Cat Ailments & SymptomsCat Care Tips, Advice & Products for the life of your CatAs a rule we would advise one tray per cat, plus one extra. This prevents any cats in the house from ‘guarding’ the trays and preventing the other cats from using them. The trays should be placed in various positions around the house - not just 3 in a row which could still be ‘guarded’ by another cat in the household.
Some cats may prefer to toilet privately and we would therefore recommend the use of a covered litter tray. There are various shapes and sizes on the market. These trays prevent too much litter being kicked out of the tray, although it is impossible to stop this completely. There will also be a certain amount of ‘tracking’ of the litter especially as the cat comes out of the tray. This can be resolved by placing the tray on a mat. All advice given on this website is by expert cat owners. It is not in any way meant to be used in replacement to any vet or other professional advice. The owner takes no responsibility of any consequences due to any of the information held within the site.
Choosing the right litter and litter trays for your catMany cats do not like to be ‘viewed’ while they are toileting. Cats are most vulnerable when they are going to the toilet. If your cat is particularly shy then just turn the tray towards the wall so you can’t see him and he can’t see you. This should solve the problem. Never place the tray near to where the cat eats. These two areas should be completely separate.
Corner trays are becoming increasingly popular - however this may suit us, but does not always suit the cat. If your cat is seen half in and half out of his tray then the chances are that the tray is too small for him. He should have enough room to move around. Many cats circle before they go to the toilet and if your cat has insufficient room to perform this manoeuvre it may be one reason why his is not using the tray.
If you ever have a toileting problem with your cat do not punish him in any way. Spraying is a sign of stress, as is toileting on beds, furniture, or not using a litter tray.
Older cats too may start to ‘miss’ the tray, or may urinate in the wrong place. Incontinence is common in all of us as we age and again is to be expected and must not be met with punishment but with understanding and compassion. You may need to supply litter trays that have much lower sides so the older cat can get in and out easily and should be placed close to his sleeping area. Puppy training pads can be used where the elderly cat attempts to use the tray but invariably stands on the edge of the tray thus depositing urine and faeces outside the tray instead of inside.
Keep the trays clean - some cats will not use a tray twice so if they have already had a wee in it they may not use it again - choosing to use the floor instead. Providing an extra tray may be the answer. Do not use strong smelling disinfectant or use scented cat litter - this may also put the cat off. I use a product called 'Urinator' which I find gets rid of the urine smell very effectively from most surfaces. The extra large and large trays featured above can be purchased from Zooplus.
The more cats you have the more trays you will need and they should be placed around the house. If you want to have a multicat household you must prepare yourself that you will need to make some adjustments in your home to suit the cats.
There are various litters on the market but usually the finer the litter the better. Many cats and kittens will not like the wood base litters as compared to the size of their paws the litter is very large and will be uncomfortable. The same applies for the gravel which can be sharp and hard. The gravel can hold the smell and this may put cats off going back to the tray, even after you have removed the waste as it will still smell. There are some litters on the market that can now be flushed down the toilet which are more environmentally friendly as they are made from a natural product. If the cat is avoiding the litter tray it may be that you need to just change the litter to a finer one. When working with a cat that will not use the litter tray it can be difficult to ascertain whether the cat has a tray aversion or a litter aversion, so both need to be considered.
Information taken from: http://www.caring-for-your-cat.co.uk/litter_and_litter_trays.html
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