a sense of smell that's 40 times that of a human's, cats generally hate this litter. In the end, you will too because your house will feature the distinctive aroma of potpourri mixed with unwashed cat butt.
When we decided to make the best cat litter box for ourselves and our cats, we added a durable scoop with an ergonomic handle and an edge matches the corners of Modkat, Modkat XL and Modkat Tray. At Modkat, we think scoops make cleaning easier.
So does a check-off calendar on your refrigerator or in another public place. In general, you should scoop daily, refill with litter every 2-3 days, and wash the box with soap and warm water once a week.
How many cat litter boxes should I have?
The rule of thumb for cat litter boxes can be expressed algebraically — n+1= perfect. It states that you should have one litter box for every cat plus one extra. One cat? Two boxes. Two cats? Three boxes. Three cats? Bet you can guess by now… four boxes.
Your home's layout may determine if the rule of thumb is right for you. For example, if your home has two floors, you need to make sure you have a box on each floor. If you put one litter box in a bathroom where the door might close or you might lock out your cat, then make sure you have another box that's accessible 24 / 7 / 365.
What size litter box does my cat need?
Your cat needs a box that extends 1.5 times the length of the animal and is as wide as he is long. Better to have too-big litter boxes for cats than to have boxes that run small and tight.
Yes, most cats enjoy the security they get from enclosed spaces — and there are sound evolutionary reasons for this — but they don't want to feel trapped or claustrophobic while using the restroom. And really… can you blame them?
When we first built the original Modkat, people (and cats) loved it! But large cats had some trouble turning around, so we constructed the Modkat XL, the largest top-entry box on the market with 17"-high walls and 21"-long layout.
Lidded litter boxes spark controversy. Some cat lovers say their pets prefer the privacy of an enclosed facility. Others say the animals want to go out in the open. Thankfully, a group of researchers at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine settled the question for us once and for all.
They discovered that…
Most cats don't care.
Among the animals studied, 70% showed no preference between a covered box and an uncovered one. Another 15% liked going out in the open, and 15% ducked into the more private stall whenever they could.
That means that a large cat litter box with a lid has an 85% probability of going over well with your cat. And it's 100% certain you'll like the odor-control benefits and sleek, elegant look of a lidded box.
"But," you say, "I bought a great box using all those decision factors, and my cat still won't use the litter box. Why not?"
Several reasons could explain your cat's reluctance to do business in the right place. The fact is most cats prefer to use a litter box over the floor, bedding, or laundry. But sadly, every year, 6.5 million pet cats and dogs end up in animal shelters. And the number-one reason pet owners give for placing their animals in shelters? Inappropriate elimination.
Rarely is this a behavioral problem, though. Most cats with litter-box issues actually have a reason for eliminating out of the box. For example…
What if your cat has already gotten into the habit of doing his business outside the office, so to speak?
First, rule out a medical condition with help from your vet. Then, make sure your cat's box is clean, filled with fresh litter (not too deep), and placed in an out-of-the-way but still-accessible location. Don't use noisy, robotic boxes, and get rid of scented litter. Invest in enough boxes to keep all the cats in the house happy.
If your cat uses a spot outside the litter box, scrub it clean so your pets won't smell the odor of urine and think that the carpet is the right place to go.
The best cat litter box for large cats is the one they'll use, and that's probably the largest box they can find. Now, a "large box" means one that's long enough and wide enough to feel comfortable as well as high enough to be safe for your floors. Some cats are high-pee-ers. They'll send a stream over the wall and onto the surrounding areas if you aren't careful.
Then, we have those cats that like to dig enthusiastically into the litter. If you love one of these guys, you'll want to make sure that their box stays full (not too full) of fresh pellets. But you also need walls high enough to keep the litter inside the box.
If your wall is between 5" and 12" high, you're probably good. Our Modkat boxes run a little higher because we want to add margin for your cat. But remember that a kitten or mobility impaired cat will need a ramp or other easy entrance for the box.
Even the best litter box for big cats needs regular cleaning. Without fresh litter and occasional scrub downs with warm water, your cat's bathroom will start to smell like… well, like a cat's bathroom. Check out these 7 tips to make a stinky litter box smell fresh & clean if your kitty's space is starting to get a little ripe.
But yes, cats like a clean box. In fact, many of them also seem to take a particular interest in watching us clean out their bathrooms. Who knows why? Perhaps they're making sure we wash our hands between cleaning their toilets and preparing their meals.
In some ways, large cats just want what all cats want — a clean litter box with space large enough to turn around and easy access to the entrance/exit. As our cats' caregivers, we need to do our part by making sure our plus-size friends have the boxes they need to stay happy and healthy.
Shop the Modkat litter boxes and accessories to freshen up your cat litter area today!
At Modkat, we like things to be simple, minimal, and modern. We're like cats in that way. So when we talk about setting up a litter box, we don't look for the latest bells and whistles. We just ask what's best for your cat.
Dealing with litter is part of loving a cat. But you don't have to cope with pebbles scattered all over your home.