Pet World: Dogs may sense your unease, but that doesn’t cause aggression
–Jags, Kolkata, West-Bengal, India
Congratulations on your new kitten. Generally, it's recommended you have one litter box per cat plus one. So, if you have just one cat, two litterboxes are ideal. But since your space is limited to 550 sq. ft, and you have just one feline, then one litter box should be fine, so long as you keep it clean by sifting it every day. If your cat adapts to whatever litter you start with, don’t change it unless you absolutely must. Sometimes changing the litter can stress cats and cause them to pee outside the box.
The clay litter is fine. There is also a sand-like clumping litter, which is sometimes easier to keep clean because it lumps the urine as well and will smell fresher for longer. A covered litterbox also will reduce odors in that small space.
As for placement, the litter box should be in a low traffic location. If a cat is startled while in the litter box, they may not return to it in the future. For example, if you put the litterbox in the washroom and you have a washer/dryer, make sure your cat is not in the litter box before starting the machines. Turn off the dryer buzzer so it doesn’t startle your cat when in the litter box. If you put the litter box in the bathroom, make sure your cat is not in the litterbox before you flush the toilet. These sounds startle cats and once startled, they may not use the litter box at that particular location again.
Your place is small, so you can move the litter box if you need to without much worry. But generally, it's nice to find a place for it and keep it there. Cats aren’t big on change.
(Cathy M. Rosenthal is a longtime animal advocate, author, columnist and pet expert who has more than 25 years in the animal welfare field. Send your pet questions, stories and tips to email@example.com. Please include your name, city, and state. You can follow her @cathymrosenthal.)
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