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Best Litter Box

The best litter box for you depends first on what is best for your cat and your personal preference. Different cats prefer different types of boxes. Kittens will usually accept whatever type of box you give them, but it may be difficult to change to a different type of box once cats are grown.

In general, buy the biggest litter box you can that will provide easy access for your cat or kitten, such as a model with one lower side. If buying for a kitten you need to anticipate the adult size of your cat. Cat's prefer litter boxes that provide room to move around in.

Remember that cat litter should be 3.5 inches to 4 inches deep, so higher walls will keep the litter from spilling out. Litter that clumps is preferred if you clean the box daily since you can easily collect "dirty" areas that are filled with urine.

Since cat's prefer a clean box, buy one that you will find convenient to clean. Boxes with a cover may help control odor and provide your cat privacy, but the trade off is that the cover is one more surface that will have to be washed every week.

Litter boxes vary based on the following factors:

Shape and Size: Shape is a consideration if you have a specific area that you would like the fit the box into. For example, boxes come in wedges for tight corners or the more traditional wedge shape.

If your cat stands up when urinating or digs through the litter then get the biggest box possible.

Color: If the litter box is going to be in an area where appearance matters such as a den or living room then you might want to pick a color that will blend into the surroundings. Some boxes have unique decorative surfaces such as rattan.

Hoods: The purpose of a hood is to 1) provide privacy for yoru cat 2) control odor and 3) prevent waste from spilling outside of the box.

Odor Filtration: Some boxes have a filter that helps to absorb some of the odor.

Cleaning: Some boxes are self cleaning. It can detect when your cat has left the box and then automatically scoop away the waste. Cats prefer a clean surface so this might help keep your cat coming back to the litter box.

The Plain Old Box

This is just what is sounds like - a plain box. Some cats dislike them because they don't offer any privacy. This type of box should be placed in an out-of-the-way location so your cat feels like it has some space of his or her own.

Owners often don't care for the open box because it is not visually appealing and because cats tend to kick a lot of litter out of it. However, many cats prefer it. It's easy for them to get in and out of and they have plenty of room.

The Covered Box

This is a box with a lid. These boxes have the same physical dimensions as a hooded box, although the sides restrict the amount of space.

Pros:Your cat might prefer a hooded box since it affords them more privacy.

Owners often prefer it because it is much more appealing visually, because it prevents litter from being kicked out, and because it helps cut down on the odor. In the spirit of doing what is best for your cat, if the litter box has an odor, this is probably not the best place for your cat to be. It also may cause your cat to avoid the box.

The downside of closed in boxes is that if your cat urinates on the sides it could be more difficult to keep clean.

Cons:Some cats don't like being boxed in, particularly if there are multiple cats in the household. They can feel trapped in there. Large cats especially don't like it, as they don't fit well inside the lid. A box without a hood is actually larger since your cat's face can extend over the sides of the box.

Another negative is any dust that might accumulate in the box. The obvious downside is that your cat will inhale the particles. Boxes that come with a built in filter might cut down on ventilation instead of improving it since it might keep odors that should be vented inside the box.

The Self-Cleaning Box

This sounds like the best litter box, doesn't it? Here's how it works: Sensors detect when your cat enters and leaves the litter box. Several minutes after your cat leaves the box, a rake sweeps through the litter, sweeping the waste into a waste receptacle at one end of the box. All you have to do is empty the waste receptacle once it gets full.

Some self-cleaning litter boxes are open boxes, while others are covered. Choose the type that your cat is used to using. Self-cleaning boxes are expensive- $100 and up- so you want to maximize your chances of getting your cat to use it.

Storage Container Litter Box

Sometimes the best litter box isn't sold in the store as a litter box. A storage container with high sides might work as the best litter box for you and your cat.

A typical container has the dimensions 19.5" wide x 29.5" long x 19" high. Just cut an opening that is 9"x9" in the middle of one of the long walls of the box, starting from the top. This will provide your cat easy entry.

Getting Your Cat To Accept a New Litter Box

Choose the best litter box you would prefer your cat to use, and try it out. Your cat may or may not accept a new type of box. If you find your cat is not using the litter box, you'll want to try a different style or go back to the old one.

If you are committed to having your cat accept a new litter box (if, for instance, you just spent $100 on a new self-cleaning litter box and you are determined not to waste your money), try this: Keep a close eye on your cat. If you see her preparing to pee outside of the litter box, pick her up and quickly put her in the box. Praise her and perhaps offer a treat whenever you catch her using the box. If you find that she poops outside of the box, put the waste in the box, and show it to her.

In the end, the best litter box for you and your cat will depend on your preferences and what you cat will accept. It may be a matter of trial and error for you, but most kittens will accept whatever they are first presented with.

Sources for Best Litter Box

CatInfo.Org

Littermaid

About.com

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