Tips for choosing and maintaining your cat’s litter box

Cats are very clean animals but a bit finicky. If your domestic feline doesn’t like the litter tray or type of litter you provide, you may be in for some very unpleasant surprises (we’ll leave it up to your imagination). Our team at Chico has prepared this article to help you choose the right litter setup and then properly maintain it.

What are the different types of litter?

There are several kinds of litter available at various prices. Although some low-end types may seem like a good choice from an economic standpoint, keep in mind that cheaper varieties may not be as effective. They could be dusty, have poor absorption or even be toxic. Here are the main categories of litter:

  • Clay
  • Vegetal (tofu, soy, wood, corn, recycled paper, wheat, etc.)
  • Silica crystals

Most litters are the clumping type. This makes it virtually effortless to clean the litter box on a daily basis as both urine and clumped fecal matter can be easily removed. But no matter what kind you choose, your feline friend may refuse to use the litter box for various reasons. You cat might not like the size or texture of the granules, the odour or something else. If this happens, don’t be discouraged. Simply try another formula until you find THE perfect brand.

As for scented varieties of litter, know that some felines tolerate them without difficulty, while others disdain them. Once again, trial and error is the best strategy.

At Chico, your favourite neighbourhood pet store, we offer a selection of litters tested and approved by our many loyal customers — or rather, by their cats! Here are two litters from our own line of products that we’re particularly proud of:

1. Chico tofu litter

This revolutionary litter is made of eco-friendly tofu, and its benefits are numerous. The litter is:

  • Absorbent
  • Clumping
  • Antibacterial
  • Compostable (you can also flush it down the toilet)
  • Gentle on the paws
  • Dust free
  • Safe for your cat

We have three kinds of tofu litter to choose from: activated charcoal, green tea or unscented.

2. Chico silica crystal litter

Say goodbye to smelly litter box odours with the power of silica crystals. This Chico brand product is:

  • Non-toxic
  • Antibacterial
  • Durable
  • Easy to clean
  • Absorbant

Choose between our lavender-scented or fragrance-free silica litter.

What type of litter box should I choose?

You can opt for an open or closed litter box. The latter is preferable as it will offer more privacy to your cat and is better able to contain odours. However, some closed-type litter boxes are too narrow, and your cat must be able to turn around easily when standing in it. Additionally, if your pet is already accustomed to using an open litter box, it may not want to use a closed one.

How do I maintain my cat’s litter box?

To keep the litter box clean and avoid wasting substrate, make sure you use a good amount of litter — 12 to 15 centimetres is ideal. This way, your feline friend’s urine won’t reach the bottom of the tray, and you can easily remove it if it’s a clumping formula.

In addition, daily removal of feces and urine from your cat’s litter box is essential, as your pet may find a less than ideal place to relieve itself if the litter box is soiled. Add fresh litter a few times a week to ensure there’s enough substrate.

About once a month, a thorough wash with warm water and a non-toxic, odour-eliminating detergent (baking soda does an excellent job) is recommended. Keep the equivalent of one or two cups of the used litter (without urine or feces) to mix with new litter when refilling the box. This will ensure that your cat can smell and locate its litter, which will reassure it and remove any urge to pee on your carpet.

Important: Pregnant women should refrain from handling a cat’s litter box, as the feces may contain the parasite that transmits toxoplasmosis. Even though this disease is relatively benign in general, it can lead to serious complications for a fetus (such as eye and brain malformations) and even cause death in utero. In some cases, the child may develop cysts in the eyes or even lose the use of an eye entirely. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Chico: your partner in treating your feline with the best care.

All over Quebec, cat lovers trust Chico pet stores to help them pamper their whiskered companions. If you need healthy food adapted to your pet’s condition, an identification tag, high-performance litter, grooming supplies, or accessories and toys to keep your pet busy for hours, come visit one of our stores.