As any cat owner knows, our cats own us. They tend to demand a higher standard and when things are changed they have no problems in letting you know! That being said, I would never part with my cat!
So, when I started having cat litter problems, I knew I had to become a cat whisperer and try and figure out just what was wrong.
There are so many products on the market now for the cat litter pan. No longer is it just a box in the corner of the room filled with bags of sand or whatever was on sale. There are now numerous models of the kitty litter box. You can have automatic cat litter, that senses when kitty has done her business and actually deals with the gift so that you don't have too!
There is the clumping cat litter, which makes it easier to pick out the "gifts" without having to throw out the whole litter pan. There are ads that tout they are the worlds best cat litter, and the list goes on. But at the end of the day, your cat gets to decide. You can pay hundreds for some of the automatic cat litter boxes, or you can spend ten bucks for a simple kitty litter box. If your cat decides, right then and there that it doesn't like the feel of it, or doesn't like the smell of that fancy new clumping cat litter, then it will not use it, and suddenly that door matt looks good or your best rug.
So, to avoid cat litter problems, you have to introduce your cat to any changes very gradually. First of all, the area needs to be a quiet one, it can't be the main traffic for the family. How would you like to being doing your business with people walking by?
If you have been OK up until now, and then suddenly your cat decides that this kitty litter box is not for her and there have been no other changes, then you need to see the vet first. Many cats with an infection don't like the litter, especially the clumping cat litter anywhere near their private parts if things are hurting.
Once you have had the kitty checked out, and everything is OK, then you need to do some investigating.
In my case, I figured out that my cat is a bit overweight, and had been packing on some fat, and the kitty litter box was in the basement. She simply could not make it down there in time. So, she would not have much notice and would find somewhere else to go. Luckily for me, it was a washable rug.
So, to solve cat litter problems, you need to think like your cat!
Do you just buy what is on sale? Cats get used to a particular smell to their litter pan, and if you keep changing it, you may come a cross a particular brand that doesn't interest them at all.
Clumping Cat Litter
If your cat is has always used this, then this is fine, but if up to now it has used the basic loose kitty litter then you may run into problems suddenly changing to clumping cat litter. My cat couldn't stand this. The previous owners (mine was a rescue cat) used loose kitty litter, but I prefer the clumping cat litter.
So the best way to deal with this is to gradually introduce it. Start with a little layer of the new clumping cat litter in the bottom of a clean kitty pan, and then add your regular brand. Every few days as you pick out some of the used litter, add some of the newer clumping cat litter.
The trick here is to gradually introduce changes to your cat. This prevents cat litter problems. If you suddenly change, this upsets their delicate balance of routines and they will let you know!
Automatic Cat Litter
If you want to try one of these new types of kitty litter boxes, then the best way for this to work, is to have both litter boxes set up. Their original one that they are used to and this new one. Cats are very curious creatures, and they love to check new things out, but don't take away their old one just yet. It may only take a day or two for them to realize they like the new one, and then as they start using it, you can take away the old kitty pan.
Covered Litter Pan
This can be a harder sell to an adult cat. Most cats, including mine like to be able to see what is going on around them while doing their business, in case they have to make a quick exit. If your cat is still quite young, you can try one of these. But once again, you will need to be running two litter pans side by side, and they will let you know which one they like
Cat Litter Odor
If your litter is not changed often enough, even your own cat will not like the smell. Cat litter problems can arise when the litter box gets too stinky. Even with clumping cat litter, eventually you will need to dump the litter pan, and give it a good wash. With clumping cat litter, it forms hard chunks like concrete, which is good for you and I to pick out but annoys a cat when it is trying to bury today's treasures and yesterdays buried treasure is coming to the surface! So, you need to stay on top of cleaning to contain odors.
If your cat box just gets stinky fast, and you don't want to introduce a scented cat litter, then you can take some baking soda and sprinkle a light layer on the bottom of the litter pan then your clumping cat litter or whatever litter you like on top. This will absorb much of the odor. But do this gradually as well, so not to put off kitty!
Just remember that cats are sensitive to changes, especially when it comes to their toilet habits. If you have an older cat, you may need a cat litter box on each floor. A pain, I know, but better than the alternative.
So whether you use clumping cat litter, or an automatic cat litter or the worlds best cat litter, you need to introduce these gradually and keep your kitty happy and avoid cat litter problems.