Household pet cats definitely need litter boxes in which they do their business. Just like people, these feline friends can get finicky over this matter, so it is very important that they make sure the litter box they have for their pet cat suits the cats preferences; after all, it is the cat that is going to use it. But the owner should also consider his own convenience regarding this matter; he should consider his budget for the cat box as well as the ease of cleaning it.
Choosing the perfect cat box can be beneficial to both your cats health as well as the owners. The important thing is that the cat box must be appealing to the cat and comfortable for use. Rest assured, the cat's satisfaction also guarantees success.
In finding the perfect cat box, here are some things that must be considered:
Size and Depth
This maybe determined by the number of cats there are in the home. However, it is ideal if the number of cats in the home determines the number of cat boxes available rather than the size. For kittens, shallow cat boxes, no more than three inches deep are advisable. For adult cats on the other hand, those about six inches high are desirable. The prescribed area of the litter box is at least 24 inches in length or width.
Material of the Box
Heavy and durable plastic is the most advisable material for a cat box and is also the most inexpensive variety in stores. Plus with their simplicity in style, cleaning can prove to be a breeze.
Ease of Cleaning
Basic flat boxes are easy to clean because of their simple design. There is no need to remove any lids or covers to scoop or clean. However, some cats frequently kick litter out of the box so if you choose this option, you had better have a whisk broom and a dust pan always at hand.
Covered boxes usually minimize the trouble of having cat litter and waste scattered outside the box since they have hoods which keep all the litter inside. Covered boxes also tend to become stinky due to poor ventilation.
There are also those self-cleaning cat boxes available in the market. The self-cleaning feature of these boxes keep the cat box neat and tidy, but they also require some cleaning from the owner. Every few days the receptacle must be emptied of urine and feces and sometimes the rake does not get every bit of cat waste so there may be an occasional need for scooping them out.
Style and Features
There is a wide variety of designs, styles and features for cat litter boxes. The owner may have to choose which one will be most convenient for him and his cat.. Below are listed some basic designs for cat litter boxes:
-Basic flat box. This is the simple rectangular pan which is commonly made of plastic. They come in different depths, sizes and colors. This design is preferred by most cats. An innovation to this design whose is to hold the cat box liners in place by securing them under the rim.
-Covered cat boxes or hooded litter boxes. These cat litter boxes look like the traditional open-type rectangular pans except for the addition of the hood which partly covers the box. An opening is situated at one end of the box which serves as the entrance and exit way for the cat. The hood is also positioned high enough so that the cat can stand and do its job with ease and comfort. While they provide "privacy" for the pet, they tend to get very smelly because of poor ventilation inside. Manufacturers of this type of cat boxes have offered a solution to this problem. Some variants of the hooded type have vents on top plus a filter which aids in trapping odors. For this type of cat box, it is recommended that you choose one that is large enough to accommodate the pet, has a hood which can be easily maneuvered for easy cleaning, and large vents.
-Designer boxes. Also known as "hidden boxes", this type of litter box disguises itself as a furniture piece or even a plant. A designer litter box not only serves to be the cat's convenient toilet but it can also function as an accent for the room in which it is located. Although the containers are commonly not large enough, there are designs which are big and more open. These are the ones which are more ideal for use. Try to find one which provides good ventilation.
-Sifting Boxes. A few other variants of this type are available in the market but the basic model consists of two rectangular pans and a tray which acts as a sifter.
-Self-cleaning box. These electrical-powered high-end litter boxes work with a sensor which activates the self-cleaning machinery a few minutes after the cat has left the box. The cleaning machinery contains a rake which works its way along the litter to scoop out cat pee and poop into a waste receptacle. There is still the need to occasionally clean the unit, especially the cleaning mechanism itself.
The basic flat box is the most affordable of all the designs mentioned. The self-cleaning box is obviously the most expensive and their guarantee commonly lasts for only one year. This can be a risk which the owner must consider before actually buying a unit.
Appealing to the Cat
Cats generally do fine with the open box type. Covered boxes offer the "privacy" which some cats like but some cats feel trapped inside them. Owners of designer boxes may find it attractive to put them in places where they will be most appreciated. However, they must be sensitive to the fact that cats most often opt to do their business in a place which is quiet and safe. As for the automated self-cleaning cat litter boxes, some finicky cats may find them comfy since they are clean and spacious. However, they may get psyched out by the mechanical action if they chance to see it actually happen. They might be afraid of using the unit again.