Litter Box Solutions for Every Cat
When you brought your cat into your home, you committed to providing
love and care forever. But one thing you didn't promise is to sacrifice
your aesthetic sensibility and keep a drab plastic box in your kitchen
until the end of time. And now you don't have to. These days, there are
a slew of attractive alternatives to the standard litter box. Finding
the right one for your home is simply a matter of your taste -- and
Portland, Oregon-based feline behavioral
consultant Mieshelle Nagelschneider says 70 percent of cats prefer
uncovered boxes. "Covered boxes tend to trap odors and keep the litter
moist longer, and both of these are a big deterrent for cats," she
explains. "Escape potential is also important to them, especially once
they reach social maturity, and a covered box doesn't allow for an easy
out." Most litter box solutions do come in the form of covered boxes.
If your cat insists on an uncovered box (and it will make its
preference known), you can get creative and decorate your own box, or
try something like Sittin' Pretty Cat Products' litter basket -- an
acrylic-lined willow basket that can be stained or painted to suit your
Flummoxed about what to do with her own cat's unsightly litter,
Boston cat owner Lindsay Potter bought an all-purpose tub at a hardware
store, and a large piece of canvas from an art supplier. "I painted the
canvas to contrast nicely with my bathroom. I used a staple gun to
attach it to the tub. It looks a lot nicer, and the tub has high walls,
perfect for my male cat."
One innovative and attractive type of
covered litter box looks more like a cabinet than a restroom for kitty.
The Refined Feline, for example, offers a closed wooden cabinet with a
hidden side-door. Another option comes from Felinerina, featuring a
white bathroom cabinet with wainscoting panels, shelf space and towel
bars -- the litter box goes inside, your cat enters through a space
carved from the front of the cabinet. And another style, made by Pet's
Best Products, hides the litter box in a faux plant pot, complete with
the fake plant of your choice sprouting from the top.
"Some cats will use a box no matter what its design, and that kind
of cat would do well with a box that falls into this innovative
category," says Nagelschneider. "If you choose this design, make sure
it's roomy and kept clean. Also, bear in mind that it may be better
tolerated by felines in single-cat homes."
You don't have to buy an entire piece of
furniture to hide an unsightly box. The most common (and least
expensive) type of litter concealer is simply a cover placed over the
box. NYC Dog & Cat suggests that you hide your cat's litter box
under a high gloss laminate design (a palazzo, a country manor, an
antique bookcase, or a plain damask cover). Petaroo offers simple
basket-weave covers that blend into any space. Top-loading boxes,
available at most pet supply stores, come with their own covers (with
openings in the top for your cat's entry), and are good for male cats
that aim high.
"The litter box cover saved my relationship," laughs Austin, Texas
cat owner Brian Nash. "My girlfriend didn't want to move in unless I
could offer her a closet, but the extra closet was where I kept Paul's
litter box, and I didn't want the box out and exposed in my apartment.
The cover helped us both get what we wanted." With a little bit of
trial and error, you and your feline friend can get what you want,
is a Brooklyn-based freelancer who has spent many years in the presence of cats. She's contributed to InStyle and The New York Times.