Came across this article for our cat owners! It has some really great tips and litter box information. I highly recommend reading the whole thing. It is written by Steve Dale. He is a certified animal behavior consultant who has authored several books, including the e-book "Good Cat". Here are some highlights from the article.
Mr. Dale notes, according to Dr. Meghan Herron, professor of veterinary behavioral medicine at the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine (DACVB), there are 3 issues that she sees most often:
1. The litter box or litter boxes are too small
“Cats want to sniff around and investigate, then turn around, then dig and cover what they did in the box. This is a hardwired behavior among most cats. Even for your average cat, the average-sized box just isn’t large enough', says Dr. Herron.
2. The litter box or litter boxes are too dirty
“Boxes should be scooped daily — even more often if several cats are sharing a box,” Dr. Herron says.
3. The litter box or litter boxes are too hard to get to
Dr. Herron notes that most cats prefer privacy to do their business. Too far away from the family is inconvenient. Near windows where loud noises occur or equipment like furnaces that blast with an unpredictable loud sound can startle cats. When startled in the box, some cats may instantly have an aversion to that location and even that box.
Also of note in the article, Mr. Dale quotes veterinary behaviorist Dr. Theresa DePorter (DACVB) of Oakland Veterinary Referral Services in Michigan. She explains that the law for cat boxes is to "have one plus one more box for each cat in the house. And, at least keep a box (or more than one box) on each level of the house. Keep in mind that three boxes close together in one room, from the cat’s perspective, is like one giant box".
Finally, he has some general tips for littler box use:
- Most cats prefer fine, unscented clumping litter. Still, all cats are individuals and have their own preferences, which may be based on early exposure or just individual proclivity.
- Some cats prefer covered litter boxes, as they presumably offer privacy and a feeling of safety. Having said that, many cats don’t care, and most prefer uncovered boxes.
- Don’t drown the cat in 6 inches of litter or be too stingy with less than a quarter of an inch. On average, use 1 to 3 inches.
- Litter boxes should not be too close in proximity to food or water.
- If the cat jumps in the box, does his business and instantly jumps out: He’s usually saying he’s tolerating the situation but doesn’t like the litter and/or the box isn’t clean enough.
There is more information in the article as well. Again, I recommend reading it in its entirety. You can find it here: