Cat litter boxes need proper and regular cleaning. If you do not do this, it could turn to be your cat’s nightmare and also make the whole place stink horribly. Therefore, proper maintenance is not only good for your cat but also you. Getting the best cat litter is not only good for the environment but also ensures a healthy environment for you and your cat. It also reduces allergens and odors.
Factors to consider when buying cat litter.
- The number of cats in the household
For cat parents with more than one cat, consider buying cat litter that clumps fast and has an excellent ability to control odors. Also, consider getting litter boxes specifically designed for multiple cats.
If you are sensitive to dust, consider buying dust-free cat litter. Some brands have excelled in producing dust free cat litter that would be perfect for a household with people sensitive to dust. One of the best brands in the market is Boxiecat litter.
Related: Boxie Cat Litter Reviews
- Easiness to clean
Purchase cat litter that is easy to scoop to prevent messes. Get cat litter that clumps fast and hard hence easy to scoop.
Consider buying biodegradable cat litter that will not harm the environment. Some of the eco-friendly cat litter are made from wheat, wood, paper, and corn materials.
- Odor control
Get a cat litter that can prevent odors. Cat poop can be very stinky. You surely do not want your apartment to smell of cat poop. Therefore, check out for cat litter that has odor control built into it. You can get mildly scented cat litter if your cat is not sensitive to scents.
Can pregnant women clean cat litter?
Pregnant women should not handle cat litter since there is toxoplasmosis in cat litter. Many people infected with toxoplasmosis may not show signs that they are infected. Therefore, if you are concerned that you had contact with cat litter, seek medical advice ASAP. You will get a blood screening to check out for toxoplasmosis infection. The toxoplasmosis infection can pass to your unborn child and harm them and later cause a miscarriage or a stillbirth.
How to reduce the risk of toxoplasmosis from cat litter when pregnant?
If you are pregnant, take the following measures to avoid toxoplasmosis infection
- Avoid emptying the litter box.
However, if you have no one to help in emptying the trays, wear disposable rubber gloves when handling cat litter and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water immediately you are done.
- Ensure that the cat litter box is changed daily.
This will prevent the bacteria from building up which may cause infection. Also, ensure that it is cleaned daily with hot water and soap.
- Wear rubber gloves every time you are handling soil.
Even if you do not have a cat, wear gloves since the soil may be contaminated with cats poop. Then, after you are done, wash your hands thoroughly in soapy water and wash the gloves too.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after handling cats.
Furthermore, avoid contact with sick cats.
Cheap alternative to cat litter
Here are the most common materials that can be used for natural cat litter.
Clay cat litter
This is the most common material in making cat litter. Many clay litter brands rely on ingredients such as carbon and plant extracts to absorb odors.
Corn as cat litter
Corn is one of the best natural cat litter. It clumps well and fast. It has no perfumes hence does not cause nose irritation to your cat. However, it tracks a lot hence you will need to clean the area around the litter box regularly. Corn as cat litter is biodegradable hence environment-friendly. It is available in natural and mildly scented formulas.
Grass as cat litter
The grass is a light type of natural cat litter. It is long-lasting, dust-free and has no scent hence perfect for cats that do not like scents. However, it may not be a great option for heavy cats. Since it is very light a heavy cat can get in the litter box and sink in the grass litter.
Green tea as cat litter
Green tea as a cat litter is perfect for odor control. It clumps well and fast hence easy to clean. It is available in a clumping formula and a pellet formula. However, the clumping formula is dusty and tracks a lot.
Walnut shell as natural cat litter plays a great role in controlling odors. Also, it clumps easily hence easy to scoop. The major shortcoming is that it is very dusty and the dark brown dust sticks everywhere including the cat’s paws.
Wheat as cat litter
Wheat as a natural cat litter has a nice natural scent. It also clumps easily. However, it is not the best natural cat litter for odor control and it tracks.
Sawdust as cat litter
Sawdust has a nice natural smell. This type of cat litter is available in the form of pellets, it is a natural by-product from pinewood. The natural scent from pine acts as a natural deodorizer and helps eliminate odors. However, when purchasing sawdust as cat litter, ensure that it does not contain adhesives which are harsh chemicals and can cause irritation to your cat.
Shredded paper as cat litter
Shredded paper as cat litter is available in pellets form and is made from recycled newspapers. It is an ecofriendly cat litter.
Is cat litter toxic for dogs?
Small dogs are very curious. Unfortunately, their curiosity may land them into the cat litter box and they may end up ingesting some litter. Dogs may consume cat litter because cats sometimes pass undigested food particles that may entice your dog to feast on them. This condition is known as coprophagia. Other dogs may feed on cat litter just out of curiosity and end up with a mouthful of litter and some stuck to their fur. Gross, right?
Is there a reason to worry if your dog feasts on cat litter? Most clumping cat litter is made from bentonite clay which is a naturally occurring type of clay mineral. It may contain silica, a highly absorbent compound of sand. These particles are usually non-toxic. However, if consumed in large quantities, they may cause gastrointestinal problems to your dog including constipation or diarrhea.
If your puppy ingests litter watch out for distress, loss of appetite and if he becomes lethargic. If this happens, take your pup to the vet and let them know the kind of cat litter they ingested. In severe cases, it may cause a gut obstruction which would require immediate medical attention.
Here are some ways you can keep your dog out of the litter box
- Place the litter box on a raised surface.
You can place the litter box of a raised place where only you and your cat can reach such as tables. It is advisable to place the litter box on surfaces that you do not use for other activities and you have decided to delegate them for cat’s bathroom activities only.
