If you have just welcomed a cat into your home, you are likely to have several questions about the use of the litter tray. Where to place the sandbox, what sand to select, how often to remove it or how to do it are recurring doubts among those initiated in this field.
We must warn you that there is no single answer on how often to change the litter in the litter box , since this frequency is conditioned by several factors such as the number of cats that use the litter box, its size or the type of litter you buy. . Below, we delve into the details to guide you.
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The importance of cleanliness
The correct sanitation of the sandbox is not a minor issue. In fact, if the litter tray is not clean, your pet can contract illnesses or develop behavioral disorders , without forgetting that it will prefer to relieve itself elsewhere.
In turn, if you remove your kitty’s stools daily and pay attention to this routine, you will get valuable information. You will detect if he urinates more or less frequently, if he has diarrhea or if there is any other disparity with respect to what is usual in him.
Pathologies such as toxoplasmosis are spread through the feces , so the simplest and most effective way to prevent it is by removing the stools daily. You should educate your pet from puppyhood to use the litter box using positive reinforcement. This way, you will make sure that it uses it whenever it requires it.
How many sandboxes should I have?
The general recommendation is that one litter box should be used for urine and another for feces. Therefore, if you have only one cat, you must have 2 litter boxes. You must second the same measure if you have more than one. Ideally, the litter boxes are for the exclusive use of each cat and are located in a quiet area, without nearby noise sources.
How much sand is indicated?
Enough so that your feline can bury his stools. Do not overdo it because, in addition to incurring an unnecessary expense, if the tray is open it is easy for your pet to end up taking a lot of sand outside.
Types of sand and recommended replacement frequency
You will have to remove daily, and several times at the end of the day, your pet’s stools, both solid and liquid. Depending on the type of sand you select, you will have to replace the one used with clean sand with a different frequency. Pay attention to the types of sand that you can find in the market.
Absorbent sanitary sand
It is the cheapest, but it has certain drawbacks . By not agglomerating the urine, it will filter the entire litter box, forcing you to clean it with soap and water when you replace the sand. In addition to requiring more time to clean the sandbox, it does not eliminate bad odors, despite the fact that scented versions are already marketed.
Its main advantage is that it agglomerates the urine, turning it into balls that you can easily remove. By preserving bad odors, mainly from urine, you should replace it with new sand every week.
Sand in pearls or crystals
This sand, made of silica, absorbs and agglomerates, in addition to dissipating bad odors. In turn, its white color turns yellow on contact with urine, so you will know when to remove the stool to promote a later change of sand. Its only downside, in addition to the price that is somewhat higher, is that some cats do not tolerate it.
It is the newest and most expensive modality. It is made with wood fibers, and although it also agglomerates, it is not liked by all cats and can be attached to the legs or tail of your pet.
In short, and as a summary, remember that with absorbent and binder sands you will have to replace the sand 1 to 3 times a week while in the case of silica it will be enough to do it 1 time every 4 weeks, since you will need use the entire package at a time. Its properties ensure optimal hygiene.
The sand change and stress
As you know, any change in your cat’s routine takes away control and creates stress . In order not to increase it, ethologists advise carrying it out gradually and without adding more changes to your daily life.
You should be incorporating the new sand in the same proportion that you are getting rid of the old with each daily cleaning. If you notice that he does not take it well, you should proceed more slowly. If, on the contrary, he admits it, fill the sandbox with the new one and reward him.
You can also choose to use both arenas, the one you already know and the one you want to introduce, in two sandboxes, one for each type of sand . Do not make him feel observed and it is very likely that he will spontaneously start using the sandbox that carries the new sand. If they do, don’t forget to turn to positive reinforcement one more time.
Don’t change the sand for no reason
You should not expose your pet to this stress if there is no problem with the litter he is using. Unless your sand is no longer marketed or you want to switch to the binder to facilitate cleaning.
If you are uncomfortable with the smells that the litter tray gives off, you can try intensifying the frequency of daily cleaning or modifying its diet after consulting with your veterinarian. We hope that you have found it useful with the guidelines that we have provided. Ready to put them into practice?