What is Proper Litter Box Etiquette for Cleaning and Scooping??
Recommended & Proper Litter Box & Scooping and Cleaning Procedures for Cats
The information posted within this Blog Post is WHAT WE DO here at Catify Café & Adoptions for our 17 cats. For us, this seems to work Really Good for our cats and keeps any smells at a Bare Minimum, if any. The products mentioned are ones we USE by choice and we are not being compensated for recommending their products.
So that you understand our thought process and “Common Sense” approach pertaining to this blog, you need to understand how “We Feel” about our cats. There are a few groups of people when it comes to cats or dogs. (1) There are those who feel that Cats/Dogs are just animals and really don’t need much care, they can fend for themselves. (2) Then there are those who own farms and have “Barn Cats”, using NO population control (getting them spayed/neutered) and letting them run freely creating the “over population” issues this world deals with today. (3) Finally, there are people like us, “Cat Lovers” who consider these felines to be “Like Family”, and they are!! The above statements are not being judgmental, this is just what we have seen and experienced over the years.
With that all said, here is HOW we take care of our cat family members pertaining to their bathroom / litter box habits. First off, a bullet point outline of what we do:
We use 9 Litter Pans for all 17 cats, but they are GIANT Pans, 35” X 20” X 10”, and each pan we use ONE 38lb Box of Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Multi-Cat Litter.
We currently have 30 litter pans, so that EVERY THREE WEEKS, we change out the litter pans for clean ones, then sometime during the next cycle, we wash the old ones out with a mild soap and use a high pressured nozzle with HOT Water to thoroughly clean them out.
During the three week cycle, we ADD 4 to 7 pounds of additional litter to each litter box to keep them fresh. We do this every 7 days, which is two times prior to changing the boxes out. Catify Café & Adoptions uses approximately 494 lbs of cat litter every three weeks or WELL OVER 8,500+ pounds per year.
At a Bare Minimum, we scoop 3 to 5 times per day all nine litter boxes, sometimes, depending on our work schedule, we scoop up to 7 times a day.
Q: Why do we scoop 3-5 time or more every day?
A: For us, knowing our cats the way we do and considering them as family members, we do all we can to keep them healthy!! If you think about it, cats are very similar to humans, especially about cleanliness. We have some cats that will enter a litter box of their choice and go right about their business and then we have others that will walk ON TOP of the sides of the box until they find a spot that is CLEAN and Undisturbed. What if YOU were a cat….. Would you want to walk in your own pee or poop? Remember, cats clean themselves by licking themselves, especially licking their PAWS to clean their face, the SAME PAWS that walk in the litter box. For us, we always try to minimize how often they have to walk in their “own stuff”, which overall helps to keep them healthier (less vet visits) and we feel happier!!
Q: Why of all the Cat Litters on the Market, do we choose Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Multi-Cat cat litter?
A: We have tried many different brands in the beginning and settled for Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Multi-Cat cat litter. The Box says: 100% Dust Free and Odor Control for Seven Days. NO Litter is 100% Dust Free, but this one is very minimal compared to others. It is a FINE, dirt style litter so no pebbles/rocks get caught in their paws. The Odor Control is really good, thus why we refresh every 7 days during our three week period and NO Perfume Smell to this litter. It Clumps and Seals really good and we feel getting three weeks out of each litter box change out (by adding just a little every 7 days to refresh) is a major cost savings to us. We have guests over a lot to our home and no one has ever complained about “Cat Smells” and they keep coming back.
Q: Why not use a cat litter that smells pretty or has Fabreze or other like scents to them?
A: Cats / Felines have very sensitive sniffers and for many cats these smells are offensive to them and overall not good for them long term. Most all cats will put their noses right down to the litter to sniff out a spot to use in the litter boxes, so these scents, which will rise in the dust particles they breathe from Scratching the litter, is NOT GOOD for their health or Nose in the long run. Personally, we strongly recommend UNSCENTED.
Q: Which is better…… Cat Litter that is course, rough or tiny pebble like or the Smoother, fine sand type?
A: We at Catify Café & Adoptions prefer the sand type, as it is much easier for them to move with their paws, they can dig deeper, easier. And it is much easier on their paws verses a pebble type litter. This is another reason we use Arm & Hammer Clump & Seal Multi-Cat Litter.
Q: How much cat litter should I put into our litter box?
A: This really depends on the personality of your Cat(s). For us, having 17 currently, we always try to make sure to keep a 3” level in the boxes at all times. That seems to work for us really well. Some of our cats will pee on the surface and not even bury it, and we have others that will bury it an inch or two deep. Fortunately, when it comes to the poop, they all bury it, and some even to the bottom of the pan!!
Q: What about cleaning the scooper itself:
A: Typically, in most cases we clean them thoroughly every week, but SOMETIMES, if we scoop right through poop, we clean it immediately. We try not to use dirty scoops in litter boxes, with the common sense understanding that we DO NOT want to allow our cats to get sick due to unsanitary conditions!! We also prefer METAL scoops to any plastic scoop as they hold up so much better and longer before breaking. We typically get about a year usage out of our scoops and we have one scoop per box.
Q: My Cat DOES NOT always get everything inside the litter box, sometimes pees/poops outside the box, WHY?:
A: There can be MANY REASONS for this, several even pertaining to the health of the cat itself. But from a "Litter / Litter Box" stand point AND experience early on with our own cats, it goes back to the "personality" of your cat. Our one cat Jethro, did this after we first got him, and he WAS FIXED. It wound up being two things. (1) he DID NOT LIKE the size of the litter boxes we were using early on, he wanted SPACE to move around, AND (2) He and a couple others DID NOT LIKE the litter box right up against the wall, so since then, we have ALL of our litter boxes a minimum of 2" away from ANY Wall, furniture or obstructions of any type. Once we did these two things, he stopped. MOST of our boxes are about 4" away from anything.
Additional Info: Other possible reasons your cat is doing this: (1) most likely a male, not fixed and other cats are inside or STRAYS are outside, this is HIS WAY of marking his territory. In most cases if you get them fixed, this stops. If you cat is an OUTSIDE cat, and you get them fixed (male) the territory they USE TO DO in most cases will decrease by 85% and they will stay much closer to your home if your home is their primary sleeping/feeding grounds. (2) Your cat could have some type of an UTI or Kidney issues and it is strongly recommended to have your vet check them out ASAP.
Overall, if you watch your Cat(s) around your litter box, you may find their personality stands out when it comes to cleanliness. Ellie Mae, (one of our cats) will use the litter box immediately after I have scooped and made the box nice and level. If she sees me close by and she has to go, she will wait to see if I am going to scoop first. We also have five other cats that will do the same on occasion. Most of us humans, if we go into a public bathroom and it is dirty/filthy, we either try to find a clean one or leave that bathroom and WAIT until we can find another that is clean. Please keep this in mind when cleaning the litter box or boxes for your Cat(s). If you have any questions, EMAIL US and we will TRY our best to answer them as we can time wise. We wish you a Purrfect Day !!