Cats provide us with so much joy, thanks to their insatiable curiosity, and affectionate natures. However, they do offer a unique challenge as pets in that they require a cat litter tray, particularly if your pet is an ‘inside cat’.
Keeping your cat or kitty litter clean is essential for the health of you, your family and your cat. Cat faeces and urine carry toxic properties, and have an unmistakable stench that no one wants to live with. Cleaning a kitty litter tray is about much more than just emptying the litter. Read on for the ultimate guide to providing your feline friend with the perfect toilet experience.
The Importance of Hygiene
When cleaning your cat litter box, the first priority needs to be hygiene for you and your cat. The most significant risk is toxoplasmosis, which is a severe virus that can be passed on via contact with cat faeces. Whoever is cleaning the tray should wear rubber gloves and a mask. Any pregnant members of your household should be precluded from this job.
You also need to be careful about how you dispose of the waste. The best methods of disposal are either down the toilet or in the outside bin for solid waste and urine clumps. Never dispose of waste in your inside bin. This allows the toxic elements of the waste to pass throughout the house.
How to Clean Cat Litter
There are two ways of cleaning cat litter. The first method involves removing the waste and urine clumps. The second method consists of changing the litter and cleaning the tray. You should remove waste and clumps every day, and change the litter at least once a week, depending on the volume of soiling.
To clean daily waste, invest in a slotted scoop so you can remove the solids from the litter and dispose of this waste as mentioned above.
Weekly Cat Litter Cleaning Process
To conduct the weekly cat litter clean, follow this process:
- Remove solids and empty the old kitty litter into an appropriate place. If you invest in a flushable, biodegradable and compostable litter, it makes your job far easier as you can just tip the litter down the toilet, into your outside bin or the compost heap. Ensure you are using gloves and a mask throughout this process.
- Once the box is empty, you need to clean it. To clean the cat litter box, just use warm water and detergent. Using harsh chemicals will present a health risk to your pet. You need to clean the inside and outside of all parts of the tray, including the lid if it has one.
- Choose the right space to clean the box. For example, you should never wash it in the kitchen or bathroom sink as you could contaminate consumable items. The best place to do it is outside, with a hose or a bucket of water that you only use for this job.
- The tray needs to be completely dry before you add the litter. You can do this with a towel, or leave the kitty litter box outside to dry if it’s a sunny day.
- Always place the box in a similar place. Cats are creatures of habit. If their tray is moved around every time you clean it, don’t be surprised if you start to notice them using areas of your house to do their business.
Choosing the Right Cat Litter
The kitty litter you choose will have a huge bearing on how much effort you need to put into cleaning. Opting for a brand that is compostable, biodegradable and flushable makes for easy disposal. It also reducing your impact on the environment.
You should also look for a litter that provides odour control and is non-tracking. Non-tracking, odour-controlled litter will prevent your house from filling up with the smell of cat poo and wee. It also ensures that everything is contained in the tray. There’s nothing worse than going to all the effort of providing your cat with a box than seeing the mess tracked all over the house because the litter has stuck to their paws.
You also want to find a product that is natural and unscented. If you purchase a litter that uses chemicals and scents to control odour, it may irritate your cat. It can also fill your home with the unpleasant smell of chemicals.
With the right choice in litter, and a commitment to daily and weekly cleaning, your beloved cat doesn’t have to come at the cost of a clean, fresh smelling house. Remember, you’re not just putting in the effort for you, you’re also doing it for your kitty. Cats appreciate clean areas to do their business. So the cleaner their litter tray is, the more chance they’ll confine their poo and wee to the tray, rather than your carpet and furniture.