litter robot

Prevent Litter Tracking

Cats tend to track litter when they step out of the litter box. Understand why and learn how to prevent a messy and smelly home!



Kitten Spreads Cat Litter in House


Dear Simba - My 5-month old kitten loves to play in his cat litter by getting it on his paws then spreading it around the floor.
I do not want to 'spray' him because he might not want to go near his litter box to use it for its true purpose!

What should I do? Kat

Dear Kat,
It is very good that you are not spraying him. I wonder if the consistency of the litter has something to do with the behavior. His 'playing' may be his natural instinct to manipulate and bury the substance on which he went potty.
I venture to guess that you are using a clumping litter. Clumping litter is more likely to stick to paws than non-clumping litter. If so, you may want to make a gradual change over to a looser form of litter or perhaps placing a mat that kitty can step on after he finishes using the litter box. Check out the notes below for information on litter boxes and how these impact the tracking around the house. Keep me posted. Simba




Dear Simba,
My 5-month old kitten uses his litter box like a pro! However, when he buries his waste he is steps on it and carries it around on his paws. Also, when he finishes, he runs out of the box like a bat out of hell when he finishes and gallops around the house. I bought the biggest box I could find thinking he did not have enough room, but nothing changed. He does not clean his rectum or body. Is he doing this because of his age...he is still little. Will he slow down after he is fixed? Our vet recently gave him a clean bill of health. Gina

Dear Gina,
If you are using clumping litter consider moving to a pellet-like litter. These will not stick so much to your kitty’s paws. Also, make sure that there is enough litter in the box, since low litter levels prevent your kitty from properly burying his stool. Try placing a plastic-based mat or a thick piece of carpet rug next to the litter box. This will help clean his paws and capture some of the waste. Make sure also that the box has one point of exit only. A single entry/exit point prevents your cat from jumping out from other parts of the box spreading litter all about. Lastly, kitty will not slow down after his operation. He may slow down with age, but for now he is full of life and vigor. Enjoy him. Simba

PS
As you know from the Grooming section, cat’s are obsessively clean. If you find that kitty is not cleaning himself, you may want to consider bathing him. Check out the section for tips.


My Persian kitten is fed dry food.

Toilet Training
He will sometimes come from his box with bits of fecal matter on his rear or paws. This has meant almost constant shampooing. Is there any way to minimize this? I realize that Persians have some built-in problems with all that fur, but I have clipped around the anal area.

Hi,
First, ensure that his litter box is large enough to accommodate him so that he can turn around and maneuver within the box. Be sure that it contains plenty of litter. Cats bury their waste, and if there is no litter they cannot bury it well.....hence the tracking. Also, consider getting a paw mat for him to use upon exiting. This will help remove matter from his paws. Simba


Dear Simba
My kitten will at times remove fecal matter from the box, play with it, leave it around the house, and sometimes eat it. What is going on? Should I worry? Will it pass? Tom

Dear Tom,
Help is on the way. At its most benign this sounds like an awfully messy behavior. At its worst there are health concerns, particularly the consumption of litter, not to overlook parasites as well as bacterial infections. Not meaning to scare you, be aware that clumping litter is designed to form a hard, insoluble mass when wet. Depending on the litter you use the kitten's consumption of feces puts him at risk of developing intestinal problems. Parasites and bacteria are another problem. Because cats are creatures of habit, ensure the kitten is trained for the litter box and that you rid the kitten of this behavior ASAP. For training the kitten, please read some of my other letters.

To break this habit, I recommend the following:
  • Make sure that there is enough litter in the litter box (use a a safe, non-toxic, non-lumping litter for now).

  • Clean the litter box once a day, preferably after each movement.

  • Change the litter every 1-1 1/2 weeks.

By providing a clean litter you are eliminating the window for bad behavior. If you find your kitten playing with the stuff, spray him with a mist of water so as to discourage the behavior (do not yell or punish him), then remove the offending matter. Ensure that your kitten is getting the proper nutrition. While odd, this feeding may be due to hunger. Visit and review your kitten's vaccination schedule with your vet to safeguard against parasites. Simba


Litter Box Profile: Litter Robot


I'm not convinced that the expensive automatic self-cleaning litter box (e.g., the Litter Maid) is a good buy. What about the Van Ness trays? Can somebody with experience with either or both advice me? My main interest is keeping all cat feces IN the box and avoiding tracking all over the house.

Hi,
One of the best ways to keep the poopies where they belong is to get a box with a top and a single point of entry/exit. These arrangements make it difficult for your feline friend to scatter litter as he/she exits from their bathroom breaks, since they must pass through a single opening. Ideally, the entry point is raised such that any thrashing inside the litter box remains contained in the litter box.In combination with these boxes, try using a non-clumping litter. Clumping Litter’s finer granules stick to a cat’s paws and can be scattered throughout the house.

The main advantage of the Litter Robotis that you can clean it just once a week. Kitty does his/her business and then the machine cleans by itself. It looks crazy but it works. See video below. Hope this helps. Simba

click here if you cannot see the video
Litter Robot at Amazon.com..


Smelly Cat Litter


Dear Simba,
We have just brought two, 3-month-old kittens. Our question relates to the litter. The Litter Tray smells bad. I change it every day but it is nonetheless stinking up the house. Any advice that Kitten-Love

Dear Kitten-Love,
Congratulations on your new friends. As you are finding out, kittens are more than just cute! There are 3 things that affect litter odor.

LITTER TYPE
Not all kitty litter are created equal. Certain kitty litters contain special absorbing materials that soak up smells. Good litters are pressure and moisture activated. Many good types contain baking soda and have the additional benefit of fragrance releasing agents. Look for these types of kitty litter and change the box once a week.

LITTER PAN
Uncovered litter trays usually produce the most unpleasant smells throughout the house. Like a just baked and air-dried apple pie, the smells from an uncovered litter tray permeate through the house. However, unlike apple pie, litter has a less than pleasant odor. Use a litter box (i.e., Litter Robot). These contain the odors better than trays by restricting the exposure of the litter.

KITTEN'S DIGESTION
If you have ruled out the litter box, the kitty litter and tracking of litter around the house, it is possible that kitty is not digesting his food properly. Check out Digestive Problems for information on stool odor.

I hope this helps. Keep me posted. Simba