Cat litter box - Choosing the right one for your cat

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Most cats will adapt to the litter tray that you have provided them with; however, there will be some cats that are extremely sensitive to the texture and smell or even the structure of the tray! If this is so, it will be up to you to try a few alternatives until you find what your cat is happy with.

Currently, on the market, there is a variety of litter box covers available which will help reduce the smell of ammonia, although you will need to train your cat to grow accustomed to the small space with pungent ammonia odors. You would have to take note if your cat is claustrophobic and dislikes dark, enclosed spaces. However, there are cats that would prefer covered litter boxes.

If you find the area around the litter boxes unsightly, there are special litter boxes available. Some companies have produced a version of the covered litter box by designing a range of litter trays which would blend in with most of the furnishings in your home and keeps the littler tray out of sight. Designed to resemble small cabinets with features such as double fronted doors and side access, the design prevents your cat kicking the cat litter about all over the floor.

You could consider the Littermaid cat litter box and the Litter-Robot. These are two examples of the self cleaning cat litter box that make use of sensors to determine the amount of waste and remove the waste with either a rake or by centrifugal motion. The sensors would not be activated while your cat is using the litter box. Self cleaning litter boxes claim to cut costs in the long run as only soiled litter is removed. They also reduce the hassle of having to use a cat litter scoop to get rid of waste matter.

Pine cat litter is a great alternative to many clay and granule brands on the market because it is more economical, has no dust associated problems and is completely biodegradable - you can even recycle pine cat litter as compost in your garden after removing waste solids. Pine cat litter provides nitrogen for your plants, an essential nutrient for healthy plants. It's highly absorbent and the natural pine resin in its composition reduces the odor of ammonia and is non-abrasive. Tidy Cat is a clay-based product that the manufacturers claim is ideal for the smaller household as it cuts down on the ammonia smell with its deodorant properties.

Whatever litter tray system you use, cat litter pans need to be spacious enough to hold your cat comfortably and contain a good solid 3" of litter. Regular cleaning is necessary and a good rinse down with boiling water after the initial cleaning is recommended so as not to subject your cat to the strong smell of disinfectants.

Finally, whatever brands you may eventually choose, remember that the best cat litter is one that suits your cat and your environment. Your cat may prefer high grade clumping clay or garden earth, or even the fresh mountain smell of pine - if your cat is happy with it and it doesn't cause him any allergy problems then that’s what you need to go for. The alternative involves you, hot water, disinfectant, a scrubbing brush and loads of elbow grease.

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