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Covered Litter Boxes: The Real Scoop

covered litter boxes: the real scoope

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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. So let’s examine whether a covered box is cat-friendly or not.

From Our Perspective When it Comes to Covered Boxes

From the cat parent’s perspective, a covered box seems ideal. It offers:

  • privacy
  • litter scatter control
  • the ability to keep the cat’s pee and poop from being on display
  • a confined way of keeping odor inside the box

quote from dr. haug

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If we look at it from the human’s point of view, a covered box appears, at least initially, to be a dream-come-true. It keeps everything neat and tidy inside the box and no one but the cat has to look at it. Unfortunately though, many behavior problems occur because we, as cat parents, look at a cat’s environment from our point of view and neglect to see things from the cat’s perspective.

The Cat’s Perspective of Covered Litter Boxes

If you “think like a cat” you’ll start to look at the covered litter box in an entirely different light:

  • 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

Photo: Fotolia

One Response to Covered Litter Boxes: The Real Scoop

  1. Hi Pam,

    I like your ideas about not using a covered box, but I live in a one bedroom with Den in a condo and a very small bathroom there isn’t anywhere to put my litter box that people won’t notice it. It is only me in the home and the box is cleaned more than twice a day. I have drama queens for cats so it’s a must. I have a covered box and there isn’t any tension between my two cats. I know you can’t answer me, but if I change to a high side litter box it still is an eyesore. Any suggestions?

    Denise

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