How important is litter box placement and set-up for a new cat?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 11,026
    Bridget Speiser of the Washington Humane Society discusses the importance of litter box placement and setup for a new cat.

    Host: How important is litter box placement and setup for a new cat?

    Bridget Speiser: Other than scratching behavior, inappropriate urinating and defecating in a house is probably the number one stresser, that is faced by cat owners. So you really want to start off on a very firm, very stable ground with your cat, when you are bringing him into the home. Majority of cats litter box train naturally. They are looking for a space in their living environment, that they can dig in, that's the place that's soft, a place that they are drawn to naturally to take care of their toileting needs. So within a home environment, it's very very natural for them to seek out this box, that you will be providing for them. You want to make sure it's in a private area, they certainly will need their own private time. Most cat prefer an open box as opposed to a closed box, that's simply -- again it's because of comfort. Some of the tops are too low for them. The opening are too narrow, it feels too confining for them to get in and out of, so consider going with an opened box. Unscented litter is very important. Cats have a very, very distinct and sharp sense of smell, so anything that's perfumy and seems nice to us is terribly overwhelming for them and may cause them to reject the box. So you want to make sure that you are drawing them actually into the box for their toileting needs and keeping the box clean. You definitely want to be on a regular schedule of scooping, maintaining and probably at least monthly, emptying the box completely and washing it out and refreshing it, so that area stays attractive to your cat.