Cat Litter, Boxes and Care

These readers want to know what type of litter to purchase, and how best to care for the cat litter boxes. See if your question is here.

Here are our archived questions and answers related to cat litter boxes and litter box care. Keep scrolling or jump down to read more about:

What is the best litter to purchase for my Maine Coon?

I have tried two types of litter - Everclean (small granules) and natural pine pellets.

The small granules stick to his fur and are ingested when he is cleaning himself. The pine pellets disintegrate into dust when he urinates.

There is no way to remove the urine-soaked dust without cleaning the entire litter box. What would be a better, healthier alternative for my big boy?

Answer:
Hi!
Sounds like you are going the natural cat litter route! Great! Maine Coons don't have specific cat litter needs, other than that it's healthy and good for them! It will help him live a long and healthy life.

Due to their longer fur, some small granules of whatever brand you use will stick to his fur and be groomed away. That's why it's better not to be clay!

We currently use Feline Pine Cat Litter, and we've been very happy with it. But, not the pellets you mentioned. We use the clumping formula, and it does clump quite well. If it's cleaned regularly, it's no different than scooping any other clumping litter. It has a nice aroma, too.

The cats like it just fine, and we use a mat nearby to catch any fluff that escapes. They occasionally get a little on their fur. It's barely noticeable, though.

Hope this helps!
~Carrie




How Often To Change Litter Box Of A Maine Coon

by: Dee
(SC)

I have a Maine Coon and a very large litter box which I keep at least 3 inches deep. Clean it most every time he uses it.

Because it takes so much litter I only change it monthly as I keep it so clean and add to it each day. Is this OK, or should I change it more often?

Reply:

Hi Dee,

If you are scooping the box most every time he uses it, and it smells fine and is still clumping well, I think you are doing fine with changing the litter monthly.

Since you have a very large box, there is more litter in general. It's like 2 or 3 "regular" boxes.

Some things to look for, when it comes time to change the litter would be odor and less ability to clump. You can tell when it's not so fresh.

All The Best,
Carrie

Comments:

Litter Box
by: Dee

Thanks so much for you answer on how often to change litter in a large litter box. You made me feel a lot better in what I was doing. I am new at this and had no idea how large this could would be. I soon found out. Thanks again


Healthiest Litter

What is the best/healthiest cat litter to use for my Maine Coon?

Reply:
Hi,
The healthiest choice is to use one of the natural cat litters. They are all good, and your favorite will be the one that your cat uses! For his health, you'll want to stay away from any clay litters.

On our page about natural cat litter, we mention Yesterdays News, Feline Pine, Swheat Scoop, and World's Best Cat Litter. These are some of the more popular ones. Neither are "better" or "healthier" than the others. Often you can find a good natural cat litter right at your local supermarket.

At our house, we have used both Feline Pine and World's Best, and we're very satisfied with the results. Our review pages talk all about our experiences with them.

Whatever you choose, your cat will thank you!

Best Wishes on your natural cat litter quest!
~Carrie




Switching Cat Litter

ginger kittyDooley - first day in our house

by: Em
(Knoxville, TN)

Our cat is using the clay type litter now and he tracks the clay pellets everywhere.

I brought a box of feline pine clumping and I am not sure how to make the switch. Please help.

Reply:
Hi Em,
We love Feline Pine at our house! We are fortunate that our cats are very laid back. We washed out the litter boxes and made the switch in a day. They took right to it.

You could try that, or you could try layering a little pine on top of the clay before you switch completely.

Or, you could have a box of each available. If he likes the pine, it is easy to remove the other. If he still goes to the clay you could gradually put less and less in the box so he might prefer to go to the fuller box, the pine one.

Hope it goes well!
~Carrie

Comments:

Feline Pine
by: Helen

When I changed to Feline Pine, I only rinsed out the box and dried it with a paper towel. I wanted to leave some odor in it so they would realize it was the litter box despite the different texture. The Pine pellets can be thrown out with aggressive scratching, but are easily swept up. Just don't step on them with bare feet..............it hurts. HeHeHe

cat litter
by: theresa

I was given a main coon cat several months ago that would not come out from under the couch because he was abused twice in two different household. The cat came out and found his place in the household. He went from abuse to being very spoiled he is loving us and we love him.

