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Finding the Proper Litter for your Feline Friend
It's not as easy as it may seem at first to find the right
cat litter for your cat. You may think that any cat litter
that is easy on your wallet or convenient to you will do for
your cat as well. After all they are just going to the
bathroom in it, right? Wrong. They are as particular about
where they go to the bathroom and in what environment as you
or I would be. There are a wide variety of litter materials
available, and your cat and you may have a decided
preference once you research them.
First let's look at clay cat litter. Clay cat litter is made
from clay mined from the earth and dried into pellets that
absorb many times each pellet's weight in water. Many pet
owners find this convenient, especially the
clay clumping cat litter
that forms waste patties, making the litter box
easier to clean. Clay cat litter is usually the lowest cost
litter by the pound. But it has a higher cost in other ways.
Clay cat litter is not the best cat litter for your cat for
health reasons. For one, if your kitten or cat inhales the
clay dust that inevitable develops after the cat paws
through the clay litter for a while, even if the litter is
labeled "dust free," several respiratory infections could
develop, possibly leading to death. Another is that if the
clay is ingested, as kittens and dogs are known to do, it
can cause gut impactions and even death. Don't assume a cat
will not eat its own waste, especially a kitten that is more
oral than an adult cat.
Also, because the clay cat litter isn't fine like sand or
some other types of cat litter the cat may not like the feel
of it when it is digging. You might try an alternative like
crystal/sand, or one of the
natural biodegradable cat
litters. Buy small bags of each and experiment with your
litter until the cat seems happy with the brand you bought
Then there is the issue of odor. Cats like to smell their
own scent in their own potties. It's a way of marking their
territory much like dogs do, although humans don't like the
smell in general. Keep in mind that their noses are a lot
more keen than ours so you can clean up the smell to a level
at which you can't smell it but they can.
Another issue is the multiple cat household. Cats do not
like to share their litter box. In fact, they often will
refuse to do so. Having more than one litter box, one per
cat, can eliminate finicky behavior about the litter box.
And, if they do share a box, using the correct litter can
help greatly in dealing with the odor issue as well as your
time spent cleaning the box (s).
If you use deodorizers that are not "pet safe," the chemical
smell can be a real turn off to the cat, and may trigger
allergies or even poison your pet. Never use a deodorizer
that isn't pet safe in your cat litter box. Not just
anything will do for your cat, and you can kill your cat
putting something like carpet deodorizer in their litter.
Baking soda is a good safe alternative to commercial
descenters if you need an additive to help with litter odor.
Another problem for your cat regarding its litter box may be
the surroundings, where the cat litter box is located. If
you have the litter box in the garage, bathroom or laundry,
the odors found in those particular rooms may be a real turn
off for your cat. Try moving the box to a more neutral
location where there aren't a lot of chemical smells.
Traffic is also an issue. Cats like privacy to do their
thing, so someplace out of the way is best for the cat
litter box. Choose a spot or room where there won't be a lot
of human or doggie foot traffic.
The last issue we want to point out is if your cat turns up
its nose at the cat box or litter, when it was using it with
no problem before, you should observe its litter box times
for any problems it may be encountering. If it looks like
it's in pain, scratching for some time and then trying
again, or is having a significant amount of any type of
trouble, it could be an illness causing the problem. Take
you cat to the veterinarian to be checked out for any health
issue and let the veterinarian know that your cat is having
issues going to the bathroom.
If you change your cat litter and move the box to a neutral
place, and if you have multiple cats get a box for each cat,
most times this will fix any problems with your cat not
using the cat litter. This makes for a good pet relationship
and greater happiness for your pet and yourself.
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Cat Litter Supplies