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Sunday, March 20th, 2016 @ 2pm    

Dr. Marci Koski of Feline Behavior Solutions shared with us her advice and experience in dealing with feline litterbox behavior.

Thinking Inside the Box from Animal Community Talks on Vimeo.

What we learned

We humans can be slow learners.  Thousands of years after the domestication of cats, it seems we're jMarci Event photo 2ust now realizing how little we know about feline behavior.  Litterbox trouble is a common point of commiseration among cat owners, and also a shockingly common reason for feline abandonment and euthanasia. 

What's even more troubling is how often we ourselves contribute to litterbox avoidance simply because we don't understand our cats well enough.

Dr. Marci Koski of Feline Behavior Solutions is among a growing number of professionals in this field stepping up to help cats and humans get to know each other a little better.  She shared with us her advice and experience in dealing with feline litterbox behavior, including a detailed discussion about what cats do and do not need or like about their bathroom areas, and a hands-on comparison of common litters.

Creating the Ideal Feline Bathroom

Space

Cats do not enjoy crouching or feeling cramped while in their box. Lose the lid, and offer up some space for the cat to stand, turn, and scratch. Large storage bins are the perfect affordable solution.

Light

Contrary to popular belief, cats cannot actually see in complete darkness. A motion sensing nightlight is an excellent addition to a dark litterbox area.

Security

Cats need to feel safe when they do their business. Keep litterboxes on a level surface, preferably the floor. Do not place perches above the litterbox from which another cat, or even an imaginary threat, might pounce.

Choosing the Best Litter for Your Cat

Marci Event photoNo one type of litter is ideal for every cat. Just like humans prefer different kinds of toilet paper, every cat has individual ideas about their litter. This can be challenging in multiple cat households. 

Here are a few guidelines to help you get started:

Avoid Scented Litter

Cats dislike a stinky litter box as much as we humans, but they are not too thrilled about perfumes, either. In fact, scented litter can be downright irritating to cats with sensitive respiratory systems. It’s best to clean the box daily rather than buy scented litter to cover the smell.

Depth

Litter should be 2-3” deep. This gives the cat room to dig and bury their waste without irritating sensitive whiskers on their legs.

Trackability

Whatever sticks to your cat’s paws when it exits the litterbox is either going on your floor, or in their digestive tract. Keeping the box clean and dry will help, but also avoid litters that become sticky or muddy too easily.

To learn more about feline behavior, sign up for Dr. Koski’s Mewsletter!

 

ACT extends a sincere thanks to Dr. Marci Koski for her time and expertise.