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Published: Aug 14, 2012

There are many advantages to owning a cat. They're sweet, playful, neat, and small, and they often require less care than dogs, who need to be walked several times a day. There are still some tasks that are part of every cat owners life, and one of the most dreaded involves the litter box. Indoor cats can usually be easily trained to use their box, but owners will still need to plan ahead and actively monitor their feline's box to make sure the cat is happy and healthy. Here are some tips for keeping your cat's litter box in order.

What type of litter box should I get?

As a new cat owner, you'll quickly come to realize that there are many, many types of litter boxes on the market. Some are simple plastic bins, while others are more high-tech, making the process of cleaning out the litter box easy. What you choose is really up to you, so it might be best to ask your cat-owning friends or a veterinarian for advice.

You may also notice that some litter boxes come with a dome-shaped covering. These can be excellent for cats who desire more privacy when doing their business. This can also come in handy for those who own dogs in addition to a feline. Coprophagia in dogs causes a canine to want to eat feces, which can include your cat's feces. Covered litter boxes will prevent this behavior, though it's still important to talk to your vet about the issue.

Where should I keep it?

Though they typically like affection and attention, cats can be very solitary creatures. For this reason, it's good to keep your litter box somewhere quiet and out of the way, but still easily accessible by the cat. A location far away from traffic in the household will also make it less likely that you'll catch a whiff of the kitty litter odor when you're moving about your house. If the cat is reluctant to use the litter box, you may want to try moving it to a new location to see if that suits your cat.

How often do I need to clean it?

Cleaning your cat's litter box should be a part of your regular cat care routine. How often you need to clean it depends on your cat and the type of litter you use. Some litter clumps easily. If that's the case in your household, then you should clean out the litter at least once a day. Other litter is less likely to clump, but generally you should be emptying the box of all litter and waste and replacing it with fresh litter once a week. Keep an eye out when you're cleaning your litter box, as it's a good way to monitor your feline's waste to see if she's suffering from cat diarrhea, which should prompt a visit to the vet's office immediately. 

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