SmartCat Articles

SmartCat Articles2018-11-01T15:46:54+00:00

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SmartCat Litter is light in weight but strong in performance. SmartCat Litter begins to clump on contact by immediately absorbing urine. This quick clumping action traps the odor-causing bacteria, and odors disappear. Clumps will continue to harden and dry until all liquid is absorbed. This litter is designed to make everything easy; easy to carry, easy to scoop and easy to cleanup.

  • At transition use 50/50 mix of new litter with existing litter for one week.  After that, use new litter exclusively.
  • Place litter box(es) in a quiet area with easy access.  Use 1 litter box per cat plus 1 additional box.
  • Locate boxes where cats will not have to travel far, with at least one box on each floor.
  • For best results, litter depth should be kept at 3-4 inches after scooping.

The rule of thumb for the number of litter boxes is: one per cat in the household, plus one. Extra Corner_LitterBox_3850litter boxes are necessary because some cats like to defecate in one and urinate in another. Sometimes others will not use a box that has already been used by another cat. Different areas for the litter boxes can prevent location-avoidance problems. If space is an issue, try a Corner Litter Box™ from SmartCat™.

    • Clean the litter boxes DAILY. The single most common reason for a cat’s refusal to use a litterbox is because the box is dirty.  The box should be scooped daily, add fresh litter to top and keep depth of litter to about 3”, and the litter changed and the box washed when soiled. The cheaper clumping litters that break-up easily and will need to be dumped more frequently as the non-clumping litters. (Bacteria left in the litter box will smell to the cat even if you can’t smell it.)
    • Choose a litter that appeals to the cat. Recommended litter SmartCat® Natural Clumping litter , also read on the “Proper Usage of SmartCat® litter“,  most cats prefer the texture of the sand-like clumping litters. Be sure to select a brand with no dust,  that clumps into a firm ball, making scooping easier and cleaner. As a health precaution for kittens that might be prone to ingest the litter, use a non-clumping litter until the kitten is under four months old.
    • NEVER use scentiStock_000000741616Smalled litter. Perfumed, chemical scents repel cats. When you wash the litter box, use hot water and a mild dishwashing liquid, rinse several times.  Do not use harsh chemicals that will leave a lingering odor.
    • Do not use litter box liners–they can trap urine in-between the folds of liner and can be irritating to some cats when digging. Also covered, or hooded litter boxes can be offensive to cats as they do not satisfy the cat’s need for escape potential when eliminating. They also trap the odor inside, creating an “outhouse effect”. The litter box should be uncovered and at least 24″ x 18″ for an adult cat.
    • Place litter boxes in quiet, private places that are easily accessible to the cat and where they  will not be disturbed by children or ambushed by other pets. Noisy areas near washing machines, furnaces, or under stairs, may frighten the cat away from the box. A house with several stories should have a litter box on each floor. NEVER place litter boxes near food and water dishes.
    • On guardWhile kittens have an natural instinct to use a litter box easily seen, they may also choose other, more convenient locations if a litter box is not in site. You should limit their territory until they learn that the litter box is the only acceptable place to eliminate and they know where the box is located.  Their tiny bladders are not under total control at this age and require frequent elimination.  Praise and rewards will speed up the learning process. Like small children, when kittens are playing they get distracted and  the urge to eliminate hits them quickly, they should not be expected to travel very far to find their bathroom areas, they won’t make it.
    • When introducing a new cat into the home, confine the cat to one room with its litter box, bed, food, water and toys until the cat has used the litter box several times and shows an interest in exploring the rest of the house. Once you have decided on the placement for the litter boxes in your house — Don’t move them! (if they must me moved, do it slowly!)
    • Help your cat feel comfortable in his home territory. Play games with him, give him a massage, talk to him frequently using their name. Give him positive and affectionate attention, LOVE them.  A confident, secure, contented and relaxed cat does not need to relieve anxiety and stress by such extreme measures as urine or fecal marking.  They will be willing to use their litter box.
    • Cats enjoy using their Litter boxes if they are in a safe place, clean and have an acceptable litter. Its all a natural instinct. Just  give them what they need.
    Secrets of Litter-Box Success

    90% of all Litter box Problems are Caused by The Owner, not knowing what the cat needs are:

    Litter box Do’s and Don’ts:
    • Do have your cat spayed or neutered
    • Do provide 1 litter box per cat; plus 1
    • Do clean litter boxes daily
    • Do find a litter that appeals to your cat
    • Do place litter boxes in a quiet, private, places
    • Don’t use scented litter, litter box liners, or hooded litter boxes.
    • Don’t wash the litter box with harsh chemicals that leave an odor
    • Don’t expect the cat to travel a long distance to get to their litter box
    • Don’t punish the cat if their not using the litter box – punishment increases the cat’s stress and worsens the problem, find out why they stopped using the box.
    • Don’t insist that a declawed cat use a clay-based litter; a sand – like scooping litter or an empty litter box may be more acceptable and easier on the paws

https://catsinternational.org/prevention-of-litterbox-problems/

Since Edward Lowe first placed granulated clay in a bag and called it Kitty litter, the multimillion-dollar cat litter industry has produced an astounding array of litter substrates. While most of the litters on the market were clay-based, there is a growing interest in “alternative” litters. These litters are made of a variety of unlitter-like compounds, such as: paper, corncob, orange peel, wheat, wood, grass, silica, walnuts and peanut shells. All cat litter manufacturers claim that their products are highly absorbent and great at controlling odor, so how is it possible to choose one among so many?

