Cat litter boxes are placed indoors where a cat could defecate or urinate. These are sometimes called sand boxes, litter trays, litter pans or cat boxes. The owners who do not permit their cats to roam outside the house frequently use these. Cat litter box enables the cats to relieve themselves whenever they need to without causing so much mess inside the house.
Naturally, cats are used in defecate or urinating in sandy areas. This is because cats find it easy to bury their mess with the sand. Litter boxes are usually made of materials that absorb moisture and ammonia, which causes bad odors. Some uses baking soda because it absorbs these odors effectively. The following are some types of litter boxes commonly used today:
Clay-Based Cat Litter Box – These is the traditional and most common type of litter box. The clay minerals used absorbs cat urine and feces odor effectively. However, a disadvantage of this type is that it requires to be replaced frequently.
Scooping or Clumping Cat Litter Box – Bentonite clay is the main material/mineral used for this type of litter box. Bentonite clay clumps together when it gets wet. Therefore, the cat owner can easily scoop out and clean the box without requiring replacing all of its content. Occasionally, all of the content of the box should be replaced but not as frequently as the clay-based type. The clumped clays should not be flushed down the toilet because it causes clogging.
Crystal-Based / Silica Gel Litter Box – This is a more modern type of litter box and offers improved urine odor control. This type needs to be replaced only once a month and its ability to absorb moisture is of the highest quality. This type is usually lighter in weight compared to the clay-type. The contents should be stirred daily while removing the solid waste to prevent the urine from pooling at the bottom of the box. When the crystal begins to smell, it is a sign that it already needs to be changed.
Biodegradable Cat Litter Box – This type of litter box is environmental friendly and can be flushed in the toilet. It can be made of peanut shells, wheat, wood shavings, corn cobs, saw dust and other natural products. Asthmatic cats usually benefit from this litter box because it has low dust content. However, the materials used are more costly and expensive than other types. Another disadvantage is that it may cause itchiness, making the cat uncomfortable.
The amount of litter to be used depends on the type and size of the box. Clay-based litter usually requires a 5-7cm deep amount of clay. 7-9 cm of depth is required for scooping or clumping litter. Crystal-based, on the other hand, only requires 3 cm depth.
Cats don’t want to use smelly litter boxes. Therefore, it should be cleaned and changed as needed. Cleaning is also important to prevent the cat from acquiring diseases. After cleaning the litter box, it is important for the owner to wash his/her hands to avoid getting diseases. The basin or the box should be washed and disinfected always to prevent bacteria or parasites from accumulating.