If you don’t live in a house, with a huge back yard where your mini black panther can roam free, then cat litter is an undeniable necessity. It’s not surprising therefore that in the U.S. the pet litter industry uses around 5 billion pounds of mined clay each year.
That’s a lot of soiled clay for the country to deal with. But what’s really important when it comes to cat litter is cleanliness. Dirty cat litter can cause health problems, not just for your cat, but for your family too.
Protect yourself when cleaning
It’s true that some litter boxes are better than others, and the better the box, or the more ingenious the style, the easier it is to clean and the easier it is for your cat to use it without flicking dirty bits of litter all over the house. Choosing the right kind of cat litter is also important. But no matter how good your litter box is, if you don’t clean it on a regular basis you’re putting your pet and your family at risk.
This is why it’s really important to wear both gloves and a face mask every single time you clean the cat litter box. It doesn’t matter if you’re a super dooper neat-freak, and you’re always careful to not get anything on your hands, cat litter is full of bacteria and it’s just waiting to find its way onto you, into your home, and then onto the hands and feet and into the mouths of everyone else living with you. Without a face mask, you leave yourself open to inhaling high levels of ammonia, which can be really very bad for your health, causing allergic rashes that aren’t too dissimilar from those caused by cat fur.
The daily clean
In addition to the way in which you clean the litter box, it’s vital that you get the frequency of the cleaning under control too. Firstly, the all faeces and any urine that forms clumps in the litter must be scooped out daily. If you can manage to scoop in the morning and before bed, then your health with thank you for it in the long run. The less
time bacteria has to make a comfortable home for itself in your cat’s litter box, the better. Also, a clean litter tray is more inviting. Cats that hold off from going to the toilet, because the litter box is dirty, run the risk of developing serious internal health issues.
A couple of times a week
Every two or three days, you should be adding a little more litter to your cat’s box. If you’re scooping every day, then the litter level will be gradually going down. Most cats enjoy having a layer of cat litter that’s no more than about two inches deep, but it’s all relative. It’s important to pay attention to the likes and dislikes of your cat.
Every weekend, before you put your feet up
But even after scooping out and adding in litter, your cat’s box won’t be truly clean unless you completely empty it out and scrub it down every single week. At the end of the week, throw the remaining cat litter into the trash, use a soft detergent to scrub all surfaces with an old rag, and then rinse with warm-to-hot water to help kill off any germs that might still be hanging around.
Don’t forget, of course, to do all of this with your gloves and face mask on. With all of the above in place, your cat should be happier and your family will be far less susceptible to health problems caused by your feline’s toilet antics. But if you’d like to do something extra special for your cat, sprinkle a little baking soda along the bottom of the box before you add the new batch of cat litter. This clever little trick will help to keep your cat’s bathroom smelling fresher and cleaner for longer. And if all else fails, why not look into a self-cleaning cat litter box? Yes, they do exist.