The one thing I vowed when I adopted my cat George was that my house wouldn’t smell like cat. To this day, when you walk in, you can’t tell that there’s a finicky feline roaming around. If your cat is doing his business everywhere but in the litter box, you might have to spruce up your cleaning practices. Understand that your cat’s sense of smell is a 100 times more sensitive than yours. Although you might not be able to smell the stench coming from the litter box, your kitty sure can. Here’s what I do to make sure my cat has a pleasant experience when going potty.
Adjusting the Litter Box
The one time George peed outside the box, I instantly jumped into action. After thoroughly cleaning the stain several times with pet stain cleanser, and covering the area with heavy plastic, I decided to try a clumping, non-scented litter that was almost of a sandy consistency. I also remove the liner that I was using, because George would constantly rip it up with his nails. I observed my cat closely to make sure he stayed away from the area where he had the accident. Luckily, he instantly took to the new litter and started using his box.
Cleaning the Litter Box
I scoop George’s litter box at least once a day, removing clumps of urine and feces. Once a week, I clean the entire box. I use a paint scraper to loosen any clumps of litter that are stuck to the box, and dumb the litter in a big trash bag. I then use a bleach solution spray made from 20 parts of water to 1 part of bleach. I spray the bottom and sides of the litter box and let it soak for about 10 minutes. Avoid using citrus-scented cleansers to clean the box, because citrus is a known cat repellent. After thoroughly rinsing the box with warm water I let it air dry before refilling it with a 2-inch-layer of litter.
If you’re pregnant, have someone else clean the litter box, because a dangerous virus, known as toxoplasmosis, can be contracted by contact with your cat’s feces. Always wear a surgical-style mask over your mouth and nose, put on rubber gloves before cleaning the litter and wash your hands after cleaning the litter box.
If you don’t want to consistently clean the litter box, consider getting a self-cleaning box. This type of litter box has a sensor that detects when your cat does his business. Right after your cat leaves the box, it activates and scoops out the clumps, depositing them in an airtight container that you can empty at a later date. Another option is to toilet train your cat, although this has its ups and downs. The good thing about toilet training is that you don’t have to buy litter and you don’t have to clean a litter box. However, if your cat falls in the toilet, the shock might make him refuse to use the toilet; he might do his business elsewhere. You also have to leave the bathroom door open and toilet lid up at all times. However, if you have the time and patience, toilet training might be an option.
Good Cat!; Shirlee Kalstone
Humane Society of the United States: Pregnancy and Toxoplasmosis