Your cat's superior sense of smell can keep her from using the litter box if it's stinky and dirty. Unfortunately for you, she'd rather go potty elsewhere in the house. Ensure the litter box is clean and free of odors so both you and your finicky feline are happy campers.
Empty out the litter box every two to three weeks for a thorough cleaning. Scrape dried litter that's stuck to the box with a metal paint scraper. If you have more than one cat, you might have to clean the box more often.
Wet the litter box with hot water and scrub it with a scrub brush to get rid of any litter residue.
Mix 1 teaspoon of household bleach per gallon of hot water. Fill the litter box with the sanitizing solution and let it sit for about five minutes. Thoroughly rinse the box and dry it with paper towels.
Sprinkle a thin layer of baking soda on the bottom of the litter box. The baking soda absorbs odors and helps keep the box smelling fresh. Alternatively, use a commercial litter box deodorizer.
Fill the litter box with a 2-inch layer of cat litter. Use a non-scented, clumping litter, because cats tend to dislike scented litter, and clumping litter keeps the odor to a minimum. Hold the litter close to the litter box as you pour it in to avoid a lot of dust.
Wash your hands with antibacterial soap and water after cleaning the litter box.
Scoop out soiled litter and feces at least once a day if you have one cat and more often if you have multiple cats. If needed, add clean litter to maintain a 2-inch layer and always wash your hands after handling the litter box.
Items you will need
- Paint scraper
- Scrub brush
- Household bleach
- Paper towels
- Baking soda or commercial litter box deodorizer
- Cat litter
- Antibacterial soap
- Litter scoop
- Avoid using cleansers with citrus oils or ammonia to clean the litter box, because cats dislike these.
- If you're sensitive or allergic to dust, wear a face mask when changing cat litter.
- Wash the paint scraper and litter scoop each time you wash the litter box.
- To avoid diseases, don't clean the litter box if you're pregnant -- have someone else do it or wear rubber gloves and a face mask if you must do it yourself.
- Outwitting Cats; Wendy Christensen
- The Humane Society of the United States: Preventing Litter Box Problems
- BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images