Cat Litter Box

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Question: What’s the Best Cat Litter Boxes? What you should know when buying Cat Litter Boxes?

What is the best and worst kind of litter box? What is the number one thing cat owners should know when buying a litter box?


Most cats prefer large, open-topped litterboxes. Avoid litter boxes with hoods. Even though we like the way they trap odors and help prevent litter from spreading around, cats will often avoid using them. Cats want to be able to keep an eye on their surroundings when they are in the “bathroom” and can be very particular about using a smelly box.

Open litterboxes with high sides can help keep things neat but make there is one low spot so your cat can get in and out. This is especially important for pets with mobility issues, like older cats with arthritis. Always have at least one more litterbox than the number of cats in your home. So, if you have one cat, you need at least two boxes.

The best litter for most cats is an unscented, clumping cat litter that contains activated charcoal. However, cats can develop very definite litter preferences, so other options may work better for a particular individual.

Avoid highly-scented cat litters. Cats have a much better sense of smell than we do, so even if the litter smells good to us, cats can find it very irritating
Whatever type of litter you use, make sure you scoop the box at least once a day.

Tips from Our Vets

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If you have any specific health concerns related to your pet, please be sure to take the pet to your vet or an emergency vet, or if you have concerns related to something your pet may have eaten another option is to call a pet poison control line. Be aware that there is a fee to use these services. Two that we can recommend are the ASPCA Animal Poison Control at (888) 426-4435 and the Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661.

Dr. Jennifer Coates
Dr. Jennifer Coates was valedictorian of her graduating class at the VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine and has practiced in Virginia, Wyoming, and Colorado. She is also the author of numerous articles and books including the Dictionary of Veterinary Terms: Vet-Speak Deciphered for the Non-Veterinarian.