The one thing I hate is cat boxes. Can't stand them and can't stand cleaning them out that I bought the kitty potty to teach last chance to use the toilet. I rather have that than a cat box. Last chance turned out 2 be a very smart cat and pretty sure he will pick up, especially he already has an interest in the toilet.

Have not started the training yet because a stray cat had kittens in my yard. I got rid of all and kept one little guy. Waiting for him to get older 2 train. I don't want to have a box 4 the little guy and training for lc because he would get confused. I say if this works get rid of the litter, the mess, smell and expense.

Feline Pine
by: Em

I tried it last night with a thin layer of Feline Pine on top of this old litter. He went to it straight away. I noticed that it is very little and when I changed it out this weekend. What can I mix it with to hold it down. I understand that the pellet hurts when you step on it, that's why I am doing away with the clay. Any suggestions!

Cedarific
by: Gail (Quincy, MA, USA)

I like Cedarific - it's fine cedar chips that smell nice; however, it does make a mess. I have an extra-large litter box with a litter box liner inside, then I fill it with the litter. If you place a catch mat outside the box (mine's in the bath, under the sink), it's pretty easy to clean up. When I introduced my Abby (formerly from our shelter) to the soft litter, no intro was needed. She just jumped in and did her business. Quite a change from the pellet type the shelter uses.

I hate those pellet litters. We use them at the shelter, but it's for sanitary reasons more than anything else.

Feline Pine
by: Jessy

I had a clay-type scoopable litter with bits of cedar-fresh something-or-other in it that has since been discontinued. I also offered Feline Pine for those kitties that preferred it.

Since (1) I am getting too old to struggle with heavy clay litter and (2) my old brand has been discontinued, I am switching over entirely to Feline Pine. We have two new kittens and they are perfectly happy to use it. However, it is harder to clean than the clumping clay kind and my daughter complains that the poop smells stronger.

Litter vs Poop Factor
by: Gail (Quincy, MA, USA)

How's that for a title, eh? I found that changing my Abby's food greatly improved the poop stink factor.

On advice from a certified Coon cat breeder, I changed Abby's dry food to Orijen - very expensive ($23-25 for 5-lb bag/$45+/- for 10-lb.), but it is the best food on the market.

No grains (cats don't need it; it's only filler), no by-products (ground up animals, animal parts & waste, including dead cats, horses, etc.) and it's all organic. It meets/exceeds a cat's food requirements; therefore, cats eat less to be satisfied.

She also gets 1-tbl. Newman's Own "grain-free" wet (they only make 3 flavors grain-free: Organic Beef, Organic Beef/Liver, Organic Liver). She loves it & only eats what's in her bowl of wet & her dry lasts all day/night; she gets 1/4 cup per feeding, twice daily.

Since then, her poops have gotten smaller, she's regular and they don't stink as bad as when she was on the junk bought at the supermarket. All in all, we've got a very happy cat & in the end, it really is economical because the food lasts 2-3 times longer




Potty Problem

by: Marlla Ungethuem
(Cincinnati, Oh)

two tabby kitties

I have a Maine Coon cat of 1 1/2 yrs old from feral parents that I still feed. There was a litter of 4 and she was the one that Momma kept and I raised the rest but captured her at 4 weeks old.

She would poop under the couch and bed but has since stopped that and uses the boxes but still urinates on rugs, beds spreads and such but not all the time.

She will use the box to poop but not always to urinate. Missy is healthy so could this just being lazy? She too is very vocal at all times of the day for no reason and that is when I sometimes pick her up and take her to the boxes and she usually goes to the bathroom.

Her sister Cuddles has a lot of the traits of the Maine coon in her also but we have no issue with her. Any ideas other than medicine for her behavior. I also have a 8 and 3 yr old male cat but they all seem to het along fairly well.

Thanks
Marla Ungethuem

Reply:

Hi Marla,
It is fairly common, when a cat isn't taught proper litter box etiquette by their momma, that they have "issues" as adults.

When I was a young girl, a neighbor gave me a kitten at exactly 4 weeks old. I so wish they had kept her longer! We had trouble, always.

You're story is different, as the parents are feral. It's great that you were able to domesticate the kittens!

As for the behavior itself, I think she just doesn't "get it." And, my area is more about Maine Coon cat breed traits, quirks and behaviors. What you need is a cat behavior expert.

I hope the potty troubles get better!
All The Best,
Carrie


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