You love your cat but there is nothing worse than the odor of cat urine. Long ago, this issue did not plague households when the majority of domestic cats spent their days outside. However, we now know the results of allowing our cats to become outdoor roamers. These risks include getting hit by a car or breeding more offspring with other outdoor cats, thus producing a colony of feral cats and a vicious cycle. Luckily, the majority of today’s domesticated felines remain indoors, but so too does the pungent odor of their eliminations. What’s a cat lover to do? We have some litter box tips to share with you from a newsletter distributed by Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine Feline Health Center, entitled CatWatch.
What Causes the Smell?
You know that it is cat urine from the second it pierces your nasal passages. It is an unpleasant odor that seems to never go away. According to CatWatch, “the acrid, ammonia-like smell results from the bacterial breakdown of nitrogen-containing components in the urine once it is exposed to air.” Yum.
The Invention of Kitty Litter
According to CatWatch, Edward Lowe developed the product, “Kitty Litter” 65 years ago. Before his invention, people would use sand or ashes which tended to leave tracks all over the house. To avoid tracks and a messy house, Lowe instituted the use of clay minerals, which clump.
-Use a litter box made of easy-to- wash plastic.
-Make sure the litter box is large enough for your cat to fully fit inside comfortably or they may reject the space. CatWatch suggests that it be at least 14 inches by 18 inches by four inches deep.
-Clean the litter box weekly with a water diluted solution of chlorine bleach.
-Avoid placing litter boxes where there is noise like next to the washing machine. Noise can make your cat nervous.
-If you have more than one cat, you need more than one litter box.
-To prevent the smell, scoop at least once a day.
-Though heavily perfumed litters may prevent the smell, it could also prevent your cat from using the litter box.
-If your cat continues to reject the litter box even after trying different litters, litter boxes, and the placement of the box, consult your veterinarian as it may be related to a health condition.
Do you have any litter box tips to share with us?