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Even people who adore cats have to admit they’re sometimes not the easiest pets to take care of. They have a habit of reminding you it’s time to eat at 5:30 a.m., sometimes by dragging their claws across your eyelids. They leave you presents in the form of other dead animals, sometimes in your bed. And if they don’t like their litter, they will definitely let you know, sometimes by peeing all over your home.
Okay, so cats are strange. But what’s up with the litter? Isn’t it all basically the same? It’s sand that they go to the bathroom in, right?
Wrong. Cats are particular about litter the way humans are about the bathrooms we use. Sometimes the environment is so off-putting to a cat, they’d rather go anywhere else, like in your plants. More seriously, some litters pose health concerns for cats and humans alike, so it’s important to choose the right one. Let’s take a look at why litter matters to your cat, and why it should matter to you.
Litter Matters Because of Texture
A big issue for cats is the texture of the litter. If a cat litter is too rough or the granules are too big, a cat will reject it because it doesn’t feel good under their paws. Remember, they love to dig around in their litter before and after they go, and if the litter is too harsh, they’ll reject it in favor of something else… like your favorite blanket.
Litter Matters Because of Smell
If you’ve ever walked into a bathroom and made a swift exit because of the smell, your cat can relate. A cat will avoid the litter box if it’s too full of waste, so make sure that it’s cleaned every day, especially if you have multiple cats. Alternatively, cats will reject the box if the litter is perfumed too heavily. It’s a delicate balance!
Litter Matters Because of Dust
Dust from clay litter is a big issue for cats and humans alike because both species can suffer from asthma. If you know your cat suffers from asthma, definitely stop using dusty cat litter as it can exacerbate the issue. It can also cause asthma, not just make it worse. Similarly, if you or anyone in your home suffers from asthma, COPD, allergies or other respiratory problems, avoid clay litter and use something else.
Litter Matters Because Cats Are Cats
Okay, so you’ve gone out and bought a soft, non-offensive-smelling dust-free litter and your cat still is using your laundry as his or her litter box. What gives? Sometimes there’s no telling with these stoic creatures, so we say try a cat litter attractant. For whatever reason, this magic dust compels your feline to go in the box. Try it and see what a difference it makes.
Even the most tuned-in cat lovers will despair when their cat refuses to use the box. If you’ve changed litters multiple times and eliminated any behavioral issues, talk to your vet. Your cat might not be feeling well and they are trying to get your attention.
Also consider PrettyLitter, a brand of cat litter that works as a urinalysis for your cat. This litter measures the pH balance in your cat’s urine, which can alert you to health problems. The colors are obvious and the results are immediate, making it a great tool for keeping your cat happy and healthy.