If a tray meets all of your cat's needs then there is every chance that your cat will use it.
Likely you will want the box or tray to contain the contents!
You want it to be designed so that, as far as possible, the litter and other stuff does not go flying out of the box when your cat scratches around in there.
You will also want it to be easy to clean and easy to be kept clean.
You might consider it a good bonus if the box could keep any nasty odors to a minimum, does not take up too much space, blends in as far as possible with your decor and is maybe not too obvious that it is what it is.
Shall we now consider what your cat might want?
They want a litter box that is kept clean and smells fresh, that's for sure.
They want easy access, they want to be able to get into the box, do what they have to do, cover it up if that's their thing, and exit without any problems.
They want a litter box that does not restrict their movements.
They want security, they want to conduct their business in relative peace and quiet and free of the fear of ambush from another cat.
Some cats, but by no means all, will want complete privacy, they may favor a covered box.
So there are some things that both you and your feline friend want. Your cat may not be at all bothered about the color of the box, but you both want the box to be clean. Your cat wants a litter box that he or she will use and so do you.
The vast majority of cat litter boxes are manufactured from plastic, no big surprise there. Plastic is actually good. Plastic is relatively strong, inexpensive, easy to clean and relatively easy to make things from.
Unfortunately there is a slight snag with plastic when it comes to litter trays. When in use for long enough, plastic trays will start to absorb and retain odors no matter how often and how thoroughly they are cleaned.
Of course your cat should get some good mileage out of a plastic litter box, but eventually it will start to smell. You may not smell it, but your cat will and quite likely start to refuse to use it. Is it time to replace that old smelly litter box?
Most cats prefer to use litter trays in at least some degree of privacy, corners of rooms are good, as is anywhere away from heavy foot traffic.
A tray positioned somewhere that humans are passing by all the time may mean that the cat will be reluctant to use it.
A box placed close to domestic appliances like washing machines may not be to a cat's liking, those things can be noisy.
Some cats like even more privacy and prefer to use hooded cat litter boxes. However other cats dislike hooded boxes because smells can get trapped in there and the hood can restrict a cat's movements if not large enough.
Naturally cats prefer their toilet area to be as far away from their food area as possible.
Because a cat sometimes needs to get to the litter box pretty sharpish, accessibility is important. It is also important that the box stays in the one spot, don't expect a cat to hunt for it, the cat is likely to go where the box was!
Sometimes you have no choice but to put the litter box in a public area of your home. There are some very creative solutions that hide the fact that the litter box is right there in the living room. Cat Litter Box Furniture
It cannot be emphasized enough that cat litter boxes should be kept clean and fresh. Cats simply will not use a dirty litter box, for one thing their noses are far more sensitive than ours.
What might seem a slightly unpleasant smell to a human can be unbearably foul to a feline.
The cat has to get in the box to use it, she or he will not want to do that if the box is full of un-scooped feces and urine soaked clumps, no way.
There are many reasons a cat may refuse to use a litter box, a dirty box is a major one. A clean box means a happy cat, a happy cat means a happy you.
How often you have to wash your cat's litter tray or box depends greatly on the type of litter that you use.
If you use a clumping litter, then between washings you can scoop out the poop and clumps of urine.
Needless to say, this should be done as frequently as possible, poop and clumps should not be allowed to build up.
No matter how well you scoop, the box will need regular washing, no less than once a week.
Using strong smelling cleaning products to
clean is not recommended, it could put your cat off using the box and could potentially be harmful.
Instead use hot soapy water to clean thoroughly, wear rubber household gloves to protect your hands.
Rinse the box to remove all traces of the soap and dry completely.
If your cat uses a covered box, don't forget to wash the hood too.
With cat litter boxes it's not a one size fits all world. For a young kitten a small shallow tray is ideal as the kitten can hop in and out with ease and doesn't feel lost in there. As the kitten grows into an adult cat, so must the litter tray grow too.
If a cat stands near the edge of an undersized tray her or his rear end is likely to hang out over the side, we know what happens then. Oh dear, who is going to have to clean that mess up?
A very large cat may need a large, or even a jumbo size litter box.
The box that suited your fit adult cat for years, may not be so suitable as your cat ages. As cats age they tend to lose some of their agility. Your senior cat may need something with lower access that doesn't present her with entry and exit problems.
Do you have one cat, a pair of cats or a house full of felines? How many litter boxes do you have, is it enough for all your cats' needs . . . How Many Boxes For How Many Cats?
Making the right choice of cat litter boxes is making the right choice of one of the most important items in your home, as far as your cat is concerned. The right choice will mean less chance of any mishaps.
You have heard a lot about enclosed litter pans, you may have been told that cat's like the privacy that these boxes give and the hood helps to reduce odors. But is that right? Is a covered box the best choice for your cat? Hooded Cat Boxes.
Let's be frank. Scooping the poop is not the nicest of chores, but it has got to be done. What about those automated boxes that do that job for you, do they work? Are they something that humans appreciate but would not be a cat's choice? Find out more here - Automatic Cat Litter Boxes.
There are several products on the market that disguise your cat's litter tray so that it is not so obvious what it is. You may not want guests to see your cat's toilet equipment. There are many styles available, some are just like items of furniture others like miniature houses. But again, your cat is the boss, would she or he use one? Litter Box Furniture.