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Cat Litter

A perambulation through the cat litter section of a petstore will tell you that there is an IMMENSE variety of cat litter, litter boxes, litter box covers and related periphernalia like deodorizers, “pooper scoopers,” litter pan liners. Certain stores will even carry the supposed electronic self-cleaning boxes, priced at a pretty penny.

Of course, in the life of a cat, you will find out the idiosyncracies of your kitty. Some kitties tend to cover up after themselves very well. Some are content to make a desultory stab at lamely pushing the litter around before walking off in the opposite direction, tail in the air, happily tracking cat litter all over your apartment. Some love privacy. Some don’t care. If the cat has not be declawed, you might find an enthusiastic cat scratching away at the whole litter pan, pan-liner included, thereby poking holes in the plastic liner and making things worse. Most cats with authentic cat genes will be terrified of the noise of the self-cleaning box, just as they dislike vacuum-cleaners!

So, what should you get for your cat? The type of litter you end up choosing depends more on the owner of the cat than the cat itself. Here are some questions you should ask:
  1. Are you against chemical additives or cover-up scents or do you really not care?

  2. Do you have the time to vacuum the floor or carpet if your cat tracks fine cat litter all over?

  3. Are you allergic to dust?

  4. Are you conscious of “green” issues and prefer to use “natural” products?

And the types of cat litter:
  1. unscented litter with no additives, non-clumping

  2. clumping cat litter, both scented, unscented and or with baking soda. Clumping litter tends not to be tracked all over, and the advantage is that it lasts a little longer. The theory behind it is that moisture makes the particular particles clump together, which then facilitates removal.

  3. For the allergic owner, try some kind of pine natural litter, which absorbs all the moisture, and then you can scoop away the “major” stuff and flush.

This is also preferred by those who are more conscious of earth’s resources. If you don’t mind cover-up scents, you can also sprinkle some cat litter deodorizer.

Cat litter boxes

Initially, get a medium to large litter box, depending on the size of your cat. Check on your cat’s habits before you invest in a cover. Some cats tend to “go” against corners, and in that case, it would be better to have a cover.

If your cat is an active scratcher, then you are better off not using the cat box liner. Also, the cat box liner does not make so much sense with the clumping cat litter, and more so with “ordinary” litter, all of which will be thrown out at the same time in one fell swoop.

Clumping cat litter that is advertised as containing baking soda is a good compromise all around, in terms of price, cleanliness, odor control and ease of cleaning. Baking soda tends to absorb odors, but make no mistake that owning a cat also means being on top of cleaning the cat box.

Warning: the odor of the ammonia and the fumes of cat urine are purported to be unhealthy for pregnant women. If you are pregnant and want to play it safe, perhaps that little task could be relegated to the father-to-be!

A word about the electronic, self-cleaning boxes. They may seem like they are a gift from the omnipotent, but the cleaning is not always best, and sometimes, the elctronic sifter does get stuck, which then scares kitty from going the next time.

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