- Use an automatic cat litter box
These are the litter boxes that self-cleans immediately your kitty relieves themselves. Therefore, your dog will not have access to cat litter.
- Keep the litter box in a gated area
Instead of placing the litter box on counters and tables, you may consider placing it in a gated area that only your cat can access.
- Clean the cat litter box immediately.
Scooping your cat’s waste as soon as possible may be enough to prevent your puppy from eating it. However, if you do not spend much time at home you may want to consider getting a self-cleaning litter box.
- Purchase a covered litter box.
There is a wide range of covered cat litter boxes in the market. They are designed in such a way that only cats can access it. However, some cats will not like the idea of a covered litter box and may avoid using it. Thus, it is important to know what works well with your cat before investing in a covered litter box.
- Keep your dog busy
Sometimes your dog may be playing with the cat litter out of boredom. In this case, a distraction would be a great solution to prevent your dog from eating the cat poop. Thus, you can set up a treat-dispensing toy that will keep your dog occupied and distracted not to remember the cat litter box.
Related: Cat Litter Box That Keeps Dogs Out
How to get rid of cat litter smell in apartment.
Here are some tips to help get rid of cat litter smell in apartment.
- Scoop daily
This goes without saying. The best way to prevent odors in your apartment form the litter box is to scoop daily. Letting the waste accumulate in the litter box will bring odors to your house and will form a breeding ground for bacteria. A clean litter box is the best not only for your apartment but for your kitty too. Your cat may poop and pee outside her litter box if it is not clean. Ensure that you use cat litter that clumps fast for easy scooping.
If you are not at home throughout the day, get a self-cleaning litter box for your cat. It will self-clean after every use by your cat hence aid in preventing odors in your apartment
- Wash litter box thoroughly.
Clean the litter box thoroughly at least once a month. Even if you scoop daily, the box may absorb odors from the litter and with time become smelly. Wash it with soap and water and use gloves since there are harmful bacteria that live in cat litter and can infect you. Avoid using harsh detergents as the strong smell may cause your fur baby to avoid the litter box even if it is clean.
- Replace the litter boxes
Litter box wears out eventually from frequent use. The scratching by your cat after use as they try to bury the waste may form great places for bacteria to harbor and build up causing bad odors. Therefore, ensure that you replace the litter boxes at least once a year.
- Use the right size of the litter box
The right litter box size should be at least as long as your cat from the tip of their nose to the tip of their tail. It should also have one side lower so that your cat can get in easily and do her business. However, for older cats or cats suffering from arthritis, look for a litter box that they can easily get into and out without much struggle. If you have more than one furry baby, get a litter box that is specifically designed for multiple cats. Also, ensure that you have enough litter boxes i.e. (number of cats+ 1= number of litter boxes)
Related: One Litter Box for Two Cats
- Put the litter box in a well-ventilated place
Tucking the litter box in a small space at one corner of your apartment will cause the odors to concentrate in a single spot. The smell will be horrible not only for you but also for your cat and he will do anything just to avoid the stinky zone, including the litter box. Therefore, to ensure this does not happen, place the litter box in a well-ventilated space and make sure to scoop daily.
- Use baking soda
If you still experience odor problems in your apartment from the litter box, add a little baking powder on the bottom of the box before you add fresh litter. Also, you can place an open box of baking soda close to the litter box. Baking soda helps in absorbing odors without irritating your cat’s nose and lungs. You can also use activated charcoal in place of baking soda for absorbing odors.
- Clean messes as quickly as they occur
Sometimes, accidents happen. Your kitty may miss the litter box and do the business right next to it. Without proper quick and thorough cleaning it may stink. Thus, use an effective enzyme cleaner that will help in neutralizing the odor. Clean as soon as it occurs to avoid the floor from absorbing the odors.
Tips on how to keep cat litter off the floor.
Litter tracking happens when cat litter sticks to your cat’s paws. Therefore, as the kitty leaves the litter box, he will spread it everywhere. Also, it may happen when your cat kicks and throws litter out of the box while digging. Then, when they walk through the mess, they spread it everywhere. Not a great experience brushing bits of litter everywhere.
Is there cat litter that doesn’t stick to paws?
There are different types of cat litter in the market. Some track more than others. In my opinion, lightweight litter track more than heavy ones because it is easy for the lightweights to be carried outside the box. The heavy ones remain in the box.
You can prevent litter from getting to the floor by using a litter rug or mat. They are specifically made to help stop litter tracking. They are placed right next to the litter box so that as the cat walks on them, the litter will dislodge from their paws and onto the rug hence prevent tracking.
How do you prevent litter from getting on the floor?
If your cat digs deep and tends to throw litter out of the box, you may consider getting covered litter boxes to prevent this. However, identify your cat’s preferences when it comes to litter boxes before making a switch.
Also, immediately litter gets on the floor clean it with a broom or a vacuum to avoid it getting everywhere in your house. A high sided litter box can help in reducing tracking. There are also top entry litter boxes that help in preventing litter from scattering as the cat digs and kicks up the litter
Does a no-mess litter box exist?
You can consider cat furniture options. They are decorative items that house the litter box and helps in keeping the litter inside. Therefore, litter tracking reduces. Also, you can consider placing the litter box in a large storage tub that has high sides and cut an entry point at one edge of the tub. You can also place a mat right next to the litter box. Make sure you clean it regularly to prevent the accumulation of dirt and odors.