Ten out of ten cats agree: bigger is better when it comes to the preferred size of their litter box! In my informal study conducted over the past few years thanks to my cooperative foster cats, I tested out a wide range of litter box sizes and styles. I’ve also talked to hundreds of cat and kitten adopters and fosters over the decades about what size and styles of litter boxes their cats preferred. (Different types of litter, litter depth, litter box location, and how to fix or cure litter box avoidance issues are topics for other blog articles!) My litter box size preference results are straightforward: the biggest box gets the most use. Humans may prefer a smaller box or a covered box, but cats seem to want one thing: room! Room to turn around, to dig, to comfortably stand up, squat, or put their paws on the edges and stand while they do their business. Then they want plenty of room to dig dig dig and make sure its completely covered! Or not, I’ve had a few non-cover-ers in my testing too. Smaller boxes right next to the bigger boxes were passed over – “litter-ally” for the bigger boxes. Bonus to bigger boxes too: cats can kick like crazy and most of the litter stays in the pan!
I’ve heard that some cats don’t mind covered boxes, but mine also preferred open top ones (not covered), I think they prefer the roomier feel to an open box too. Some didn’t mind jumping into ones with very high sides, while other older felines did appreciate having a lower entrance, so they could easily step in. Now that I know that my foster cats like the big litter boxes, its what I recommend to all new cat adopters too!
Don’t forget: cats are creatures of habit. If you want to see if your cat would prefer a bigger litter box, keep their same litter box available, in the same location. Offer the new litter box as an additional alternative for at least two weeks, right next to the old one if possible. Let your cat “tell” you which litter box he or she prefers. If she likes the new one, or likes both, after two weeks of consistent use of the new one, you can remove the old one.
Happy litter box testing!
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