Just for Kids: Taking Care of the Litter Box
By: Virginia Wells
Read By: Pet Lovers
Your mother has probably already told you that if you want to have a kitten or a cat, then you will have to take care of the litter box. Sure, that's not one of the most appealing aspects of having a kitty; but it isn't all that bad, either. Here is everything you need to know about the litter box. Don't put your cat's litter box next to her food bowl or bed. Cats do not like to go where they have their nest. If you place a litter box too close to a cat's nest, she might find another spot, such as behind the couch, far away from her resting and dining area.
You should always keep one more litter box than you have cats. So if you have one cat, you need two litter boxes. If you have two cats, then you need three boxes. If you have a two-story home, keep one litter box on each floor.
The litter box should be roomy enough for your cat to turn around. Don't get a small litter box to save room – it won't work. Your cat will refuse to use it and you will have a bigger problem. Don't buy a huge box and expect your kitten to climb it every time she has to use the bathroom. Buy a small litter box for a kitten and then get a larger one as she grows.
To Cover or Not To Cover
Some litter boxes are open and some have covers. Those with covers look better and they also help prevent the strong smell. Whether or not your kitty like his toilet open or covered depends on the kitty. Some cats like the privacy, while others hate being enclosed. They like to see who's coming and going in case they need to escape. And they don't like surprises, so if their boxes are covered, they may not use them. If you use a covered box, make sure your cat can get in and out easily.
Where To Put It
Cats are very particular when it comes to doing their business. You'll have to find just the right place for the litter box. Here are a few rules:
Put the litter box in a quiet low-traffic area, such as in a spare bathroom. A corner location is better than out in the open because a cat needs to feel secure. If your cat has only two directions to watch instead of four she'll be more relaxed.
Some cats are very nervous and don't like things too close to them. Even a hanging plant that blows in the breeze or casts shadows can frighten your cat and she might find someplace else to go.
If you have more than one cat, put their boxes far apart. Cats are territorial and there may be trouble if one invades the other's space.
What Kind of Litter?
Cats, by nature, dig and scratch in soft soil out of doors, often burying their waste. The litter you provide substitutes for the dirt outside. It is important to choose the right litter.
There are several types of litter so you and your parents will have to figure out which is best for you. Some are scented and some are unscented. Some clump together when they get wet and are easy to scoop. Some of these litters have the consistency of fine sand while others come in a pelleted form. Some are made of biodegradable material, including wheat, corn and wood chips that break down easily in landfills.
Once you find one that you and your pet like, don't change it. Your cat can be very particular when it comes to her litter.
How Often Should I Change Litter?
Finally, the most fun part of taking care of the litter box: Scooping. Try to remove feces and moistened litter every day. This is important for two reasons. First, your cat likes a clean litter box and if it is not kept clean she will find another place to go. Secondly, if you don't scoop it every day, it will smell bad.
Every so often you will have to replace all of the litter and clean the box with soap and water. How often you do it depends on how dirty the box gets. You will be able to tell. If you can't, your mother will remind you.