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How Do We Know If Kitty Likes The Litter?

Even though Kitty may use her litter, that doesn't necessarily mean that she likes it. We all know the feline toileting ritual...Kitty steps into the litterbox and sniffs; she starts to dig, positions herself, and then decides to dig some more; when everything is perfect, she squats and eliminates. If she is so inclined, she begins the post-elimination ritual with sniffing and covering and more sniffing and covering. If she skips a number of the steps in this process, then there may be trouble ahead.

There is no way to determine if Kitty likes her litter if we can't witness her litterbox etiquette. Since most cats will not eliminate in front of an audience, we must resort to "sneaking a peek" in order to observe this performance. If Kitty jumps in the box and follows the normal behavioral sequence, then she apparently finds the litter acceptable. On the other hand, if she jumps in the litterbox, quickly does her job, and makes a hasty exit from the litterbox, then you can assume that she really dislikes something about the box. Her source of disgust could be the litter itself or the condition of the litter. She could also be nervous about the style of the litterbox (hooded litterboxes lack escape potential), or the location of the box (near a noisy appliance, a high traffic area, or a competitor's territory).

It is best to determine how Kitty feels about her litter and litterbox before she has to take the extreme measure of demonstrating her stress with a puddle on the carpeting or a present on the bed. With a little attention to Kitty's natural instincts and preferences, you may never have to buy that enzymatic cleaner. (If you do, we recommend the Equalizer for eliminating the odor of cat urine. It can be ordered from Revival Animal Health via their web site or by calling them at 1-800-786-4751 -- Item # 29-210 - a 14 ounce spray bottle for $4.95 plus shipping.)

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