Litter tray etiquette

How to chose the best litter tray

During my time as a pet sitter, I have seen a plethora of cat litter trays.  Those with hoods, large ones, small ones, the downright silly ones, self cleaning ones and I could go on!

Firstly, I would suggest that even an outdoor cat should have a litter tray.  The reason being that if your kitty is ill, or you need to keep him in, they are litter trained and able to use a tray.  It will also save on any little accidents that may occur as a result of a bad tummy.

The cat litter boxes I have attended have all, without exception, been plastic, so which does your cat prefer?  Well, unless you are Dr Dolittle, we must rely on your cats preference.  For example, kittens will be fine with a smaller tray, but an adult cat will almost always prefer a larger space to do their business.

Hooded trays provide a good degree of privacy, while others would prefer an open space, especially if you have more than one cat.  Why not buy one of each and watch to see which one is preferred.

I have three cats and three jumbo size trays.  Two are hooded, one is open and of the three, the two hooded ones seem  to curry favour.

Where should l place the trays?

I would strongly suggest that they be placed apart in different areas of your house.

Your cats need a safe and quiet safe space, so place them in a quiet corner or adjacent to walls.

Toilet sites should be kept away from areas in the home where food is prepared and eaten.  Never place them in busy thoroughfares, or near cat flaps, which could come under threat from neighbouring cats.

What litter should l use?

Of all the types I have cleaned, by far the easiest is the ‘clumping’, litter.  It is also (in my opinion), the most economical, since litter made of crystals are non absorbent, messy and a large area needs to be removed in order to clear all the waste.

I particularly dislike shredded newspaper, which some of our clients favoured.  It may be a free source of litter, but the print when soaked is particularly messy and is certainly not good for your cats.

What about litter liners?

While these plastic liners were designed to protect the tray and contain the mess of urination and defecation, in reality they leak badly from the punctures and tears.  It makes removing the soiled contents extremely messy, hence I would never recommend this type of product.

Neither do I like scented deodorants, since they are overpowering and cannot be good for cats wellbeing.

How often should l clean the trays?

I clean my cat trays at least twice a day, with a complete change once a week.

I would also strongly advise against the use of disinfectants, since they can be toxic to your cat.  Whatever cleaning product you do use, ensure that they are safe for your cat.

I hope that the above helps you to choose the best litter tray for your cat(s).  Remember that like us, each cat is different, so it may be a little trial and error until you find one that is best suited.

If you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

5 Benefits of adopting a pet

Please take me home

There are so many benefits of adopting a rescue pet, not least because you will be saving lives and also have a friend for life.

When you adopt a shelter pet, it really can be a life changing moment. Nothing can beat the excited wag of dogs tail, a happy purr, or a long cuddle at the end of your working day.

There is a serious pet overpopulation in the U.K and not every pet is lucky enough to find a new home, which results in healthy cats and dogs being put to sleep. The following are five good reasons to adopt from a rescue group, or shelter.

Save money

Did you know that the majority of rescue centres will microchip, and neuter your pet before they are rehomed?  They will also worm and vaccinate and some shelters will even test cats for  FeLV and in some cases, dogs are checked for heartworm.  They also receive a veterinary check and will hand out advisory sheets, outlining the best care.

Saving lives

Pets in shelter are all deserving of a second chance and contrary to some beliefs are not there through bad behaviour.

They can be lost, abandoned, the result of a divorce, or their owners could have died.  Whatever the reason, it is rarely the result of unwanted behaviour.

By adopting a pet, not only are you rehoming an animal, you are also not supporting puppy mills, which is an industry that thrives on making money, by churning out endless puppies and kittens.  These poor animals are often inbred and suffer hideous health defects and illness.  Not to mention mothers and fathers who are kept in confined spaces, with little food, proper housing and human companionship.

You will also be making room for another poor unwanted animal, thereby giving them the chance of a loving home.

Help break the cycle of overpopulation

Sadly, there are just not enough homes for animals who are born each year and adopting from a rescue centre helps to lesson this cycle.

An estimated 47,000 dogs alone were abandoned last year.  Some found their way into rescue, while more than 5,000 were put to sleep.  Across Britain, it has become so desperate that both dogs and cats are now being euthanised at a rate of one every couple of hours and the situation is now in crises.

Every day, rescue centres are struggling to cope and the ‘throw away’, mentality is being blamed.  Charities are hoping that this number will start to reduce, following the legal requirement to microchip your dog, which came into force in 2015.

Health benefits

Having a dog is a wonderful motivation to go out walking.  A dog that relies on its owner for their daily walk, with help you to get moving.

Owning a dog will also reduce isolation and help making new friends. They also provide a sense of purpose as well as a faithful companion.

Research also shows that pet owning victims of heart attacks, are far more likely to make a speedy recovery.  They are also instrumental in reducing anxiety and relieving stress.  Stroking a cat can also give warmth in the winter and reduce blood pressure and playing with them can increase the levels of serotonin and dopamine, helping you to relax and reduce stress and depression.

Improve your social life

Owning a dog, can especially be beneficial at facilitating interactions with other people that you meet on your walks.  Often talking with other dog owners or people, may even help you find love, since they can instigate confidence when approaching someone you are attracted to and even cat ownership, can be more appealing to those of the opposite, or same sex.

Seriously though, owning a dog will at least help you to make friends and they can often act as an ice-breaker at your side.

 

I have just covered a few benefits here of adopting a pet, since there are too many to mention, like returning home from a hard days work to find an excited dog or cat that can provide the companionship and support that we desperately seek.

Other pets also have positive effects, so consider your lifestyle and be sure that your chosen pet will fit into your routine.