Making cats happy is all about understanding them. That means the fun stuff like how they like to play or when they want to cuddle with you, but it also means poop. That’s right, poop.
An understanding of cat litter sand is essential to your cat’s well being. After all going to the bathroom is a huge part of their home life. So let’s take a minute and make sure you have all the info you need for ensuring a happy cat.
From how cat litter works to the different types of litters there are, there is a lot to cover before you can decide what is best for your cat. Do you even need a litter box?
Cat litter keeps your house clean. You don’t want your cat just relieving itself on the floor, and since many cats are indoor pets that severely limits your options. It’s possible for you to put your cat on a leash and take it outside, but is that what your cat wants?
Your cat does want to use cat litter. It’s instinctual. To avoid being found by hungry predators, feral cats had to cover their tracks. This included covering up their urine and feces to hide the scent. Cats tended towards soft dirt or sand because it made it easier to cover their waste.
Your cat wants to hide when they do their business, not be watched by another animal with a leash. Cats are naturally attracted to the feel of cat litter and have an instinctual knowledge of what to do there.
Cat litter works by absorbing the urine and covering the feces, but products have changed a lot over time.
While typical sand or ashes used to be your only option, nowadays more research has been done to find the best types of clay for your purposes. Or even to develop the material itself for you. There are three basic types of cat litter: Clay, Clumping, and Silica.
An improvement over regular sand, absorbent clay cat litter, offers better odor control. Over time other ingredients such as baking soda or charcoal have also been added to remove the smell.
When the feline urinates in the litter, it is absorbed and passes through to the bottom, suppressing the scent of ammonia until the mixture becomes too saturated. You still need to make sure to remove the feces daily.
Then about once a week, when the mix becomes more urine than sand, you simply dump it all out, clean it, and fill it up again with new litter.
This type usually contains a substance called sodium bentonite, which is still a type of clay. Sometimes the bentonite is different but whatever kind is used the point is the substance swells and binds together when soaked with urine, thus making a single clump that can be easily removed from the litter.
Clumping litter can be found scented or unscented, and some brands cater specifically to homes with multiple cats.
The ability to remove both urine and feces from the box every day helps keep the odor down and not having to throw out the whole batch is convenient as well. It is still recommended you change and clean the litter box at least once a month.
The silica gel pearls the litter is made from actually have lots of little tunnels in them. When the cat uses the litter, they soak up the urine and smell like a sponge. Trapping it inside the pearls like this means they keep the outside surface dry to the touch.
The urine inside evaporates, and the pearls do not have to be removed from the litter to be reused. The litter needs to be raked daily to make certain everything evaporates and isn't being trapped at the bottom. Change the silica pearls out after about a month.
Next, you need to consider what to put the litter inside.
A cat litter box is not necessary. It is possible to use regular items such as storage bins to contain your cat litter. If it fits the criteria, then it's fine.
A cat litter box should be about one-and-a-half times the size of your cat for its comfort, and so it can turn around. The box should also have sides large enough to prevent debris from spilling out while your cat is digging to cover the job.
However, litter boxes have been designed specifically for your needs, and they've come a long way from the simple bin.
These simple models will most resemble your bins. You might assume as a result they are nothing special, but many of these models are made with nonstick interiors and have features such as an easy-pour spout for easy cleaning. Better than your average bin.
This is the cheapest style of cat litter box.
To put it simply, it’s like the open-top with a lid and an entrance for your cat. The lid cuts down on the smell, but some cats don’t like the confined space. Others love it.
Shaped like planters and furniture, this litter box can be kept in any room of the house.
This litter box lets the owner’s hand sift the waste by way of a secondary container in the box. Less expensive than a true self-cleaning litter box, but perhaps not as convenient.
A litter box with self-operating rakes and sifters to remove the urine and feces clumps into a receptacle. As would go for any appliance, you will still need to clean the machine on occasion.
This may be the most expensive style, but it’s the most convenient as well.
Your cat needs something to use as a bathroom, and millions have agreed a litter box is a great way to go.
Whatever you decide it’s good to be thinking of your cat. A comfortable litter box that masks the smell is great for them too. They don’t want you or any predators smelling that.
Just make sure and remember to clean everything out at least once a month, and make sure it gets sifted at least once a day. If you leave it alone, your cat won't want to use it either.
May all your cats be happy.