If you're like most cat owners, then you may be wondering how to keep your cat's litter box clean. You may also wonder about the best way to keep the urine odor from seeping through your entire home.
Sadly, one of the main reasons why those smelly litter pan odors exist is due to improper box maintenance! Unfortunately, a dirty litter pan is also a big reason why many cats will exhibit inappropriate elimination or litter box rejection.
The best solution (to keep you and kitty happy) is to keep your litter box as clean as possible which will really help eliminate odors.
Here are 3 top tips to keep your litter pan clean and fresh.
- Use clumping litter One of the best ways to ensure you pick up all excrement is to use clumping cat litter. Why? Usually when you clean the litter box you use the sifter or shovel. If you use non-clumping cat litter what ends up happening is the urine soaked clay is not thoroughly removed during cleaning. Clumping litter (either clays or other natural materials) have an amazing ability to soak up many times their weight in liquid, forming a solid mass that can easily be scooped up. If you buy non-clumping litter... what ends up happening is you scoop out whatever you can but there are still bits of soiled litter left over, which makes it almost impossible to pick up. Whatever is left will cause those dreaded odors until you completely change out the litter for a fresh batch and then it begins all over again! Do yourself and your cat a favor and buy clumping cat litter. Note: Clumping litter is not recommended for kittens under 2 months old.
- Clean a minimum of 2 times a day Your cat's litter pan should never be allowed to become filthy. If you find it hard to clean the litter box the recommended bare minimum then you need to increase the number of boxes you have. So if one is soiled she'll have another to go to. Just like you, your cat does not want to step on urine and poop when she goes to the bathroom. Remember that a cat has a very sharp sense of smell. So if it smells bad to you then imagine what she thinks about it! While you're cleaning be sure to also clean your litter scooper because it tends to get very dirty as well. After sifting all dirty litter, it's good to spot clean the litter box by using a bleach and water solution. Wipe down the soiled area of the litter pan and dry well, then smooth the litter back into place.
- Fill the litter pan 3-4" deep When I first read the 3-4" recommendation... I thought, "Are they insane? That's wasting a lot of litter!" However, when I tried it out I realized I'm really saving more money in the long run ...let me tell you why.... If you fill the litter 3-4" deep then you make it harder for your cat to dig to the bottom of the litter pan! Which makes it less likely that urine will seep to the bottom of the box and become a disgusting, smelly mess that has to be changed out every few days.
Once you try this, you'll realize that you'll need to switch out the whole batch of litter less often. All you need to do is scoop up the clumps! Add the spot cleaning as noted above and you're on your way to a fresher smelling litter pan.
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