First of all, look at the choices from your cat’s point of view. Too many cat owners select products for their cats based on human, rather than feline, preferences. This approach often backfires as the cat may find that the new purchase offends his natural instincts and refuses to use it. We know that cats have an inborn drive to seek out an easily-raked substrate in which to eliminate. Our domestic cat’s ancestors used sand and a soft soil. Studies show that 9 out of 10 cats prefer the sand-like texture of the clumping litters. This shouldn’t be too surprising considering that the paw pads of an indoor cat are sensitive and tender. (Would you rather walk barefoot on a gravel driveway or on a sandy beach?) See “The Truth About Declawing“.  Declawed cats especially require the comfort afforded by a clumping litter as more of their weight rests on their heels than on their shortened toes. (The declaw surgery involves severing, not just nails, but whole phalanges–up to the first joint–including bone, ligaments, and tendons.)

We also know that cats want their indoor bathrooms to meet the same requirements of outdoor toileting areas, even though their little paws may have never touched the good earth. Observations of outdoor cats show that each time they eliminate, they look for a clean area (unlike dogs which like to use the same locations). Dirty litter boxes are a main reason for cats to eliminate outside the litter box. Perfumed litters do not add to the cat’s enjoyment of the litter box, nor do they fool the cat into thinking that the box is acceptably clean (although they may fool the owner). Perfume is actually a repellent for cats, this will keep them from using the box.Natural_Bag_5LB FINAL

All clumping litters are not created equal–some clump better than others. Usually, the better litters are also somewhat more expensive than the others. The cheap clumping litters that break up easily should be scooped daily and dumped out entirely twice a week. The best clumping litter sold on the market, such as SmartCat® Natural Litter makes the job of litter box cleaning quick and simple. If scooped out daily, the cat can enjoy a clean, dust free fresh-smelling litterbox every day, so can you.

Tips on the proper use of Litter.

Clay is still being used with people thinking it absorbs most of its weight in moisture, it doesn’t clump at all.  Cats do not like stepping on wet litter and wet litter has an offensive smell to cats as well as to humans. Keep this in mind if you are considering an alternative box filler. The strange texture and smell of the new substrate may also put off your cat. If they don’t recognize it as being an appropriate substance in which to eliminate, they will either try to hold their  urine (which may precipitate a health problem), or they may find the living room carpet more to their  liking.  This choice will create another whole set of problems.

_3850UltimateLitter

If you decide to introduce a new litter to your cat, put it in a new litterbox. We recommend one of SmartCat litter boxes  for a change in shapes The Ultimate Litter Box™ or the Corner Litter Box™.  Keep the old boxes the same until you see that the cat is using and liking the new litter. Let the cat discover it for themselves–don’t force them to go into it. You may take some urine or stool from another box and put it in the new box to give them the idea that this is for them. Once you decide on a litter you both like, don’t change it, even if another litter is on sale (that is, unless you really like cleaning the carpeting!)  Cats just don’t like change, being especially sensitive to their litter box.

The Causes of Urine Spraying:iStock_000030976232Large

Spraying behaviors are not difficult to solve once the reason for the behavior has been identified, the stressful stimulus addressed or if possible, removed, and the soiled areas properly cleaned up.

“Too many cats in the home, tension among the resident pets, or visiting animals can all trigger spraying behavior. Territory being threatened, or perceived to be is very stressful to the cat.  Spraying urine is the cats way to mark and protect their territory.   Environmental stress–such as moving into a new home–may also lead to a spraying problem. Anxiety caused by changes in work schedules, absences from home, spending less time with the pet, or inappropriate punishment may also cause a cat to spray in the home. When gathering information about the problem, close attention should be given to anything that might create a territorial response or make the pet anxious. Sometimes the stimuli for spraying are obvious. Other times, the provocation might not be as apparent, such as when the scent of another cat is brought into the home on a visitor’s clothing or your own.

Conditions that might cause a cat to spray urine:

  • Cats visiting in the yard
  • New pet or new family member
  • Problems with a member of the household
  • Problems with another pet
  • Moving or remodeling
  • Visitors
  • Other cat scents brought into the home

Treatment for controlling marking problems involves reducing the cat’s exposure to the stimuli that trigger marking and altering the cat’s response. The cat’s opportunity to see outdoor cats should be stopped by closing drapes, modifying window sills, and moving furniture near windows where the pet perches. All evidence of urine odor should be cleaned from around doors and windows, indoors and outdoors…If tension between cats in the household is contributing to the problem, that issue should be addressed or the pets should be confined to separate areas in the home. In households with a large number of cats, the problem may not stop unless the number of cats is reduced.

A new approach to the treatment of spraying problems is the use of Feliway, an environmental spray that consists of a synthetic chemical that mimics the scent found in the gland near the lips of cats (the facial pheromones).  Feliway is sprayed directly on spots that have been previously sprayed by the cat and washed with oxiclean. When the cat returns to the area to freshen up his mark, he sniffs the Feliway and gets the message that this spot has already been marked facially, its time to relax and not stress out.

Note:

  • iStock_000016303154LargeSpraying behaviors can be an indication of various health problems. This possibility should be ruled out by a thorough examination by the veterinarian before a behavior modification is initiated.
  • Although spraying is generally thought to be motivated by territorial anxiety, it can be also be caused by other types of stress, such as stress created by a poor litter box situation (e.g., dirty box, scented litter, bad location). The issue of proper litter box maintenance should always be addressed when dealing with a spraying problem