• Start with a box a MINIMUM of 5” deep. I prefer the 8” deep boxes to help keep litter from going overboard. Use a cover or not, as your cat seems to prefer, but I discourage doors and hoods. That can be too confining for many cats.

  • Use a good quality, scoopable litter. My cats prefer the new litters made from recycled paper, such as PaPurr Scoop Clumping Litter or Exquisicat Advanced Scoop Recycled Paper Litter. Precious Cat, clay based litter, clumps very well & is good for multiple cat homes. Scoop Away is also surprisingly effective. All sold at PetSmart.

  • Whatever litter you use, find a litter that clumps really hard… no break-ups when scooping. When the clumps break apart, that makes the whole box stinky.

  • Do not mix different brands or types of litter. Scooping litters often use different chemicals to clump, which may not be compatible. Don’t waste your money by mixing clumping litter with plain clay litter. The plain clay will prevent the clumping litter from clumping at all. If you change brands or types of litter, use up all of the first litter, dump & clean the box, then start with a fresh box of the new brand.

  • For multiple cat homes, you can put a layer of baking soda in the bottom of the box to keep anything from sticking. You can skip this if you are conscientious about scooping. Sam’s carries 10 lb boxes for about $3.50

  • Keep AT LEAST 4” to 6” of litter in the box at all times. This is really the key to a clean box that doesn’t smell. You have to have enough depth to enable the litter to clump BEFORE the urine hits the bottom and sticks. If it sticks, then you have to scrape the waste out & the clumps will break up. That is what makes the whole box stink.

  • Location, location, location… keep the box in a quiet, private place. Don’t put the box in busy living areas. I prefer large closets or the bathroom. The best place in my house is a spare bathroom tub… that helps contain litter if kitty likes to dig. Don’t use the laundry room if possible. The area gets very warm from the dryer. The noise from the machines & the extra humidity is often a recipe for big problems. If the cat is too scared to use the box, he’ll find another spot!

  • Put a big piece of fake grass at the entrance of the box to keep the cat from tracking litter around. Cheap stuff from the hardware store has good texture.

  • Do NOT use plastic liners... they keep the litter from absorbing properly

  • Once every month or so, dump the litter and wash the litter box with very hot water only... never use a cleaner with ammonia, which smells like urine to a cat. It will just make the box smell dirty to her. Their noses are pretty sensitive.

  • If you have a large cat, be sure the litter box is big enough for the kitty to go in and turn around comfortably. Try using a plastic storage box with tall sides, especially good for cats who tend to urinate high on the back of the box or who fling litter around when covering up. If your cat has difficulty jumping into the box, cut a dip in the front of the box for easy entry.

  • Replace all boxes after about a year, as the plastic will eventually absorb the urine smell permanently.

  • The LitterMaid automatic litter box never worked properly, until now. The reason is that the motor is not strong enough to scoop the amount of scooping litter needed to clump urine before hitting the bottom of the box. The motor is strong enough to pull through only about 1” of litter. Litter Maid has now introduced a new corn based litter designed to work with the automatic box. It is the same as The World’s Best Cat Litter, and is equally expensive. It does work quite well, though. I have found that The World’s Best Cat Litter is nothing more than ground corn, often called Poultry Scratch. You can buy it at any feed store for about $6 for a 50 POUND bag 


Patti Castleberry

First Class Pet Care
Professional Pet Sitting in your Home

Ashland, Oregon

(541) 488-0608

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