If you put a hundred cat lovers together in a room and asked them what was the thing that they disliked the most about owning a cat, chances are that “the litterbox” and “cleaning the litterbox” would come in pretty close to the top.
It makes sense, really. No one likes having to handle the by-products of your cat’s digestive system. Whether it’s scooping, clumping, cleaning, washing or changing altogether, the litterbox is our least favourite task.
For owners with outdoor pussins it’s not as bad, especially in summer when kitty prefers to go outside and answer the call of nature in nature’s own living room rather than yours. But when winter comes and tootsies – and other parts! – get very cold, then the litterbox gets a lot more use.
And if your pussins are indoor-only or only have access to a catio or other form of enclosed run, then you already know how tightly you need to manage that litterbox. No one likes the gentle lingering scent of cat wee….
In this article, we’ll look at the new breed of outdoor litter boxes. What’s the best outdoor litter box for your cat? How do outdoor litter boxes work? How often do you need to change an outdoor litter box?
We’ll also look at three different products you can consider if you’re keen to purchase an outdoor litter box and do away with your indoor one completely.
Outdoor litter boxes are basically the same as indoor ones, with one key difference: they are always covered (of course!) and some have a special rain hood to really stop any possibility of rain or moisture getting in to ruin the litter. They need to be made of waterproof material.
Instead of using regular kitty litter, it can be a good idea to use children’s sandbox sand in an outdoor litter tray. Normal cat litter absorbs moisture from the air very readily, and you could find yourself needing to change it much more often than you would change an indoor litter tray!
Sand is better suited for outdoor use and cats are comfortable with the way it feels under their paws. Children’s play sand is easy to purchase and is inexpensive. It’s also easy to scoop and clean. Beware though if your sandy litter box is in an enclosure or catio, as sand sticks to pussin paws very easily and you might find it tracked through your house.
Choose a location for the outdoor litter box that is quiet and secluded, as all cats need privacy and calm in order to do their business. But make sure the litter box isn’t too “out of sight” or it could also be “out of mind” and you might forget to clean it as often as it needs. You’ll still need to scoop and maintain the box in order to keep flies and other nasties away.
You’ll also need to make sure it’s in a protected corner or place in the garden, so that there’s less chance of it being blown away or knocked over during strong winds.
Outdoor litter boxes can be useful for pet owners who:
Or maybe you live somewhere really hot, or very rainy – outdoor litter boxes can be good options for all sorts of extreme weather conditions.
Many pet owners arrange an outdoor litter box so that it can be safely accessed from the house via a cat flap. This can be a great way of ensuring your kitty always has access to the box, without you needing to be home to open the door for them to go outside. It could save you from an unexpected surprise on the floor when you come home!