Do you want to know the secrets you will ever need to keeping your litter boxes smelling fresh? Here 7 easy tips for keeping your litter box clean, you cat happy, and friends and neighbors in your home for longer than 5 minutes!
- Make it easy to clean your litter box
- Don’t Declaw Your Cats
- Clean your litter boxes every 1-3 days
- Have one litter box per cat
- Put 3-4 inches of litter in the litter box
- Don’t Use Litter Liners
- Use a high quality litter
Make It Easy To Clean Your Litter Box
When it comes to litter boxes regular cleaning is key. But cleaning the litter box is not exactly anyone’s favorite thing to do. I have found that I am more likely to take care of a chore when I set up a system that makes it easy to do. Over the 5000 or so pet sitting visits we have completed, we have found one method that makes cleaning your litter box a breeze. Its so great, I even made a video about it!
All you need to do is store your litter scoop in a trash can. And store that trash can close to the your litter box.
Setup The Trash Bin
- Keep a small trash can next to your litter box
- Store a roll of plastic bags at the bottom of a small trash can
- Put a trash bag in the trash can as usual
- Store your scoop in the trash can
Scoop The Litter Box
- Scoop litter into the trash can
- Take trash bag out and dispose of the used cat litter
- Put a fresh trash bag in the trash bin
- Store your scoop in the trash bin
My favorite thing about this method is that you can also store your scoop right in the trash can. This way you always have a sanitary place to store your cat litter scoop. And since extra bags are at the bottom of the trash bin, you will always have extra bags handy to replace the liner of your trash bin. Super easy!
Also, it only costs about $5 – or FREE if you have a trash bin a a few bags laying around the house.
Glad Bags VS Grocery Bags
Grocery bags on the other hand, tend to take up a lot of space at the bottom the trash can – leaving less room for litter. Plus, I find if I think I have a purpose for plastic grocery bags I tend to use more plastic bags vs reusable grocery bags. Then all those grocery bags pile up in my house for a while until I end up throwing most of them away.
Rather I think I use fewer plastic bags if I buy plastic bags, specific to a use and use reusable bags for groceries and other times from the store. Go Green!
Don't Declaw Your Cats
How declawing your cats leads to poor litter box habits is not intuitive at first. But it is certainly the case.
Cats without their front claws tend to have back problems later in life. Think about how your back might feel if spend your life without the last nuckle of your toes. Pretty rough. But how does a bad back lead to litter box problems?
When cats get older and their digestion slows. Cats also tend to not drink enough water. This combination tends to make an older cat’s poop harder, causing them to strain. A declawed cat with a bad back is uncomfortable straining on top of a squishy pile of litter.
So, later in life, declawed cats tend to look for harder surfaces as an alternative to their litter box. This often ends up being your carpet. Once this starts it is very difficult to stop.
So, tragically, declawed cats with bad litter box habits often end up in animal shelters later in life. And because elderly cats with poor litter box habits are very difficult to adopt they are one of the most commonly euthanized cats.
Clean your litter boxes every 1-3 days
If this is not already a habit for you, think about something that can be a cue for you to clean your litter boxes. Build a habit of cleaning your litter boxes whenever you take care of another chore that you do every 1-3 days. This is called building an Atomic Habit.
Have one litter box per cat.
If you have two cats, you need two litter boxes. Not having enough litter boxes is a sure fire way to keep people from wanting to come to your house. It will stink very quickly if you have two or more cats using the same box. Remember, your sense of smell weakens when exposed to bad smells. Even if only exposed for a few hours. Did you know you can do some jumping jacks to temporally improve your sense of smell?
Put 3-4 inches of litter in the litter box.
Keep enough litter in the box. If your cat can not cover up their poop, your litter will not be able to do a good job masking the smell.
Don't Use Litter Liners
They basically cause a number of negative feedback loops.
Most of what really needs to be scooped out of the litter box is at the very bottom. Litter liners make it impossible to scoop the bottom of the box because you will tear holes in the liner, defeating the purpose.
Since you cant scoop the litter box people tend to throw all of the litter away. Usually, everything will be thrown out once a week.
Throwing away so much causes people to buy really cheap litter, which smells awful after just a few days.
Although litter liners seem like they might make your life easier, they cost more and usually make you deal with the smell until you throw out all of the litter.
Use a high quality litter
A high quality litter will absorb smell much better so your litter lasts much longer. Top end litter is also easier to scoop and not as dusty. My two favorite cat litters are
Tidy cats cat litter smells awful. It might be the lowest price, but that is because they are playing the volume game. I swear they have figured out the exact minimum time cat litter needs to seem fresh and not a minute longer. I’ve found this it lasts about 25 hours before completely stinking up the place. Tidy cats and other cheap litters need to completely be replaced almost every week!
The walnut litter is a little better because it is more pelletized rather than just sawdust. But both the pine and walnut litters are non clumping and do very little for odor absorption.
Is Corn Cat Litter Safe?
Without a single doubt, yes corn cat litter is safe. I’m certain the corn industry is a scapegoat for non-organic fruit growers. Those guys are who you should worry about – buy organic!