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Pets Q & A - Litter Solutions

with Doctor Charlie (DVM)

What type of litter do cats prefer?

Several studies have been done on cats’ preferences and in general it has been found that most cats prefer a fine-particulate, clumping, non-dusty and unscented litter. However, not all cats are the same. If something is working, try not to change anything.

How often should my cat’s litter box be cleaned?

All litter boxes should be scooped to remove solids once to twice daily. Wash and change the litter for fresh each week.

How many litter boxes do I need and where should I put them?

As a general rule, you should have one litter box for every cat in your household plus one spare. These need to be placed in different locations as most cats desire privacy and choice.

Can litter be flushed?

Most cat litter is not designed to be flushed and can cause clogged pipes. Some litters are labelled as flushable; these are designed to biodegrade in water. However, I wouldn't flush with old plumbing systems or septic systems.

Are there any sustainable litters?

Some litters are more eco friendly than others. Certain litters such as paper-based litters may be made from recycled materials. Many litters on the market including wood-based, paper-based, and clumping clay are all compostable.

How do I change cat litter type?

As we all know, cats typically don't like change so slow and steady is the rule. Gradually introduce the new litter to the tray in no more than 25% increases.

What size and type should my cats litter box be?

The general rule of thumb is that the length of the litter box should be 1.5x the length of the cat (not including the tail). This allows the cat plenty of room for movement, digging etc. Some cats will have a distinct preference for covered or uncovered.

Why doesn’t my cat use the litter box?

This can indicate a number of things from environmental problems (such as inappropriate number of trays, litter type, tray type, cleanliness etc), behavioural problems (e.g. anxiety) and medical problems. It is best to get the help of a vet who can help investigate your cat for any underlying issues as well as help with environmental problem solving.


Litterboxes come in an endless array: they can be open, covered, with doors or without, have a sieve and bottom catching tray, automatically scooping. They are a topic for another day...

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