Getting the right litter tray as well as litter training your cat can save you a lot of time and energy. If you are getting a kitten, or if your cat is going to be an indoor cat, then a litter tray will be an essential addition to your cat accessories. If you already have your litter tray, cat litter and you know where you are going to put the litter tray, then you may want to check out our section on how to litter train a kitten or cat.
There are a huge variety of litter trays available on the market so it can be confusing when deciding which will be the best one for you and your cat. Cats can also have very specific preferences, so it’s possible you might not get it right the first time, or that all your cats will like the same type of litter box.
To help you choose the right litter box for your pet, here are some things to consider:
The Maya Top Entry Jump On Litter Box is a stylish alternative that gives your cat the privacy they want
Number of Trays
A general rule of thumb for litter trays is to have one for every cat you own, plus an extra one. This is to prevent cats fighting over litter trays and possibly becoming so anxious that they go to the loo elsewhere.
The size of the litter tray hugely depends on what your cat prefers, but in general you will need to make sure the cat has ample space to move and dig around without having to step out. There should also be enough space for them to avoid any remains from previous visits. A good rule of thumb is that the box should be at least 1.5 times your cat’s length (nose to base of tail).
If the litter box is too small, you are likely to have some accidents, not to mention litter being shovelled out of the tray by an overly eager digging cat.
Furthermore a kitten should have no issues learning to use a large tray, but if you swap the tray they learnt in for a bigger one you may find they are not used to it so decide to go somewhere less convenient.
Make sure you choose a litter tray that is easy to clean
Open Or Closed Litter Tray?
Open Litter Tray
Open litter trays are straightforward and generally easy to clean. If you have multiple cats, they provide an economical solution, and they are easy to move around the house to find the spot your cat prefers to do their business in.
If you decide to go for an open litter tray then make sure it has high enough sides to prevent litter being shovelled out. If the sides are too high for your kitten to get in, build a small ramp out of cardboard or any other suitable material.
With open litter trays it is also more important to choose a spot that is secluded enough to give your cat some privacy, as using an uncovered litter box while people are around can make a cat feel extremely exposed.
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Closed Litter Tray
Cats are naturally extremely alert at all times, and many individuals like to have an enclosed, safe space to do their business, away from the rest of the household. Covered litter boxes will provide this. Ideally the box should be dark and secluded, ensuring privacy from humans, cats and other pets.
The Maya Enclosed is a furniture style litter box
Closed litter trays or boxes also do a great job keeping unpleasant odours at bay, and soiled litter won’t be so obvious to you or your house guests. If you are worried about having to do more cleaning, make sure you choose a box that is easy to keep fresh, like the Maya Cat Litter Box Furniture range. All litter boxes have a carbon filter which effectively absorbs and controls bad odours before they emit from the litter box, plus a wipe clean, waterproof liner which makes it super easy to maintain a clean, odour free and hygienic environment, all in a discreet, private furniture-style box.
The drawbacks of a closed tray are that some cats dislike being enclosed because they fear ambush.
It’s important to make sure your cat feels comfortable with the box you have chosen, and that they can easily get in and out. Taller boxes which the cat can jump into are great for providing peace and privacy, but older or less agile cats will prefer a box they can walk into. You can choose an open tray with lower sides, or if you still want to give your cat a secluded place, a covered box like the Maya Enclosed.
Easy to Clean
One of the most important things to consider when choosing a litter tray is to make sure that it is easy to clean. Depending on which litter you choose, you will have to completely empty the box a couple of times a month, and do some spot cleaning in between.
Cats will not accept a dirty or foul smelling litter box, so if you don’t keep up with the cleaning they are likely to choose somewhere else to do their business. Choose a litter tray that can easily be emptied and wiped clean with a cloth and some pet safe disinfectant.
Where Should You Put A Litter Tray?
Cats are just like humans in the sense that they prefer privacy when going to the loo. For this reason a shy cat may outright refuse to use a badly placed litter tray.
A kitten using a litter tray that is placed in the corner out of the way
The best place for a litter tray is somewhere quiet and out of the way. Don’t put the litter tray where your cat eats or near any doors, windows and areas where there is hustle and bustle.
Equally make sure that if you have small children the litter tray is well out of the way of anywhere they may play. Bathrooms and hallways are normally good places, but you might have to try a few locations before you find the one your cat prefers.