• Provide one litter box for each cat in the house, plus one additional box.
  • Boxes should be in different locations around the house to provide multiple and different access points. In multilevel houses with multiple cats, litter boxes should be offered on each floor level.
  • Boxes should be easily accessible, especially for young kittens, physically disabled cats, and elderly cats.
  • Avoid places boxes in high traffic zones or very remote locations.
  • Most cats prefer uncovered boxes.
  • Boxes should be large enough for the cat to comfortably move around in the box. The box should be at least 1.5 times the length of the cat. Consider getting a plastic storage container and use as a litter box, if commercially available litter boxes are too small.
  • Since plastic can absorb and retain odor over time, boxes should be replaced annually.
  • Do not bother a cat when it is in the litter box as this may create an aversion to the litter box.


  • Most cats prefer unscented, clumping (fine, sand-like clay) litter.
  • Offer enough litter so that the cat can dig/cover adequately (at least an inch in depth).
  • Plastic litter liners may become an aversion to some cats.
  • Some cats have unusual litter preferences. To test a specific cat’s preference, a variety of litters can be offered simultaneously and the preferentially used litter retained.


  • Most cats prefer a pristine litter box
  • Boxes should be scooped at least once daily.
  • Boxes should be completely changed with a box washing on a regular basis. This may vary from weekly to monthly depending upon the litter type, cat’s hygienic standards, and box usage. Old litter should be dumped, the box washed with liquid soap/water, rinsed thoroughly with water, and filled with new litter. Avoid using harsh chemicals when cleaning as these may repel the cats from the box. If a box needs extensive soaking/chemical treatment to clear the odor, then it is time to purchase a new box.

Authors Drs. Horowitz and Neilson