When it comes to choosing a litter box for your cat, you may think a covered one is a good choice because it offers privacy for the cat and hides all those things you don’t want to see or smell but there are some facts to consider before making that purchase. Much of the success or failure of a particular litter box has to do with the size of the box, how clean it’s kept, where it’s located, the number of boxes per cat and one other very important factor: the type of box itself.
The Truth About Covered Litter Boxes
- A covered box can make a larger cat feel cramped while in there
- Covered boxes don’t allow as much air circulation so it takes longer for litter to dry
- Odor is contained in the box, so it can be more offensive to the cat who is inside
- A covered box limits a cat’s visual field to see if another companion animal is approaching
- A covered box limits a cat’s escape potential and can create opportunities for being ambushed
- A covered box may not get scooped often enough (“out of sight, out of mind”)
A Better Alternative
If you’re thinking about a covered box in order to control litter scatter, or if you have a cat who sprays in the box, choose a high-sided, open box instead. A large plastic storage container with high sides will work. All you have to do is cut out a “U” shaped entrance on one side.
Need More Information?
For more specifics on how to create the ideal litter box set-up and how to avoid litter box problems, refer to any of Pam’s books. If you’re having a behavior problem with your cat and would like a consultation with cat behaviorist Pam Johnson-Bennett, CCBC, contact our office.
Pam Johnson-Bennett is the star of Psycho Kitty airing on Discovery UK. She is author of seven best-selling books on cat behavior including Think Like a Cat: how to raise a well-adjusted cat – not a sour puss. Think Like a Cat has become known as the cat bible. Pam is considered a pioneer in the field of cat behavior consulting. In addition to her television series and public speaking engagements, Pam owns Cat Behavior Associates, a private veterinarian-referred behavior company in Nashville, TN. Cat Behavior Associates offers private cat behavior appointments on a limited basis. Pam Johnson-Bennett is a Certified Cat Behavior Consultant.