How do I keep my cat litter box clean?

Recently I was asked how to prevent cats from tracking the litter all over the house.  I am also often asked about limiting the odors from litter boxes.  Having once owned three cats, I can say from experience, I know what you mean.  Litter boxes can get pretty smelly and fast so here are some guidelines and tips:

  • Clean the litter box often!  Let’s start with this rule of thumb-as soon as the cat goes, if you can, you should clean it out or it will smell.  If you aren’t home, clean it as soon as you get home.  Dump the litter and clean the whole box with hot soap and water regularly too.
  • Think about switching to a more natural kitty litter.  The conventional ones use clay and silica, which are not particularly environmentally friendly and they tend to track around the house more and stick in your kitty’s paws.
  • Line the box with plastic liner so when you go to clean the whole thing out and give it a wash, it’s easier and cleaner.
  • Sprinkle some baking soda in with the kitty litter to help with odors.
  • Beware of covered litter boxes-it may get smelly in there and is that really fair to the cat?  He might not be able to turn around so well and while it may cover up the look of the box, it doesn’t really cover up the odor.
  • Consider not using a scented litter, as the odor might offend the cat and they don’t work so well.
  • Everyone has personal preferences for brands they enjoy, but some of the most recommended are: Swheat Scoop, Feline Pine, Good Mews, World’s Best, Nature’s Miracle, and Arm & Hammer High Performance.

Here are some other resources for you regarding cat litter boxes:
Humane Society

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