Cats are very clean animals and want to do their business in a litter box where it is kept in one spot and can be buried. There are several things you can do to make using the litter box an enjoyable experience for your cat and to ensure she continues to use it.
1. Use a cat litter your cat likes: Some cats can be fussy about the kind or brand of cat litter they dig in. It could be the smell or the way it feels on her paws. Whatever the reason, when you find a brand your cat likes; stick with it. Because if kitty doen't like the cat litter, she won't use it.
2. Location, location, location: Place the litter box in a spot that your cat can get to easily at all times. Make sure the spot is out of the way and quiet; especially if you have other pets or small children in the house. Cats need privacy when using the litter box and if kitty is frightened or disturbed in any way she may decide to do her business elsewhere.
If you put the litter box in the basement, don't put it near the furnace. If she is using the litter box when the furnace comes on, it could frighten her. Also make sure the door to the basement is always open so she can get to her litter box.
3. Filling the box: There should be about two inches of litter in the box. More than that and your cat may feel like she is wading through it. Too little cat litter and it won't absorb properly and unpleasant odors become a problem.
4. Spot cleaning: Cats don't like to use really soiled litter boxes so clean the litter box at least once a day (twice a day is even better). With clumping cat litter it is a very easy chore. Use a slotted spoon to remove clumps and put it in a plastic bag. Add more litter as needed.
5. Washing the litter box: Once a week empty the cat litter box, wash and disinfect it with bleach. Make sure it is completely dry before refilling. Don't forget to wash and disinfect the scoop also.
If you are going away for two or three days, it is a good idea to set up a second litter box so your cat will have another one to use if her first litter box gets too dirty for her.
Barb Jensen lives in upstate New York with her two cats. http://kittyKorner1.blogspot.com