• Dr Grant Hampson

Litter Tray 101

Litter trays are an essential piece of equipment to look after your cat's health. It is extremely important that your cat is able to urinate as and when they need to.

What to look for in a litter tray?

Bigger is always better! A litter tray should be large enough for them to step in and manoeuvre around easily with plenty of space to go to the toilet without any trouble. A rule of thumb is ‘one and a half times the length of your cat, from nose to tail base’. Some litter trays have the option of having a hood, which can help a litter tray look tidy. However, cats like to be able to visualise their surroundings when going to the bathroom so they can cause them to be a little stressed. If you are considering using a hood, make sure the litter tray is extra large to compensate for the enclosed nature.

What type of litter should I use?

There are many different types of litter available on the market:

  • Silica

  • Paper

  • Wood Pellet

  • Bentonite

  • Corn

  • Tofu

They all have their pros and cons, but the most important thing is to ensure your cat is comfortable using it. Cats don't like change, so if you ever change the cat litter, it’s worth changing it over gradually.

Litters tend to be either clumping and non-clumping. Clumping litters mean you can remove the contents easily and regularly and non-clumping requires the entire contents to be changed more regularly.

It is recommended to use 3-5cm of litter, but you may find your cat has a preference for more or less.

Where should it go?

Cats really don’t like to be disturbed when going to the bathroom, so keep their litter tray somewhere nice and quiet away from an area that people pass through regularly. You wouldn’t eat on the toilet, so make sure your litter tray is away from their food and water.

How many litter boxes do I need?

Always remember the 'plus one rule'! It's possible for the cats to get stressed if they have to share food/water bowls and litter trays - always have at least one per cat and then one extra if you have the room.

Keep them clean

Remove soiled contents from your cats litter tray every day and clean the entire contents regularly, depending on the type of litter you are using.

What if my cat goes outside?

Even if your cat goes outside you should still have a litter tray inside just in case. It is really important that your cat is able to urinate when they need to, not being able to urinate when they need to can result in them becoming stressed which can potentially lead to urinary problems.

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