How to keep your cat’s sandbox clean and tidy (and prevent it from smelling)
Cats are very clean animals, with a very sharp sense of smell and a lot of sensitivity to their environment. To offer them a hygienic and calm space where they can do their necessities is fundamental so that they can use correctly the tray and to avoid that they leave surprises in other corners of the house.
Do you want to know the best way to keep your cat’s sandbox clean and avoid bad smells? Follow the recommendations in this post.
Choose the right tray
When buying a cat litter tray, consider its size and depth. The cat should have enough space to move comfortably in it, so it is recommended that the length of the tray be a little larger than your cat’s size (1.5 times the size of the animal from the nose to the base of the tail).
As for the depth, it should be enough to contain between 3 and 5 centimeters of sand and prevent it from falling out with the movements of the animal. Younger cats or older cats with movement problems will also need an entrance to access the sandbox effortlessly.
How often should the sand be changed?
Although solid excrements must be removed daily, the frequency with which the tray must be changed depends, above all, on the type of sand chosen, such as sands Sanicat, a brand that for 40 years takes care of the hygiene of your house and helps your cat that their instincts are respected.
In general, for the most common types of sand it is recommended to empty the drawer according to the following times:
Absorbent beds (not agglomerates):
These litters last between 7 and 9 days, as long as the faeces are removed daily. The cat litter tray should contain between 3 and 5 centimetres of cat litter and it is recommended to change its contents completely once a week, or if hygienic conditions are lost.
This type of cat litter lasts approximately one month, although to maintain the initial thickness of the litter it is necessary to replenish its contents daily as the faeces are eliminated. The contents of the litter tray should be completely renewed once a month, or when hygienic conditions are lost.
These beds are more sensitive to dirt and should be completely renewed every two to three days. In addition to solid excrements, the wettest areas must also be removed every day.
The single-dose formats are a solution for not having to worry about daily cleaning. These are single-dose formats for 30 x 40 cm trays that do not require any daily maintenance, although they must be completely renewed once a week. One of the best single-dose formats is the Arena Sanicat 7 Días Aloe Vera.
How to handle and clean the sandbox
The sandbox must be washed and disinfected each time the sand is changed. The use of gloves is recommended for its manipulation, although this does not avoid that it is necessary to wash the hands when finishing. It should be borne in mind that some disinfectants can be toxic to cats, so it is recommended to choose specific cleaning products for this task, or consult your veterinarian to know which detergents and disinfectants are harmless to the pet.
Used litter should be disposed of in accordance with municipal waste disposal regulations. In addition, it is important to remember that pregnant women should not have any contact with the sandbox or its waste.
When the sandbox is clean and dry, and before refilling it with sand, odour removal products can be added, which will maintain the hygiene of the cat’s corner for longer. Although there are filters and specific products for this purpose, a simple, home-made solution is to add a thin layer of bicarbonate under the sand. The odour neutralising properties of this product will help to keep the tray odour free until the next cleaning.
What to do if your cat doesn’t use its sandbox.
If the sandbox is clean and odour free, but your cat still doesn’t use it and decides to use other parts of the house, your favourite pet may have other problems. The simplest solution is to think of the sandbox as the source of problems, but you also need to pay attention to whether it’s a health problem.
Problems with the sandbox
We’ve already seen how to choose the right cat litter tray and keep it clean and odour free, but one of the most common causes of cats rejecting their litter box is the location of the litter box. For your pet to be comfortable, the litter tray must be in a protected and quiet place, away from food and where it cannot be disturbed by other pets or by the inhabitants of the house themselves.
It is also very important to choose the right sand and be careful with hygiene products and air fresheners, as sometimes their smells can be very annoying for the animal and prevent it from feeling comfortable in your corner.
If your cat is not sick but does not use its sandbox, it is advisable to try moving it until you find the right place and experiment with different types of cat litter until you find one with which the animal feels comfortable.
Health or behavioral problems
On the other hand, if your cat stops using the sandbox, it may be due to a health problem. Stress is one of the main reasons why cats do their needs in places other than those foreseen for it, although this behaviour can also be due to illness or the marking of territory of uncastrated males and females in heat.
The position your pet uses to urinate will give you a clue as to the type of problem in question, although if you are in doubt, it is best to consult your vet.
All in all, a clean and adequate sandbox, in a place where your cat feels comfortable, is the best formula to prevent your favourite pet from dirtying other parts of the house.
To keep the corner of the tray clean and odour free, it’s a good idea to replace and change the sand according to the manufacturer’s recommendations and clean the tray every time the sand is replaced. In addition, be careful with cleaning and disinfection products that can be toxic to your pet or produce odors that they find unpleasant and make him avoid his tray.