The best location for the cat toilet
14.11.2022 - Reading time: 5 minutes
Cats are known for their cleanliness: Not least for this reason, people love to keep felines as housemates. The animal learns to use its own toilet and prizes cleanliness very highly. If the cat stops using it, you as the owner can be sure that there is something stressing the cat – physically or mentally. However, the right conditions must also be created within the home so that the cat can take care of its business in a species-appropriate way.
Why do I need a cat toilet?
Many other animals do not bother themselves much about their leavings. No so with cats: felines outdoors look for places with soft ground where they can bury their faeces. This way they can hide odours and any traces that might give them away. A house cat needs a substitute for this natural behaviour: a place where it can relieve itself and bury its faeces. At the same time, house cats have high expectations when it comes to comfort. Some cats demand a separate toilet for faeces and urine, as well as privacy. As a rule of thumb, you should always provide one more cat toilet as there are cats in your household – that way every animal has its own place and there are no conflicts when a toilet happens to be occupied.
What are the characteristics of a cat toilet?
At the pet store, there is a large selection of various cat toilets. The most obvious difference in the selection is between models with and without cover. The toilets with covers offer cats a place to withdraw, where they can relieve themselves in privacy. However, the odours of the cat toilet, both of the faeces and the litter, can collect under the cover and cause the cat to avoid the toilet. Most cats therefore prefer a toilet without a cover: the air circulation is better and the effect of the odour is less concentrated.
Find out whether the cat prefers privacy or free space. The cat toilet definitely has to be big enough so that the cat can stretch itself and turn around. A larger house cat needs much more space than a kitten. Select a model with walls that are high, but can still be easily stepped over by the cat; edges that bend inwards slightly help ensure that the cat doesn’t carry too much litter with it when it digs and steps out of the toilet. The litter itself must be several centimetres deep in order to fulfil its purpose and allow the cat to discreetly bury its faeces.
By the way: Non-clumping litter is more appropriate for cats with long fur and kittens than clumping litter because it can get stuck in the fur or, in case of accidental ingestion, can harden in the stomach. Is the cat going on a trip or appearing at a show? At the pet shop, there are travel toilets or space-saving models for small rooms.
How and how often should I clean the cat toilet?
If the litter tray stinks, this disturbs your feline friend even more than it does you: cats avoid dirty toilets as much as you would. Cleanliness in the cat toilet is therefore just as important as it is in your own.
High-quality kitty litter does not just bind odours, it is also dust-free. However, it is still a good idea to keep a hand brush and dust pan close to hand. Another piece of essential equipment is the litter shovel. You use this to remove faeces and clumps of litter on a daily basis for disposal. The fill level of the toilet should be topped up with fresh litter. Once a week, you should replace the kitty litter entirely and use the opportunity to clean the plastic tub. For this, use hot water and, if necessary, a mild neutral cleaner – no harsh cleaners! The odour sticks to the tub and irritates the cat.
Even with careful cleaning, urine stains collect over time and the plastic tub will begin to show wear and tear. A cat toilet is therefore a consumable: roughly every six months, you should indulge your cat with a new toilet.
Where is the best place to put a cat toilet?
Place the cat toilet away from high-traffic areas in the home and in a quiet place where the cat can be undisturbed.
Separate the cat’s comfort areas spatially. The toilet must not be directly next to eating or sleeping areas.
The optimal place for a cat toilet is the corner of a room or a niche. The more walls surround the tub, the more relaxed the cat can be because no “enemies” can sneak up on it from behind.
The cat toilet must always be freely accessible – make sure that a thoughtlessly closed door does not prevent the cat from reaching the toilet.
Once the toilet has been placed, it should not be moved again. A cat toilet that is here today and somewhere else tomorrow confuses the cat.
If possible, do not place the cat toilet near windows or the balcony door where strange cats might be visible: Cats don’t like to be watched while they relieve themselves.