After bringing home that cuddly little fur ball you have to find a way to make the new family member feel at home. One of the most challenging aspects of owning a cat is probably the housebreaking process.
Before housebreaking begins, a number of items have to be purchased. The cat needs a litter box, which in turn requires litter and a litter scoop. Some litter boxes also use liners. There are also products to help keep odor down available.
Litter boxes can be simple, but fancier litter boxes with more features are now available. It is important to keep focused on the purpose of the litter box — it is the cat’s bathroom and odors should be either alleviated or kept to a bare minimum.
Types of Litter Boxes
There are standard litter boxes, which are basically trays to fill with cat litter. These type boxes are very inexpensive, and Kitty’s WonderBox comes in a medium-sized version. A three-pack sells for only $12.99. There are also open top litter boxes with shields. The IRIS open-top litter box with shield also comes with a scoop for $14.99.
The open top litter boxes, or the covered standard litter boxes, do require regular scooping. When the cat litter has clumps, it is time to scoop them out and add some fresh litter to the box.
For those who have little time for cleaning and scooping, there is the Omega Paw Self-Cleaning Litter Box, which is covered. This litter box quickly self cleans and requires no scooping. It rolls and collects the clumped waste, which also prevents throwing away or wasting clean cat litter. Available for a little less than $25, it may be the answer for busy households.
There are plenty of choices when it comes to cat litter. There are clumping litters, non-clumping litters, scented litters, and non-scented litters. Cat litter bought in bulk, such as in a large bag or container or in multiple containers at once, is usually considerably discounted.
Some litter boxes, such as those that are self-cleaning, require a specific kind of cat litter. Choose the proper litter for your cat’s litter box then go from that selection. Do you want a scented cat litter? Do you prefer the litter that clumps so it can be easily scooped and the clean litter can still be used?
Other Housebreaking Items
A litter scoop is always needed. Even with a self-cleaning box it is wise to have a kitty litter scoop nearby in the event litter is spilled onto the floor or in case the young kitten attempting housebreaking has an accident. There are inexpensive plastic scoops, which sell for a couple of dollars, or there are the more sturdy metal scoops, such as Duranimals DuraScoop Cat Litter Scoop, which is metal and easy to clean.
Litter box liners, which are used for some boxes, are available in bulk.
As a last note, and just to put this out there a little, perhaps you might also want to try toilet training your cat. This offers an alternative to having to purchase cat litter for the rest of your cats life! However remember, you can lead a cat to the toilet… but he still can’t flush!
Main image is by Johanna, 2013.